XYLsports Adjustable Skipping Rope Review
We have written in detail elsewhere about the benefits and challenges of jumping rope. It is a fast, effective cardio exercise that typically burns more calories than walking or running. You also get strength training for most of your body, and your endurance level goes up. Jumping rope is good cross-training, and it also works as a standalone activity. And of course, sweating through double-unders will get your working heart rate up while lowering your resting pulse. You don’t have to be a CrossFitter or martial artist to master the speed rope.
The Jump Rope from internet company XYLsports is a pretty good starter pack for adults and kids who want to learn the ropes. It’s cheap, discounted on the XYLsports site at the time of this writing. Details are lacking, which doesn’t give us a lot of faith in the company. From what we can gather, the adjustable rope part is 9’8″ long. Handles are short, to fit most hands. They are foam-padded for comfort and to fight wrist fatigue. Like with many quality jump ropes, the cord is adjustable if you don’t need that much length.
Affordable and compact enough to toss in your bag as an emergency backup--ropes are great for travel
Length is easy to change, with scissors and by following maker's directions
Internal ball bearings and metal rope housings help with consistent revolutions
Cord part is lightweight and durable, cuts through the air with no lag
XYLsports offers a money-back guarantee
Lightweight (5.6 ounces), so the rope is supremely portable-short handles help, too
Low price lets you buy one for you and one for a partner; makes a great fitness gift
XYLsports has a fly-by-night feel, with typos in website copy and few details about products
Rope not to be used on concrete
We're calling this the XYLsports Jump Rope, but, in an effort to maximize Google search analytics, the company named it "XYLsports Jump Rope Adjustable for Fitness Workout Exercise Boxing." We aren't making that up. It's a mouthful, but it's also accurate. If your box, for fitness or sport, this rope will bridge the gap between more strenuous conditioning sessions. If you have a shared home gym or even a small business of your own, having a few of these on hand wouldn't hurt. You and your friends or clients can get in some low impact cardio while waiting for the power rack to open up, eliminating long lines and frustration.
Since it's easy to shorten and quite user-friendly, the budget-minded XYLsports rope is ideal for schools and sports camps, too. Most kids will be able to fit and hold the handles for a full workout. In fact, if you are a parent looking to start your kids on a lifelong fitness habit, you could do a lot worse than giving them each a jump rope. They're difficult enough to make a difference but fun enough to keep kids interested. Just be careful using them on concrete. Wood, grass, or a comfy gym floor will help the PVC rope last longer. Even the most high-end ropes, with cartridge bearings and extended handles, will scratch and fray if used on rough pavement.
Who It Is For
Reviews are mostly favorable, but there are reports of the cord twisting and binding up during double unders. The rope isn't long enough for playground classics like Double Dutch, either. It's for one person at a time.
In spite of its shortcomings, the rope is of higher quality than any cotton or hemp rope with wooden handles. Those are terrible, and will likely end their lives as a clothesline or DIY dog leash if you are unfortunate enough to possess one. But the XYLsport Jump Rope costs the same as those ropes, perhaps a little more, making it a great bargain.
At the end of the day, the XYLsports Jump Rope is at its best in a group fitness class. Not CrossFit, because of the twisting issues we talked about, but a nice cardio circuit with strength training thrown in.
An entire class can transition from kettlebells to this rope in a few seconds. After working with the ropes, an instructor will know their shortcomings and can assist students to keep them going with the jumps. If you've never used a speed rope as the "high intensity" part of a HIIT workout, you should really try it. Four minutes with this rope will have you yearning for the slow interval, especially if you are new to jumping.
What Makes It Different
If you have never used a jump rope, or if it's been a while, here is what we mean by the rope keeping up with you. Extremely light ropes, like those made of actual rope, will often move through the air slower than your average foot speed. You will experience tangles, but also get derailed when the rope slaps the back of your calves or ankles. It isn't your fault; you can have perfect form, and a poorly made rope will still let you down. Some we have seen are even affected by outside winds or large cooling fans in gyms.
PVC or other synthetic polymer ropes are much more reliable. They can get wet, which may cause organic or cloth ropes to shrink. Shrinkage will make the lag problems even worse, and also interfere with revolutions. That's because the part where the rope connects to the handles will also shrink.
Speaking of handles, smooth wood is not ideal because it can fatigue your wrist. The XYLsport Jump Rope is at the low end of the synthetic cord spectrum, but it is still a winner over any non-bearing rope with wooden handles and cotton or other cloth construction. Just keep it off the pavement, and the rope will perform like a champ for a year or more.
When we finally located the site, it didn't give us much hope either. The copy reads like it was written by non-professionals. It also makes unsupported claims, stating that jumping rope is the best cardio exercise. Your editors are of the mind that the best exercise is the one you will do regularly. Jumping rope is great, but it isn't for everyone any more than deadlifting a school bus is for everyone.
In addition to several jump ropes, the company sells wrist, elbow, and knee guards for active sports. All are low cost and seem reliable enough. We looked at reviews for all the products--there aren't many--and customers mostly say good things. The company is based in China and appears to be fairly new, so perhaps they will step up their web presence and bring the XYLsports Jump Rope to more global fitness devotees.