In my quest to master double-unders, I spent a lot of time with a speed rope. In fact, I used to spend ten minutes at the beginning of each workout, warming up with a rope. For six months.
My favorite approach to the jumping rope warm-up is just turn up some tunes, and rock out. But, in case you’d like a bit more structure, here’s a really simple warm-up I have used countless times:
My Favorite Speed Rope Warm-up
– 100 single rope jumps (feet together) – 100 single rope jumps (alternate feet)
Finish with a pyramid: – 10 single jumps on your right foot, then 10 single jumps on your left. – 9 single jumps on your right foot, then 9 single jumps on your left. – Keep going all the way to 1, and then build back up to 10 on each foot.
So your rep scheme is going to look like this:
10-10, 9-9, 8-8, 7-7, 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10. PHEW.
It takes a little bit of practice to get through the whole thing without tripping up, but once you do, it’s a great little circuit to get the blood flowing.
Few things you may be wondering about:
What’s the difference between a regular jumping rope and a speed rope?
A speed rope is simply a type of jump rope that is specifically designed for speed. Think double-unders – a rope has to travel twice under your feet with every jump, so your rope better be able to fly through the air quickly! If you tried doing double-unders with a regular vinyl or nylon rope, you know it feels slow as molasses. Speed ropes are often made of metal cables wrapped in plastic as compared to nylon), and thus travel faster through the air. They also sting MUCH more. Ouchh.
How long should my jumping rope be?
The most common recommendation is to measure your jumping rope, by stepping on the middle with either one foot or both feet, and then make sure that the top of the handle reaches the top of the shoulder. The length will also depend somewhat on your jumping form – are you keeping your elbows tightly tucked in or sticking out? You will notice that you will need to make your rope shorter if:
a) you are getting better at skipping b) you are working on double-unders
I prefer to keep my rope pretty short:
Now that I no longer want to strangle myself with a rope every time I do double unders, I actually love all things speed rope! So, when John from Fitness Sanctum reached out to me, asking to review two of their speed ropes, I happily obliged.
Fitness Sanctum is a Canadian company that provides high quality performance apparel, equipment and gear to help athletes achieve their goals, in fitness and beyond.
They carry everything from tank tops, shorts and compression gear to gym chalk, battle ropes, gymnastic rings and weight vests.
Speaking of tank tops… this one may be relevant to this post! 🙂
[quote]Bang out double unders day in and day out every day. The Momentum speed rope just might be the perfect rope for WODing and double unders. Combine fast spinning nylon bushings with mil-spec anodized aluminum handles and infinitely adjustable aircraft grade cable- and you’ve got the best speed rope on the market. Simply put, these ropes kick ass!
Cable is infinitely adjustable -by hand! No need for any hardware
Upgraded cable – very little memory so no kinks to work out
Long handles made with Aircraft Aluminum preened for hardness and texture
[quote]The R1 Light Speed Rope is a perfect ‘in-between’ rope for CrossFit athletes who aren’t sure if they should use the quickness of a speed rope, or the flexibility of a trainer rope. It is perfect for indoor / outdoor use, as its nylon cable coating provides superb durability to abrasion ratio. The flexibility and weight of the cable make it great for beginners learning to do double-unders.
The handles are made of an ultra-durable nylon, the patented bearing system makes them virtually friction-free, and the pivoting eye allows for ANY angle of hand motion, making this rope feel effortless at times. [/quote]
R1 is a great beginner speed rope – a little less fancy that Momentum and hence, more budget friendly.
This rope took a little bit more tinkering to get the length just right – and, unlike Momentum, you do have to unscrew the attachment piece every single time.
I was pleasantly surprised to find an extra cable and an extra set of attachments in the package!
*Note, that while I tested the rope outside, the manufacturer explicitly advises against outdoor use. I can attest to the fact that this rope is best used at a CrossFit box or an indoor gym, as asphalt causes fraying.
Both speed ropes deserve a spot in your gym bag, however, the Momentum rope was definitely my favorite – the no-hardware adjustment mechanism won me over!
*Disclaimer: I have received these products for free in return for a gear review. Under no circumstances have I been paid to write any positive reviews. Anything you read here is my independent opinion based on testing the gear while training.