CROSSFIT GYM BAG ESSENTIALS, PART 2
Next up for your gym bag: a jump rope. It's so convenient to have a jump rope that you know is exactly the correct length for your body, whose handles are just the right size for your hands, and is the right thickness and speed for your current double under level. Put it in your gym bag, bust it out whenever there's jump roping in a WOD and you'll always be able to use a rope that you like.
When choosing a jump rope, the first thing you have to consider is your current skill level. The heavier the cable, the more you are able to feel where exactly in the air the rope is located at any given point. This is an important feature to someone who is just beginning to practice double unders, because it helps with learning timing as well as awareness of oneself in relationship to an outside object. So, if you are just beginning, you'll want to lean towards a heavier cable.
Once you are consistent with your double unders, you may opt to go for a lighter cable. The advantage here is that shoulders and wrists will not fatigue as quickly turning a lighter rope for those times when you're trying to do 150 double unders at a time. However, it is much more difficult to feel where the rope is in space because it is so light, which is why more experience is required for this type of rope.
If you like the ropes that we have at the gym, search for a licorice jump rope. These are about as heavy as you'd ever want to jump rope with for CrossFit. You can always make this type of rope shorter by tying knots in it, but use the sizing chart to make sure it's long enough to begin with. These ropes are usually in the neighborhood of $5-$10.
If you'd like something that's a little lighter, but can still be used after you have become proficient at double unders, go with a regular speed rope. Most of these ropes are adjusted by measuring them/trying them out upon receipt and cutting the cable to the correct length. This type of rope will run you about $15. Click on the pictures to check out some different manufacturers.
If you are skilled at double unders, you may choose to opt for a more specific type of rope and invest a little more money ($20+) because you know you won't "out grow" your rope. The RX jump rope offers a handle that some people prefer, customizable cable and handle colors, and plenty of cable length and width combinations.
The ropes that Phil and I have are called the RPM speed ropes and are the lightest cables that I've ever felt. Again, this doesn't mean its necessarily the best, it what works for YOU.
Finally, here's some killer jump roping from Buddy Lee - one of the best jump ropers in the world. Plus, he's got a sweet headband....
ME rope climbs
ME box jumps (24/20")
rest 2 minutes