The Top 5 Jump Ropes for Cardio – Garage Gym Builder

updated January 1, 2019

There are a whole lot of different options when it comes to getting in a great cardio workout - and they can cost you quite a lot of money. Yet, one of the most effective just happens to be among the cheapest - jumping rope.

If you haven’t cottoned on to the benefits of jumping rope for cardio and fat loss yet, here’s a quick update:

  • Jumping rope is a great calorie burner at about 14 calories per minute.
  • Jumping rope brings on the EPOC effect which churns up your calorie burn for 24 hours after you finish your workout.
  • Jumping rope provides you with the ultimate portable workout option.
  • Jumping rope is a low impact plyometric activity - there is minimal stress on your joints when you skip (the right way).
  • Skipping fits in great with weight training. Just jump rope for 30 seconds between your sets and the fat will start melting away.
  • Jumping rope greatly improves your body’s coordination, balance and your sense of bodily awareness.

Types of Jump Ropes

types of jump rope

Cloth Jump Rope - this is the most basic and the cheapest type of jump rope. They may be constructed of braided or nylon cord and may or may not come with a handle attached. This type of rope is suitable for beginners and is a good intro into the jump rope field.

Beaded Jump Rope - this type of rope consists of a string of plastic beads that are strung onto nylon cord. Usually the beads have different colors, which makes the rope look extremely bright. These ropes are also very cheap. They won’t, however, turn very fast. They should be strictly limited to beginner users.

Weighted Jump Rope - this version of the jump rope has weighted handles. The rope itself is usually made of PVC or leather. The added weight located in the handles is designed to add an element of extra resistance to work the upper body. It does this to a certain degree, but is not the best choice if your focus is on increasing your cardio fitness through increased speed and agility.

Leather Jump Rope - this type of rope will have either a wooden or plastic handle and a strip of leather. It will turn much quicker than most other types of rope. This is the type of rope that boxers use and is most preferred by elite trainers.

Licorice PVC Jump Rope - this type of rope consists of plastic handles and a strip of PVC rope. You get a fast rotation with a PVC rope. It is still a relatively inexpensive rope, but will give you a better workout than a cloth or beaded jump rope.

Speed Jump Rope - As the name implies the speed rope is the fastest rotating rope on the market. It consists of durable wooden or plastic handles connected by a thin piece of PVC rope. Included in the handles are swivel ball bearings. The ball bearings get rid of any friction or drag which you get with other types of jump rope. The speed rope is our preferred option for serious training.

Getting the Right Jump Rope Size For You

Jump rope size

Unless you get the right jump rope size for you, your jump rope session will be less than ideal. If you are buying a rope in a store, you can check the length by looping it over your foot at the middle of the rope and then pulling it up. Ideally the rope should reach up to your armpits. Ropes that only reach to your elbows are too short and could lead to missteps and resultant ankle injuries.

If you are buying a rope online you cannot actually perform the shoulder height test. However, the seller will tell you the rope length, so you can follow a simple length height guide:

  • If you are up to 4’5”, then the rope should be 6 foot long.
  • If you are between 4;10 and 5’ 5”, then the rope should be 6 foot long.
  • If you are up to 5’5” to 6’, then the rope should be 6 foot long.
  • If you are over 6;”, then the rope should be 6 foot long.

What to Look For in a Jump Rope

You might think there’s not that much to think about when buying a jump rope. But you’d be wrong. There are plenty of inferior ropes on the market. They are not only likely to prove pretty useless functionally, they are also potentially dangerous. Here’s what you should be looking out for in order to ensure that you don’t end up with a dud:

Best Jump Ropes of 2019

The Top 5 Jump Ropes at a Glance​​​​​

Read our review of Top 10 Jump Ropes

The Top 5 Ropes Up Close

#1. Survival & Cross Jump Rope

Boxing, MMA, fitness training rope

The Survival and Cross Jump Rope is a high functioning rope that is made from steel cable with a polyurethane coating. That means that the rope is not only very strong, it also will never kink or bind. This rope is great for both indoor and outdoor use. It has screws that can be tightened to increase the rope’s longevity.

Ball bearings that are placed inside the handles of the rope provide a faster, more smooth revolutionary action. This is a lightweight rope, making it ideal for speed rope training. The rope length can be adjusted to a range of sizes simply by loosening the clamp screws, adjusting the rope length and then retightening.


  • Steel cable​​​
  • Adjustable length
  • Ball bearings


  • Not ideal for slower skipping

#2. WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope

Speed Jump Rope

The WOD Nation speed jump rope features combined ballistic nylon resin handles with patented silky smooth liquid steel bearings. Connecting the handles is a kink resistant nylon covered steel cable.

This rope features a unique four ball bearing system with two balls in the handle and another two on the tips to hold the coated steel cable. The result is a lightning fast revolution speed. The 6.75 inch long handles are tapered at the end for a better ergonomic feel. The cable length is also adjustable so you can get just the right length for your height. Your purchase even comes with a convenient carry bag.


  • 4 ball bearings in each handle
  • Steel cable
  • Tapered handles


  • Not appropriate for beginners

#3. Fitness Master Jump Rope

Speed Workout Speed Jump Rope

The Fitness Master Jump Rope is a 9 foot long rope that has ball bearings fitted into the handles to ensure a smooth, natural evolution. The cable is made from wire and covered in a plastic coating. This ensures that the rope is tangle free.

The Fitness Master rope is very lightweight. Your purchase comes with a carry case and an instruction booklet. You can also adjust the length of the cable to fit your user requirements.


  • Tangle free
  • Ball bearings in handles
  • Carry case and instruction booklet


  • May be too light for some people

#4. Power Skip Jump Rope

Power Skip Jump rope

The Power Skip Jump Rope is a lightweight unit with memory foam that makes your grip more comfortable. The rope has been coated with a polymer solution to stop it from getting tangled up. The length of the rope can be fully adjustable in just a few seconds. There is absolutely no resistance when you use this rope.

This is a high quality rope that is very functional. It can be used by people between the heights of 5 feet and six feet, eight inches.


  • Adjustable rope
  • Memory foam handle
  • Tangle free


  • May be too light for some

#5. Valeo Deluxe Jump Rope

Valeo Deluxe Jump Rope

The Valeo Deluxe Jump Rope is a durable, solid rubber rope that is lightweight and compact, The rope length is ten inches, though this adjustable for different user heights by cutting the rope. Sealed ball bearings in the handles ensure a smooth, even rotation. This jump rope provides you with molded handles and foam grips to keep your hands dry and comfortable.


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Sealed ball bearings
  • Foam grips


  • Have to cut rope to adjust


The best jump rope in the current market is the Survival and Cross Speed Rope which features a steel cable, ball bearing swivel handles and is completely tangle free. Coming in at a close second is the WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope with its unique quad ball bearing system, tangle free rope and tapered handles. Rounding out our top three cardio jump ropes is the Fitness Master Jump Rope, which provides with a fluid, tangle free jumping experience and comes with its own carry case and instruction manual.

 Survival & Cross Jump Rope

Our #1. Recommendation

Survival & Cross Jump Rope

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.