In this section we look at general principles around cable length which is covered in Section 1 as well as specifics into cable length and weight for RX Smart Gear jump ropes which is covered in section 2. Our general principles also closely mirror some of the philosophies laid by our partners at RX Smart Gear.
Sizing your jump rope is important in order to make sure that learning and progression is effective as possible. We find that many people tend to use ropes that are too long for them which can hinder learning and proper jump rope form.
Section 1 - General Cable Length Guidelines
Sizing is ultimately down to personal preference which makes it tricky to have a sizing guide that is perfect for each individual. For example, arm length, workout objective and experience level can all impact the optimal rope length, not just your height.
The below guidelines are for general rope work and if you are doing a mix of tricks, freestyle and cardio:
Beginner - height plus 3ft / no higher than lower chest / allows lots of room for error. This is a starting point and all efforts should be made to go shorter. If you can, then shorten the rope more than this if you have excess above and below. Ensure you shorten the rope week to week a bit at a time from this starting point when you begin you jump rope journey.
Intermediate - height plus 2ft / no higher than waist line / allows some room for error and enough to learn skills - this length will start to improve rope efficiency and form as there will be less excess rope. It will also force the user into the more optimal compact position which is elbows back, wrists in and palms out, as per the picture in the below diagram on the left:
Advanced - height plus 1ft / no higher than hips / no margin for error but skills can all be performed with optimum efficiency. The rope is much more efficient and aerodynamic and with less rope excess, the rope is going to impact the ground far less. This kind of length is extremely challenging and very few jumpers are at this level!
So if you are new, then start with height plus 3ft to get a feel for jumping and then progress down in cable length. This will improve your form and efficiency in the long run even if it may feel uncomfortable at the start. I actually challenge users to shorten their ropes an inch or 2 more than they think to get them to progress to that intermediate level sooner rather than later.
RX Smart Gear users and prospective buyers should read the below as we have a slightly amended sizing progression table to factor in the specific focus on double under learning and training, see details below:
Section 2 - Guidelines for RX users (specifically for CrossFit double unders):
In this section, we detail the RX Smartgear sizing principles for beginners who are starting out but also considerations and the benefits on progressing to shorter cable lengths from this starting point.
See below video as an introduction to the RX sizing guidelines for beginners:
For beginners, the recommendation of height plus 3ft gives ample space above your head and under foot
yet not so much as to force poor positioning and inefficient movement patterns. However, all efforts need to be made to bring your hand positioning in closer to the body and this will be achieved by shortening your cable length over time. A shorter rope length requires more compact positioning, which reduces fatigue in the larger muscle groups as well as produces a faster cycle rate per rotation. In essence, a shorter rope will allow you to perform more work faster with less energy expended. The diagram to the left below shows the kind of compact form you should be aiming for - elbows back, wrists in and palms out:
If you have compact form like this, you will likely need to go for a shorter rope as well. The aim is to get to this type of form with time as it is far more efficient and will lead to more DUBs more easily!
RX Sizing Progression table:
See below for how we recommend RX users progress as they become more experienced with their unbroken double unders and general form:
(Beginner) = height + 3 feet
(Intermediate) = height + 2.5 feet
(Advanced) = height + 2 feet, no room for error
(Advanced+) = height + less than 2 feet, which are performed by only a few athletes, not many.
If you are an experienced jumper or have a rope you are already comfortable with, then measure your current rope or choose a length you know works for you.
If you are unsure on the length and are a beginner with double unders, the chart below provides recommendations to start with.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss cable length options in more detail!
Note - recommendations can sometimes change if RX make changes and updates to their product mechanics or due to user testing/feedback. However these will be marginal changes, if any, and are unlikely to alter your jump rope experience!
RX Cable Weights
The below is only relevant when purchasing RX Smartgear Jump Ropes
The RX Smartgear method focuses on starting with a heavier weighted cable which allows you to develop timing and technique for your double unders. When turning heavier weights you have better feel and feedback from the cable and simultaneously builds stamina. Once you are turning consecutive DUs, you then work your way down to lighter cables. With the technique and timing learned from the heavier rope, you will then be able to turn an even greater number of DUs with the lighter cables. See more detailed RX Smartgear cable weight descriptions and recommendations below:
Hyper 1.3 – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR BEGINNERS
Aircraft grade cable with PVC coating. Our lightest offering weighing only 1.3 ounces for a 9 foot length (excluding handles). Most comparable to traditional speed cables. The PVC coating does not retain memory and therefore uncoils nicely. This cable can produce the fastest cycle rate therefore the athlete must be extremely proficient at double unders. Recommended for advanced jumpers who can already turn 75+ double unders.
Ultra 1.8 – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR BEGINNERS
Aircraft grade cable with PVC coating. Our second lightest cable weighing 1.8 ounces for a 9 foot length (excluding handles). The Ultra 1.8 is considered our “hybrid speed cable” due to its light nature while offering more feedback to the athlete. The increased resistance allows the athlete to turn the Ultra 1.8 cable at a slightly slower cycle rate than the Hyper 1.3 yet triple unders are still plentiful. Recommended for advanced jumpers who can already turn 60+ double unders.
Elite 2.6 – IDEAL FOR INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED
Aircraft grade cable with PVC coating. Our mid range weighted cable weighing 2.6 ounces for a 9 foot length (excluding handles). Our most all around utility cable offering a nice blend of light weight with increased feedback and response while it’s rigidity maintains a nice “horse shoe” shape while in motion. Recommended for jumpers who can already turn 50+ double unders.
Buff 3.4 – IDEAL FOR BEGINNERS TURNING LESS THAN 50 D/Us. IDEAL FOR ADVANCED LOOKING TO INCREASE INTENSITY.
Aircraft grade cable with PVC coating. Our third heaviest cable weighing 3.4 ounces per 9 foot length (excluding handles). Our Dual Threat cable which provides tremendous feedback allowing the athlete to jump with a broader range of tempos from very slow to super fast. Ideal for beginners to gain a better feel for timing while jumping at slower tempos. Also a fantastic training cable for advanced jumpers looking for greater resistance and intensity in their training.
EVO - Speed Metal - (RECOMMENDED FOR ADVANCED ONLY)
Aircraft grade cable without coating. Our lightest cable offering. Most comparable to traditional speed cables. The uncoated wire provides a reduction in drag and cuts through the air with more ease. Recommended for advanced jumpers who can already turn 75+ double unders or are working on triple unders.
EVO - Heavy Metal - (RECOMMENDED FOR ADVANCED ONLY)
Aircraft grade cable without coating. The Heavy Metal cable offering weighs just mere ounces more than the Speed Metal cable. Heavy Metal is our secret weapon for triple unders and quadruple unders due to its perfect balance of weight and rigidity that provides essential feedback to the athlete. Recommended for advanced jumpers who can already turn 60+ double unders or are working on triple unders.
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