Finding the right jump rope length

by Gabriel “gaberock” Avilla, CF-L2

Chances are that prior to joining us at CFHR, the last time you touched a jump rope is elementary school. That’s too bad, as the jump rope is a fantastic and underrated tool that should be included in any athletic training regime. A jump rope doesn’t take up space in your house/garage like a squat rack or rower/bike, and yet it can test multiple General Physical Preparedness skills such as Agility, Coordination, Balance, and Speed in any location (pending ceiling height). Bottom line, every CFHR athlete should be familiar with and comfortable with a jump rope. This article will focus on how you can find the right jump rope to assist with your fitness journey.

What should I look for in a jump rope?

Up front, I’m not a salesman and I’m not going to push a certain brand of jump rope on you. I’m more interested in you knowing the fundamentals and being empowered to make informed decisions. The most important factor you should look for in a jump rope is size (yes, it matters here). The size of the rope is really the length of the rope. To be specific, I’m talking about the length of the rope itself minus the handles. The quick version to determine the optimal length of the jump rope is your height + 3 feet or 36 inches. For example, I’m 5 feet 7 inches tall (or 67 inches), which would make my ideal jump rope size 8 feet 7 inches tall or 100 inches. If you decide to purchase your own jump rope, OF WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, bring it in, and any of your friendly neighborhood CFHR coaches can help you properly size/trim your jump rope for you. Once your rope is properly sized, you are less likely to get frustrated with jumping rope in class. I say less likely, not completely eliminated, because there are so many things we can do with a jump rope in CrossFit that we really need to consistently practice and use the equipment to reach its optimal potential.

How to check your jump rope size

The following tips are borrowed from RX Smart Gear (again, I’m not paid to endorse them):

  • Step on the rope with one foot, bring your feet together and pull the rope tight.
  • Bring the handles together and point the top towards your chest.
  • Only check where the cable ends – do not include the handles with rope size.
  • If you follow our length guidelines, the cable will stop at your sternum or lower pecs.
  • The rope should not go higher than this point.
  • Any longer than this will have too much rope overhead, and will slap the ground excessively.

Using the in-house CFHR jump ropes

If you haven’t committed to purchasing your own jump rope quite yet (again, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), CFHR has some in-house jump ropes you can use! However, instead of trying to do the math that I outlined above, you can simply use your height (be honest!) and pick a jump rope by its handle color for your use. Here is the CFHR Jump Rope Size Guide:

So no more excuses, be sure to find the right jump size for you and jump in (pun intended) to your training goals. Single Unders, Double Unders, and Crossovers all have a place in our movement arsenal. But if you want to have the optimal path toward success, remember to bring the right-sized tool for the job!

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