If the last time you jumped rope was in the schoolyard, you’re missing out on a seriously hardcore cardio workout. In fact, today’s updated jump ropes offer a new way to work out, burning around 13 calories per minute — approximately the same amount of calories you’d burn per minute running an 8-minute-mile pace. To get started, consider the smart and simple Crossrope AMP Jump Rope Set ($199), which offers a weighted rope that syncs with a partner app to track stats and provide workout suggestions via Bluetooth-enabled handles.
In addition to all that cardio, the Crossrope AMP Jump Rope Set also engages all your major muscle groups: your lower legs (obviously, thanks to all that pogo’ing up and down); your core (which has to keep the rest of your body stabilized as you jump); and even your upper body (a small study published in the Human Kinetics Journal found that 12 weeks jumping with a weighted rope also increases shoulder strength and mobility).
To see how this high-tech version compared to the kind of ropes I used to use in PE class or my old corporate gym, I added daily jump rope sessions to my routine for a week. Here’s what you need to know before you get jumping.
This smart, Bluetooth-enabled jump rope set comes with three different weighted ropes and is a seriously challenging cardio workout that you can do every day. Not only does it track your stats in real time while you jump, but it offers other types of workouts on the connected app to help build a full-body exercise regimen.
What we liked about it
It comes with 3 ropes
The Crossrope AMP comes with 1/4-pound, 1/2-pound and 1-pound ropes, all of which easily attach and detach from each 5.7-ounce handle via a smart latch system. Having the different weight options allows newer rope converts to progress as they get fitter, while experienced jumpers can use the lighter ones for more high-intensity work and the heavier ones when they want to challenge themselves.
I liked using the 1/4-pound rope the best; it hit the Goldilocks test of having enough heft that I felt like I was working a little harder but not so much weight that it slowed me down. No matter which rope I used, though, it was a smooth jumping experience; the bearings moved seamlessly, so the turnover was great, and the only times I ended up tripping over the rope happened due to user error (read: I got distracted).
This smart jump rope generates a LOT of data
I’m a total data nerd when it comes to exercise, so I loved seeing real-time stats as I jumped. Once I paired the Bluetooth-enabled handles with my smartphone, I propped it up in front of me; as I jumped, I could see metrics like average jumps per minute, max jumps per minute, real-time jumps per minute, power output, streaks and more. Watching my stats in action spurred me to work harder, and I could feel my heart rate skyrocket within the first five minutes.
In the app, there are also more than 2,000 workouts, though they’re not all solely jumping. Some, like Jump Rope Core-dio, intersperse moves like crunches, glute bridges and planks with jumping intervals. Those workouts are personalized based on your fitness level with targets to hit during each jump interval. During intervals, the app would give me personalized jump targets, then adapt those as my intensity level changed — which I appreciated, because I’d be gassed after spiking my heart rate at the start.
What we didn’t like about it
The expensive price
Considering most basic jump ropes cost less than $20, like the WOD Nation Attack Speed Jump Rope, $200 for the Crossrope AMP is a huge — sorry — jump in price. And even if you weren’t sold on using all the workouts in the app, you can’t even use the free jump mode, with its real-time statistics, without paying for the monthly membership service, which costs an additional $9.99 per month.
It’s not adjustable
Many fitness jump ropes allow you to adjust the rope so you can set it to the right length for your height. Crossrope does not; it offers a size range from XXS (for users up to 4 feet, 6 inches tall) to XL (for users over 6 feet, 2 inches tall), with most sizes accommodating a 4-foot height difference. That could be an issue if you share equipment with a workout partner, especially given the price.
How it compares
If you don’t need all the high-tech stats, the Crossrope Get Lean Jump Rope Set comes with standard handles and 1/4-pound ropes. But there are also plenty of budget-friendly weighted jump ropes. For example, the Everlast Evergrip Weighted Jump Rope is adjustable, weighs up to 1.5 pounds with removable weights and only $20. And for the same price point, the Renpho Smart Jump Rope isn’t weighted, but it’s equipped with sensors that track your jumps, it has an LCD screen on the handles to display your data and it offers three workout modes: free jump, time countdown and numbers countdown.
There’s no getting around the price on this one: $199 for a jump rope is a lot of money. The Crossrope AMP is definitely the most high-end rope on the market, and you do get your money’s worth in the form of multiple rope weights and countless workout options.
Frankly, though, it’s only worth investing in if you’re going to use this rope and app all the time. Which you can! Jumping rope is a great at-home substitute if you don’t have the space for larger cardio equipment. But if you’re looking to add jump roping to your routine as a complement to other training or if you’re newer to jump roping and not sure how much time you’re going to commit, you’d be better off starting with a more budget-friendly model.