I had never tried jumping rope with a weighted jump rope before, but after hearing about all of the benefits of jumping rope and the added benefit of using a weighted jump rope, I decided to give it a shot.
I have found that it is indeed a fantastic workout and as intimidating as I had feared.
In this exercise guide, we will discuss the benefits of weighted jump rope workouts and how to get started today!
Let’s jump in!
What Is a Weighted Jump Rope?
A weighted rope is a jump rope that has added weight to either the handles, the rope itself, or both.
According to Jennika Landon, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, and Certified Jump Rope Instructor at Crossrope, the added weight makes the jump rope workout all the more intense and can help strengthen the upper body.
“There are two types of weighted jump ropes: those with weights in the handles and those where the weight is in the rope itself,” explains Landon.
“The weighted handle ropes don’t provide the same benefits as a weighted rope, though! If you are looking to get the most out of your weighted jump rope experience, go for the type with the weight in the rope.”
Weighted jump ropes can range anywhere from a quarter pound to upwards of 10 pounds or more.
Landon suggests starting with a weighted jump rope where the rope itself is weighted only about half a pound (not one with the handles) and building up to 2 to 3 pounds if you want to.
What Are the Benefits of Weighted Jump Rope Workouts vs Regular Jump Rope Workouts?
Landon says that there are numerous benefits of weighted jump rope workouts.“They can help you learn to jump with less struggle than a traditional rope,” suggests Landon. “The added resistance provides a better feel and feedback throughout the rotation. This will help you know when to jump and get the timing down.”
Landon says that the added resistance of a weighted jump rope vs a regular jump rope also naturally makes you jump slower as you get started. This can help you get the hang of jump roping without feeling like you have to swing or jump super fast just to keep the rope moving.
“Once you start to feel comfortable with the basic jump, you can kick up the speed. Just like running on a treadmill or rowing on a rowing machine, you get a better workout when you increase the speed and increase the resistance,” advises Landon.
“Weighted ropes make your jump rope workouts more effective in a similar way. The faster you jump with heavier ropes, the higher the intensity!”
Many of the benefits of weighted jump rope workouts are due to the fact that jumping rope is a full-body workout.
“Jumping rope, especially with weighted ropes, engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a full-body workout. This efficiency can be appealing to individuals looking to maximize their workout in a shorter amount of time,” says Landon.
“Because it requires more effort and energy to swing a weighted rope, you will burn more calories than jumping with a non-weighted rope.”
She adds the following:
“Along with being a full-body workout, jumping with weighted ropes requires more body control and coordination. You have to be actively engaged in your workout to stay in control of the heavier ropes so you make sure you are swinging that rope and it’s not swinging you.”
Evidence suggests weighted jump rope workouts may improve coordination and proprioception1Ozer, D., Duzgun, I., Baltaci, G., Karacan, S., & Colakoglu, F. (2011). The effects of rope or weighted rope jump training on strength, coordination, and proprioception in adolescent female volleyball players. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 51(2), 211–219. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21681154/, aid weight, and increase strength.2Kim, J., Son, W.-M., Headid III, R. J., Pekas, E. J., Noble, J. M., & Park, S.-Y. (2020). The effects of a 12-week jump rope exercise program on body composition, insulin sensitivity, and academic self-efficacy in obese adolescent girls. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 33(1), 129–137. https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2019-0327
Another often overlooked benefit of weighted jump rope workouts that Landon notes is that they can be very physically and mentally empowering.
“Working those muscles and controlling that force can make you feel powerful and strong,” suggests Landon. “Not only do you get a kick butt workout, you finish with a feeling of confidence.”
Lastly, jump roping can be really fun. This may increase your adherence3Lakicevic, N., Gentile, A., Mehrabi, S., Cassar, S., Parker, K., Roklicer, R., Bianco, A., & Drid, P. (2020). Make Fitness Fun: Could Novelty Be the Key Determinant for Physical Activity Adherence? Frontiers in Psychology, 11(577522). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.577522, making it easier to achieve your fitness goals.
Are There Any Risks Of Weighted Jump Rope Workouts?
According to Landon, anyone who has wrist or grip issues, or shoulder or elbow pain, should be cautious with using weighted jump ropes.
These precautions are particularly important with heavy-weight jump ropes and those without mechanized handles, as the heavier the rope, the harder it will be on your body.
It is also important to consult with your doctor before starting a new workout routine, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are over the age of 40 for men and 50 for women.
What Muscles Do Weighted Jump Ropes Work?
As mentioned, jumping with weighted ropes provides a full-body workout.
As with regular jumping rope workouts, you will work the muscles of your lower body, especially the calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, along with your core muscles.
Using a weighted jump rope increases the workload on your shoulders, arms, chest, upper back, and grip strength muscles as well.
“Jumping with weighted ropes may not be enough resistance to build muscle mass, but you will definitely increase your strength,” explains Landon.
“As you reduce body fat through a healthy nutrition plan combined with weighted rope jumping, you will see an increase in your muscle definition and really get your lean muscle mass popping!”
