Learning how to jump rope is often a steep curve and one of the first few obstacles that you will face is having to learn how to size a jump rope properly. There are a bunch of ways you can measure the approximate cable length for height and that many more methods to help you adjust the rope. While some ropes come with hassle-free length adjustment features, others don’t. For that reason, I decided to make this article where I’ve compiled all the information you need to be fully prepared on the subject!
Before we get into the adjustments you can make to your rope, let’s answer one very important question…
What Size Is Best For You?
There is one very basic calculation that allows you to roughly figure out what jump rope size you will be needing. It is by taking your height and adding 3 feet to it. For instance, if you’re 5.5 ft tall, the average length that will work the best for you will be around 8.5 feet. Note that this is referring to the rope’s cable length, and not the whole rope itself, since some people tend to measure the rope’s length with the handles which is definitely the wrong way to do it.
All that aside, though, people with different jump rope abilities and goals will require different lengths. For instance, expert speed jumpers will benefit from a shorter jump rope that will allow them to spin it faster. Beginners will benefit the most from having a long jump rope to give them more room to work with.
Some of the best jump ropes for CrossFit out there offer you different sizes when you’re getting them. Moreover, some models even come with the option to adjust their sizes as you move up the progress ladder.
Sizing The Rope
There are two ways to determine what the correct jump rope size is for you. The first (and easier) method requires a mirror only. Stand in front of it so that you see your body’s upper half. Hold both ends of the jump rope and make sure its other end touches the ground without it having any twists along its length. Use your free hand to unwind them if there are any. Next, step with your foot over the middle of the rope so that it is pressed to the ground. Grab both handles with both of your hands and lift them up, making sure they are at the same height. Lift your foot if they aren’t and re-adjust the rope in either direction to align the height of both your hands.
Now, here is where the fun begins. For each experience level, there are different recommended lengths. To make it simple, I will divide it into three groups:
- Beginners – Beginners will benefit the most from having the rope slightly longer than it needs to be. For that reason, the top part of your jump rope (where the cable meets the handle) must be right beneath your shoulder and above your armpits. This is also a feeling process, so try it out and see if you perform better initially with an even longer rope.
- Intermediates – For intermediates and fitness goers, the top part of the rope should be right around your armpits. This length is ideal for double-unders which has become a testament of progression within jump rope groups and people who exercise on the regular.
- Experts – Expert jump ropes or otherwise known as speed jumpers will benefit the most from having a short and swift cable. That will allow them to create higher spinning speeds and control the rope better. For that reason, they should have the end of the rope below their armpits. Some people even go further down but then the rope becomes harder to control just from your wrists.
If you want to learn how to jump rope and see all the various tricks and tips that will help you along your jump rope journey, click here to go to my full article on the topic!
How To Adjust The Rope Size
Typically, there are three main ways of getting the exact rope size that you need. Those are:
- Looking for different ropes sizes when buying it and getting the one that fits you
- Cutting the excess rope
- Using rope knots
Obviously, only the last two are something you have total control over and they also work well for old jump ropes that you want to re-size. So, let’s go over them now…
Cutting the excess rope
Cutting your jump rope can be successfully done only if it has removable handles (or handle caps). That will give you access to the rope’s end, from which we will be cutting.
Start by measuring exactly how much you need removed from the rope and divide it by two if you will cut from both sides or don’t divide it if you’re going to shave off it off just from one side. If you’re going to make a knot at the end, make sure you cut a few inches less.
Make sure that the rope is straight when you’re doing the cut. You can do that by stepping on it and raising it to the desired level. This step can work with the length-measuring step where you cut the rope while you are still holding it with your foot on the ground.
Finish up by either tying a knot at the end of the cable or clamping it with the handle. Test the rope size and repeat if necessary. This process can be done a few times if you want to keep decreasing the length of your rope as you get better. Silicone and cloth jump rope cables are the easiest to adjust this way.
Using rope knots
This is, without a doubt, the easiest method to shorten your jump rope. Depending on the cable type, some ropes will be easier to tight into a knot while others will be quite difficult. Metal cables are quite harder to tie into a knot and won’t be able to become as tight as some other materials like a softer silicone rope. Cloth and beaded ropes are also very good for making knots.
The best location for the knot is close to the handle. Make sure the knot doesn’t touch the handle, though, as that can affect the way the rope is turning. If you have to make more than one knot, make the next one on the other side, keeping them symmetrical no matter the amount.
Click here if you want to learn more about properly warming up for various exercises and workouts!
If you want to know how to size a jump rope properly, you first need to understand what length you are going to be adjusting it to. Depending on your skill level, there are three possible length options. Once you figure that out, you can either tie knots on your rope, cut it, choose your exact size when purchasing the rope, or get a rope that has easy length-adjustability.