Adding a jump rope to your workout routine can help you burn more calories, improve your heart health, and strengthen your bones. Jumping rope can be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed how much it enhances your cardio fitness. Getting the length of your jump rope right can help immensely as you work to get comfortable with the rope, so we spoke to a certified fitness trainer to learn more about how long a jump rope should be.
How Long Should a Jump Rope Be?
As it turns out, finding the perfect length for your jump rope is surprisingly easy. “To find the correct length for your jump rope, place the rope under both your feet and hold the ends of the rope. Pulling the rope taut, the ends should reach your armpit, or inside of your armpit, excluding the handles,” Lizzie May, a certified fitness trainer and consultant for Mom Loves Best, says.
May points out that there are also height-to-rope-length tables that you can use to look up your optimal jump-rope length, but she maintains that the easiest way to judge the correct length for your rope is to use your body.
What if My Rope Isn’t the Right Length?
If you can’t get your hands on a rope that’s just the right length for you, you might be able to adjust one that’s close to your specifications, May points out. But this only works if you have a rope that is too long. “A rope that is too short will be no good,” she says. “You will be compromising your form and technique. A longer rope can always be altered to suit your height.”
The rope’s material matters when it comes to shortening a jump rope. “If you are working with a fabric or plastic rope, and the rope is too long, you can add a few knots in the rope,” says May, noting that taking a few centimeters of length off in this way won’t affect the swing of the rope too much.
If you are using a speed rope, which is usually made of a vinyl cord or cable, you want to keep the integrity of the material. For these ropes, May advises unscrewing the compression nuts on either side of the handles and adjusting for your desired length.
Is Rope Length Foolproof?
Whether you look up how long your jump rope should be using a table or you measure it using your body, the only way to know if a rope is the right length for you is to test it out. “Over time you may find you prefer a longer or shorter rope, depending on your jumping height and arm span when you swing the rope,” explains May. So be sure to give it a swing before making any adjustments.