How Long Should a Jump Rope Be?

How Long Should a Jump Rope Be?

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Jumping rope can improve your heart health, boost your aerobic capacity, and challenge your muscles. And if you keep getting tripped up by the rope, it can also test your patience.

Whether you’re jumping rope for a warm-up or for a full workout, if the jump rope is too long or too short, you may get discouraged quickly. So how long should a jump rope be? Here’s how to find the right length and choose the best jump rope for your workout.

 

How to Measure a Jump Rope

To find out if a jump rope is the right length for you, step on the center of the rope and pull it taut. The ends of the rope should reach your armpits (not counting the handles).

Zero in on the perfect length by testing out the jump rope to see how it performs. “If your cable keeps hitting your feet, it’s too short,” says Erin Oprea, NESTA- and AFAA-certified trainer based in Nashville who’s worked with country stars like Carrie Underwood and Maren Morris. And if the rope drags along the ground and slows the momentum, it’s probably too long.

If you’re ordering a jump rope online, there’s an easy way to estimate how long your jump rope needs to be: “By adding three feet to your height, you can get a rope that is about the right length,” says Oprea.

 

how to measure a jump rope

 

Types of Jump Ropes

Start shopping for jump ropes and you’ll realize the options seem to be endless. Jump ropes can be made from a variety of materials — and each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Terrain. A “rope” made from plastic-wrapped string won’t last long if you like to jump outside on unforgiving surfaces like pavement. A steel cable wrapped in vinyl, on the other hand, is more likely to withstand rough terrain.
  • Rope thickness. In general, a thinner cable is better for speed, while a thicker cable will be more durable.
  • Weight. According to RX Smart Gear — which provides jump ropes for USA Boxing — a moderately weighted cable is better for beginners, while advanced jumpers may prefer a lightweight cable to bump up their speed or a heavier cable to increase resistance.

 

The Best Jump Rope Size for Your Height

Use this chart from RX Smart Gear to help you decide which jump rope length is right for you. These recommendations are for beginner to intermediate jumpers. As you advance, you may want to switch to a shorter rope length, which will help you jump faster (but it also requires more skill).

Height Cable Length
3’3″–3’5″ 6’4″
3’5″–3’7″ 6’6″
3’7″–3’9″ 6’8″
3’9″–3’11” 6’10”
3’11″–4’1″ 7’0″
4’1″–4’3″ 7’2″
4’3″–4’5″ 7’4″
4’5″–4’7″ 7’6″
4’7″–4’9″ 7’8″
4’9″–4’11” 7’10”
4’11″–5’1″ 8’0″
5’1″–5’3″ 8’2″
5’3″–5’5″ 8’4″
5’5″–5’7″ 8’6″
5’7″–5’9″ 8’8″
5’9″–5’11” 8’10”
5’11″–6’1″ 9’0″
6’1″–6’3″ 9’2″
6’3″–6’5″ 9’4″
6’5″–6’7″ 9’6″
6’7″–6’9″ 9’8″
6’9″–6’11” 9’10”
6’11″–7’1″ 10’0″

 

How to Adjust Your Jump Rope

If the rope you purchased is too long, you may be able to adjust it. (Not all ropes are adjustable, but wire ropes often are.) To adjust the length of the jump rope:

  1. Hold the handles and step on the middle of the rope.
  2. Pull the rope so it’s taut. The rope should be armpit height, not counting the handles.
  3. Use wire cutters to trim off any excess length on each side.

 

4 Great Jump Rope Options

When it comes to jump ropes, you get what you pay for: “A jump rope that is the wrong material or length will make the exercise more difficult,” Oprea says. “Make sure it’s the right length, it moves at a speed that will work for you, the grips are comfortable, and the cable will not tangle on the grips.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by options, here are four great jump ropes to consider.

 

Rx Smart Gear Rx Jump Rope (Amazon)


This rope has a patented multidirectional bearing system that keeps the cable moving smoothly jump after jump, no matter what skill you’re working on.

 

Fitness Master Speed Jump Rope (Amazon)


This budget pick is lightweight and adjustable. While it may not be the most durable option, it’s a great pick if you’re just getting started and not willing to drop big bucks on a higher-quality jump rope just yet.

 

WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope (Amazon)


Coveted by the CrossFit community, this adjustable jump rope has been described as fast and stable. It’s available in nine colors and comes with a carrying bag and an extra cable.

 

Pulse Weighted Jump Rope (Amazon)


This jump rope adds one pound of resistance to your workout — which may not sound like much, but you’ll feel it in no time. The weights can be removed from the handles if you want to focus on speed training instead of resistance.

Nicole McDermott

About

After graduating from Syracuse where Nicole studied magazine journalism and nutrition, she moved to New York City to write for the health and fitness site Greatist. She currently edits full time for Ghergich & Co. Nicole's work has appeared on TIME Healthland, Shape, USA Today, Men's Fitness, The Huffington Post, Refinery29 and Lifehacker, among others. Follow her on LinkedIn.