Double unders are one of the core skills all CrossFitters aspire to master. Not only do they show up annually in the CrossFit Open, but they make their appearance – much to the frustration of many athletes – in WODs on a nearly weekly basis.
Whether you’ve got double unders down pat or you’re still working on them (and suffering the battle scars to prove it), finding a rope that lets you move smoothly and quickly is key to great double unders in every WOD.
We’ll break down some of the basics of what to look for in a great jump rope for CrossFit double unders so you can be on your way to whipping out those doubles like a pro.
What’s the Best Jump Rope for CrossFit Double Unders?
You aren’t going to want to attempt mastering double unders with any old playground jump rope; instead, you’ll need a rope that’s specially designed for speed so it moves quickly and efficiently around your body.
Guidelines for Speed Ropes
When you’re looking for the best jump rope for CrossFit double unders, here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Lightweight handles: You’re not going to want anything that’s super bulky or heavy, as you’ll be gripping the handles for a long time. Because you’re using your wrists and forearms to do the bulk of the work on double unders, putting too much weight in your hands is going to make you fatigue faster. Finding a jump rope with lightweight handles is essential.
- Rope angle: Jump ropes come with two different rope angles – 180 degrees, where the rope sticks directly out of the handles, and 90 degrees, where the cord is attached at a 90-degree angle. You can use either type of rope for CrossFit, but some do feel that a 90-degree rope is faster.
- Cord type: CrossFit jump ropes can be made with a variety of different cables, but most are stainless steel. Some ropes have bare stainless steel cable, while others are coated in nylon or PVC. Which you choose is completely personal preference, but some athletes stay away from PVC-coated cables because they’re more likely to hold the kinks and coils they get when wrapped up in your gym bag.
- Easy resizing: You want to find a rope that allows you to quickly and easily lengthen and shorten the cord as you try out different lengths. Also, find a rope that allows you to change out the cables without screws, as you will likely need to replace the cord before you need to replace the handles of your jump rope.
What Is the Purpose of the Jump Rope?
Jumping rope, whether single or double unders, is a great way to test an athlete’s speed, strength, and overall fitness.
If you’ve got the coordination and timing down pat, you don’t have to be a super athlete to get a few double unders in a row. However, being able to consistently string together dozens of double unders in the middle of a workout is a test of your cardio capability and endurance.
But great double unders aren’t all about your ability as an athlete (although that’s most of the equation for success). You need to have a jump rope that’s designed to move quickly and smoothly so you can whip it under your feet twice.
When to Use CrossFit Ropes vs. Competition Ropes
There are two main types of ropes that you may see used in your box or in CrossFit competitions: CrossFit (or regular) jump ropes, and competition ropes. These two types of ropes are constructed differently and serve different purposes.
CrossFit jump ropes are designed for overall endurance, as you will be jumping for long periods of time to get the skill down correctly, or in a long endurance WOD.
In most cases, CrossFit ropes have longer cords to help you keep proper form, and will be thicker and heavier to help you learn proper positioning when learning double unders.
Competition ropes are designed purely for speed. These ropes typically have shorter cords, allowing for more quick revolutions around your body. They’re also lighter and faster, so you have to exert less energy to move them and you can jump faster.
What Cable Should I Choose?
When looking for a CrossFit jump rope, you’ll want to focus most of your time on choosing the cable. This is the most important part of the jump rope – and the part that may be whipping you in the back of the legs – so finding a material that works for your skill level is key.
Beginners – Heavier, Thicker Ropes
As you’re beginning to learn double unders, getting your form down is absolutely essential to mastering the skill, just as it is with everything else in CrossFit.
A thicker, heavier rope, even a jump rope with slightly weighted handles, is going to slow you down and allow you to focus more on your form. Their weight also gives you more audible feedback as you practice and can hear the cable slapping against the ground. These ropes are usually made out of thicker wire and have a coating on them, often nylon or PVC.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that a standard jump rope weighs 3.5 ounces and up, depending on the cable material, how much coating it has, and whether or not the handles are weighted.
Advanced – Lighter, Thinner Ropes
Once you’ve got double unders down pat and are working more on your speed than anything else, you may want to switch to a lighter, more advanced cable.
These ropes will be made with the thinnest, lightest cables possible to cut down on friction and help you whip the rope around faster. However, they’re also more difficult to use as they lose their shape very quickly when you move them overhead. In some cases, the cables on a speed rope will be uncoated to decrease the weight.
Most speed ropes weigh in around 2.4 ounces and, because they’re lighter and thinner, can hurt much more when they hit you!