In this way, weighted jump rope workouts combine strength and cardio in one, making heavy jump rope exercises excellent for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.
“If you are doing a steady-state jump rope workout, it’s mostly cardiovascular training,” notes Landon. “However, when you do that same steady-state jump rope workout with a weighted rope, you are engaging more of your muscles, and working those muscles means you are strengthening those muscles.”
If you want to lean into the strengthening benefits of jumping with a weighted jump rope, you can use a heavier rope and if you want to focus more on the cardio conditioning, aim for a faster jumping and a lighter weighted jump rope.
Landon provides a few tips for how to structure weighted jump rope workouts based on your fitness goals:
Tips For Weighted Jump Rope Workouts
- If you want to make your jump rope workout more strength-focused, you will want to go for a heavier rope like something in the 1-5 pound range depending on your strength and fitness level.
- Doing short, fast bursts with a heavy jump rope as part of a strength training circuit workout will help you build strength and stamina.
- You can also combine weighted jump ropes with dumbbells or kettlebells in timed interval workouts or rep-based workouts.
How Do You Start Weighted Jump Roping?
Landon says that you can use a weighted rope just like a regular jump rope, so there aren’t necessarily specific weighted jump rope exercises you have to do.
That said, it’s important to not jump right in (pun intended!) with high-intensity or long-endurance weighted jump rope workouts.
It is important to build up gradually.
“You have to use them to get used to them, but starting with very short sets will allow you to develop grip and wrist strength with less risk of overuse injuries,” advises Landon.
“You might find a ½-pound rope is totally manageable for 1-3 minute sets, but don’t expect to pick up a 2lb rope and do the same thing off the get-go!”
For this reason, Landon recommends giving yourself time to build up to anything more than 10-30 seconds of weighted jump rope intervals at a time.
“Don’t let the difficulty scare you off though! You might start by only doing 5-10 swings at a time just a few days a week, but that is just the beginning,” encourages Landon.
“Keep at it and slowly increase the number of swings and the number of days you do it. Before you know it, you will be a heavy rope boss!”
In terms of how to structure weighted jump rope workouts, Landon says variety is key, especially if you have a couple of different weighted jump ropes to work with.
Mixing up the way you structure your workouts will keep things interesting and will challenge your body in different ways.
“[Do] short intervals to train speed, longer intervals to train footwork skills, longer sessions at a lower intensity for steady-state workouts, and rep-based workouts like a ladder where you ladder up the number of jumps in each set with as little rest as possible (like 50 – 100 – 150 – 200 jumps).”
“Then there is the option to include bodyweight exercises or other equipment into your interval or rep-based jump rope workouts,” suggests Landon. “The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to working out with your jump ropes!”
The Crossrope app has over 2000 workouts and counting.
“There are jump-only workouts, workouts that utilize ropes and bodyweight exercises, and also workouts that include dumbbells or kettlebells,” Landon says. “We even have some no-jump workouts for your active recovery days or days when you don’t want to jump.”
Having guided jump rope workouts provides structure and motivation, which is especially helpful for beginners.
I decided to try the Crossrope app myself and what I like is that there are workouts as short as two minutes and as long as 60 minutes, which helps you find the appropriate workout for your fitness level, time, and training goals for the day.
I made use of the Beginner section on the app because it has helpful tutorials and there’s a cool Jump Rope Beginner Challenge to get you started.
You can use any way to jump rope with the app but if you get the actual Crossrope weighted jump ropes, all of your jumps and jump rope workout get tracked right in the app because the Crossrope has Bluetooth-enabled AMP handles that sync with the app.
As a lover of tracking my progress and seeing my metrics, this is a game changer in my opinion for anyone who needs a little bit of motivation and wants to be quantitative in measuring progress in your jump roping workouts.
Landon encourages anyone who has it all interested in trying weighted jump roping exercises to give it a shot.
“Weighted ropes can be game-changing to your fitness routine and help you reach new levels you never thought were possible,” she exclaims. “Even if you only do a few jumps, make today your day 1 and start now!”
If you don’t have the app just yet, you can check out our jump rope workouts to start your day, here!
- 1Ozer, D., Duzgun, I., Baltaci, G., Karacan, S., & Colakoglu, F. (2011). The effects of rope or weighted rope jump training on strength, coordination, and proprioception in adolescent female volleyball players. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 51(2), 211–219. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21681154/
- 2Kim, J., Son, W.-M., Headid III, R. J., Pekas, E. J., Noble, J. M., & Park, S.-Y. (2020). The effects of a 12-week jump rope exercise program on body composition, insulin sensitivity, and academic self-efficacy in obese adolescent girls. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 33(1), 129–137. https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2019-0327
- 3Lakicevic, N., Gentile, A., Mehrabi, S., Cassar, S., Parker, K., Roklicer, R., Bianco, A., & Drid, P. (2020). Make Fitness Fun: Could Novelty Be the Key Determinant for Physical Activity Adherence? Frontiers in Psychology, 11(577522). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.577522