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Jump Ropes
Jump Ropes Expert Advice
Wondering what you need in a jump rope? This page helps to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
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Which jump rope is right for me?
A jump rope is a simple device but there are plenty of variations for you to choose from. First you have to decide how much abuse you'll be putting it through. If you have kids who will likely play with it outdoors, you might want to choose a classic playground style rope that has thick plastic beads all the way up and down it. These protect the rope itself from friction against tough concrete and gravel. If you are using it in a boxing gym environment where you needn't worry so much about rough terrain and even want to be careful to preserve the floor, you might choose a pliable leather rope.
Also be sure to consider how fast you need the rope to go. If you want to train quick foot movement you'll need a speed oriented rope, but if you are looking to enhance your muscular endurance you might choose something with more weight.

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What length jump rope is right for me?
In general, if you are 5'6" and under - use a 8' rope. If you are 5'7" - 6'2" - use a 9.5' rope. If you are 6'3" and up - use a 10' rope. Many ropes can be adjusted to be shorter than their maximum length.

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What are ball bearing handles?
Most jump ropes tie the handle portion to the rope portion and simply let the momentum of the swing take the rope around as it rubs against the inside of the handle. However, some of the more advanced ropes feature a ball bearing system which enhances the smoothness of the swing as you perform your jump rope routines. These are an excellent choice for jumpers who do very quick routines and need definite consistency in their equipment.

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Leather rope vs Plastic rope
Leather jump ropes tend to have extremely long life spans, but to get the most out of them you should put a small amount of maintenance into making sure the leather is conditioned and stored properly (not overly dry and not overly humid locations). To condition the rope, you can use something as simple as saddle soap to keep it pliable.
Plastic ropes are constantly improving as new plastics come out and new designs are put into production. You can find a wider variety of rope styles in plastic, although they tend to have a less traditional "feel" that some boxers grow accustomed to.

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Should my jump rope be weighted?
Weighted jump ropes offer a unique aspect of rope workouts. By adding weight the handles, you effectively isolate your forearms and wrists much more than a traditional rope could. This increased weight adds an arm development component while still allowing you to keep a regular pace with the rope.
Conversely you can buy a weighted rope that creates a different dynamic. But straining the muscles to keep the weighted rope (which is often constructed of rubber) you increase the intensity of the workout on your pecs, shoulders, and arms.
If you are wondering if you should invest in a weighted rope, just ask yourself what it is you want to gain. If it is increased foot speed, this might not be the right choice. But if you want increased muscle endurance and strength, you might be right in trying the weighted rope.

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How does jumping rope increase my boxing fitness?
Jumping rope is a surprisingly effective way to increase your fitness level. It challenges almost every muscle group in the body and creates a need for muscular coordination. Jumping rope focuses on two very important aspects of boxing: rhythm and timing. You can increase the agility of your footwork while you pump your forearms, wrists, and shoulders (which are critical to good punching power). There are few exercises as inexpensive and effective as jumping rope.

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You might also need...
If you're looking to increase your fitness with jumping rope, you might also enhance your workouts with medicine balls. There are a lot of core-strengthening drills that can be done with the medicine ball, and many boxers swear by them. Also consider purchasing a sauna suit if you need a little more sweat and good boxing shoes to make sure you don't lose your traction.

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