How to Get Your First Double Under
Double unders are difficult.
They take precise timing, a consistent jumping pattern, and a lot of cardio capacity. If you’re struggling to get your first double under, check out our how-to guide for some tips and tricks!
Whether you choose to design your own rope with your favorite colors and graphics, or you select a ready-made rope, finding the best CrossFit jump rope for double unders is largely about your own skill level and personal preference.
Don’t be afraid to try a few ropes and see which one you like best – or toss all of them in your bag so you have backups!
Here are some recommendations of our readers on what brands of jump ropes they actually love using and which they think are the best in the market!
- Double Under Wonder– Many of our readers loved this brand as you can have it customized, designed by you; they’re super-fast, super-stylish, and they don’t get lost in the crowd when you’re in a group workout. One of our CrossFitter reader said, “Double under wonder! Super cute and custom made. Great customer service too!”
- RX Smart Gear Jump Ropes– This gear loved by almost of our readers. They are the maker of the RX Jump Ropes, which they claimed to be “custom sized to each individual athlete’s height and offers five different cable variations to support multiple tempo and resistance levels; Every rope comes with a patented swivel axis bearing system, custom wrapped handle and pvc coated aircraft cable”. Our CrossFitters comment to this brand, “I love that I can change the cable as I get better at double under. The weight makes me feel the movement even though I struggle daily”. Some of its awards are:
“The Official Jump Rope of USA Boxing”,
“The Official Jump Rope of USA Wrestling”,
“Voted by Men’s Health Magazine as top 5 Best travel fitness tools of 2016”.
Come on! What are you waiting for! It’s pricey but you’ve got what you paid for.
- RPM– This cater and gives you four different jumping ropes classification based on your specific activity. They are called as: 1. Sprint, 2. Competition, 3. Scout, 4. Session. Depends on what you need based on the type of jumping exercise you’ll do. If you want the light weight and super easy to carry on, which makes an awesome travel buddy, go for Sprint. For a more aggressive gear which will give you a better A-game, the fastest rope is the Competition. For the middle kind of feels, a smooth buttery RPM feel but with enough amount of weights to let you spice up a bit any double under workout, head over for Scout. Our member said, “I love my RPM Comp rope! It’s uncoated and super-fast. I learned my DUs on a heavier coated rope at the gym but ever since I got this one my DUs have gotten so much better”.
- WOD Nation speed rope- This particular brand offers an array of workout equipment’s such as Double Under Jump Rope, Resistance Bands and other more Fitness Equipment. They claim to produce high quality fitness equipment and apparel that works harder as you get stronger. A lot of our readers love this brand too! They said, “WOD Nation. Comes w/ 2 interchangeable cords that can be cut to your best length for your height & doesn’t get tangled or bent up easily. Also has groves in the handle to know where to place your hands for a better grip.” Another one, “WOD Nation speed rope. It’s the bomb! Light weight so my forearms last longer before dying on double unders”.
- Rogue Fitness– It is the official supplier to the CrossFit Games, USAW, World’s Strongest Man and the Arnold Strongman Classic. Exceptional achievements! Awesome work here Rogue! This brand offers a lot of fitness workout equipment and not just solely jump ropes. You can get almost anything you need here! Not all brands can do and offer the same for you. Surprisingly it really does work! And can lasts longer than you expect! Some of the comments regarding this brand, “Rogue. It was made with magical unicorn hair that gave me double unders”, “I have a Rogue one for the past 4 years and it is really amazing doing its job!”.
- Rapide Jump Rope– For what it’s worth and quality, this jump rope isn’t bad at all! For its cheap price, you can only purchase it below $1o usd, and you are good to go! This enables you to have a decent jumping rope experience without breaking the bank haha! A CrossFitter have been using this jump rope and particularly mentioned, “It is Under $10, comes with 2 different rope weight choices. The heavier one really helped when learning dubs and I recently switched to the lighter rope. Love it the same”.
- Survival and Cross Jump- Tried and tested by some CrossFitters out there, It may not be as famous as much as the other brands but you can still be confident while using this rope! You can work out your speed and endurance nicely with this rope, perfect for cross-overs, criss-crosses and tricks and can definitely be your gear for a killer cardio workout! And has built to lasts a lifetime, as long as you wont intentionally cut them off right haha!
Jumping rope is a great deal and a perfect travel buddy while we stay on fit!
Happy exercising CrossFitters!
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March is the founder of the Barbell Beauties. Her goal is simple… Empower every woman to grab a barbell and LIFT. She’s been an active CrossFitter for 7 years and credits that sport for turning her into a true athlete.