Health & Fitness

Have jump-rope, will travel

Wrestling

Go on vacation and come back in better shape than when you left? It happened to me last year when I went to northern Spain -- with a jump-rope. Packing more luggage-friendly fitness-per-ounce than any other exercise, skipping rope obliterates calories, rocks your heart rate and does wonders for your agility, posture, balance, reflexes and upper-to-lower body coordination. Always a boxing mainstay, it's increasingly being used as a warmup and tune-up for weightlifters, wrestlers, volleyball players, skaters and swimmers. Remarkably efficient and economical, these unique jump-ropes let you target your home workout to speed, strength and general fitness -- wherever in the world you happen to be.

-- Roy M. Wallack

Valeo JRO (jump rope original): Basic nylon rope with wooden handles.

Likes: Bang for the buck. Although not as fast as the Aero-Speed or solid-feeling as the segmented rope, it gets the job done. Makes less noise flying through the air and hitting the ground than the others do.

Dislikes: The rope itself, being softer and less dense than the others, does not hold a satisfying U shape through its rotation.

Price: $5.95. (800) 634-2704; www.valeofit.com.

Olympic Jump Rope: Segmented jump-rope made of 1 3/8 -inch-long plastic beads strung over a nylon cord.

Likes: Very easy to use; for me, the best for maintaining a rhythm and error-free jumping. The plastic beads give the rope enough heft to hold a natural momentum and tunnel shape, even outside on a windy day. Five sizes.

Dislikes: Clackety impact may exile you to the garage.

Price: $7.95 to $10.95, depending on length. (888) 456-7802; www.jumpropestore.com.

JumpUSA Heavy Jump Rope: Thick, dense, heavy rubber ropes that weigh from 1 to 4 pounds.

Likes: Simultaneous aerobic and strength workout. Even the 1-pounder (which is several times heavier than a normal rope) puts pronounced stress on the wrists and shoulders compared with other ropes. The 2-pound rope hums through the air like a swarm of angry bees and left me out of breath after a minute -- it'd be a good choice for an ambitious hard-core athlete; a dozen swings of the 3-pounder should earn you a medal; six swings of the 4-pound rope is terrifying -- like wrestling a snake. All include an illustrated instructional book by jump expert Bobby Hinds.

Dislikes: None.

Price: $19.95 (1 pound); $29.95 (2 pounds); $34.95 (3 pounds); $39.95 (4 pounds). (800) JUMP-USA; www.jumpusa.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Wrestling
  • Rope on a shoestring
    Rope on a shoestring

    Valeo JRO (jump rope original): Basic nylon rope with wooden handles. Likes: Bang for the buck. Although not as fast as the Aero-Speed or solid-feeling as the segmented rope, it gets the job done. Makes less noise flying through the air and hitting the ground than the others do. Dislikes:...

  • In the rhythm
    In the rhythm

    Olympic Jump Rope: Segmented jump-rope made of 1 3/8 -inch-long plastic beads strung over a nylon cord. Likes: Very easy to use; for me, the best for maintaining a rhythm and error-free jumping. The plastic beads give the rope enough heft to hold a natural momentum and tunnel shape, even...

  • Heavyweight champ
    Heavyweight champ

    JumpUSA Heavy Jump Rope: Thick, dense, heavy rubber ropes that weigh from 1 to 4 pounds. Likes: Simultaneous aerobic and strength workout. Even the 1-pounder (which is several times heavier than a normal rope) puts pronounced stress on the wrists and shoulders compared with other ropes. The 2-...

  • Ayurvedic medicine: History, basics, treatments and caveats
    Ayurvedic medicine: History, basics, treatments and caveats

    If you're of a certain age in the U.S., Deepak Chopra may have been your introduction to Ayurvedic medicine. The author of "Perfect Health" and Ayurvedic practitioner to the stars was ubiquitous on talk shows and newsstands in the 1990s.

  • Gym Rat: JK Zen Fitness, welcoming and rewarding
    Gym Rat: JK Zen Fitness, welcoming and rewarding

    My Pilates teacher jokes in class that we shouldn't feel tired; after all, we're mostly lying down. But Pilates is hard, and I find that his jokes help me smile and take my mind off my straining abs. That's one way of saying that the atmosphere of a class truly matters.

  • New machines aim to be a runner's hurt blocker
    New machines aim to be a runner's hurt blocker

    The only thing more astounding than the number of runners nowadays — 541,000 finished a marathon last year, and 2 million ran a half-marathon — is the number of running injuries. The guesstimates never change: Every year, half of all runners get hurt enough that they must stop running —...

  • SkinCeuticals' sunscreen is for your eyes only
    SkinCeuticals' sunscreen is for your eyes only

    SkinCeuticals' Physical Eye UV Defense, which has a mineral and wax base and is liquid-resistant, was designed to protect the eyelids and skin around the eyes from the harmful effects of the sun.

  • Andy Serkis keeps fit for his shape-shifting roles
    Andy Serkis keeps fit for his shape-shifting roles

    Andy Serkis is known for bringing Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings" and the gorilla from "King Kong" to life using motion-capture technology. He also plays Caesar in the just-released "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," and what many don't realize is that the technology doesn't make Serkis'...

Comments
Loading