50 Words or Less
Combining high quality weighted jump ropes and a simple to use app, Crossrope allows you to get a full body workout virtually anywhere.
It had been years since I tried jumping rope for exercise, and I’m pretty certain the inexpensive cloth rope that caused me frustration has since been relegated to staking up a tree. Recalling the cardio workouts of that earlier endeavor and reading about the benefits of a weighted rope, I wanted to give Crossrope a try. Opening the Crossrope box I was intrigued by the quality of the components. From the first skip I knew this was going to be a different – and better – experience.
Set Up & Ease of Use
Crossrope offers two jump rope sets: Get Lean and Get Strong. The Get Lean set comes with ¼ lb. and ½ lb. ropes, plus a pair of ‘slim’ handles. The Get Strong set features heavier 1 and 2 lb. ropes and larger ‘power’ handles. Attaching the handles to a rope is quick and straight forward. Assuming you had gym class growing up and chose the proper length ropes (it’s based on your height) starting your jumping is basically intuitive.
The real fun is following the workout programs on the Crossrope app. Programs are categorized by beginner/advanced, endurance/HIIT/strength, and duration. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training – and yes, I had to Google it. With new workouts added every weekday, there are always fresh choices.
After you select a workout, the preview page tells you what jump ropes you’ll need and then shows you the workout blocks including GIFs of the exercise, duration, and how much rest is in between. It’s important to recognize that most workouts go way beyond jump roping – I’ve encountered planks, mountain climbers and a variety of squats during my workout sessions.
If selecting your workout seems taxing, the Crossrope app also has challenges that provide daily routines that build upon a theme. A great example is the aptly named 14 Day Beginner Challenge.
The distinctive feature of Crossrope is the weighted rope. I’ll get to the fitness aspect in a moment, but first let me tell you that the weight, even in the lightest version, really aids in the timing of jumping. The ergonomically contoured handles with ball bearing movement make the rotational action smooth.
As far as general fitness goes, Crossrope is very effective. Jumping with the lightest rope, my calves and shoulders are activated, and my cardiovascular system shifts into gear in no time. With heavier ropes, I can instantly feel other muscles in my back (lats and traps) as well as my arms being engaged. Tagging in the other exercises in the routines brings quads, chest and core muscles into play for a full body workout.
Much of the effectiveness for me stems from the structure and delivery of the programs. The verbal alerts of “next up …” plus visual countdown clock and audible beeps at 3, 2, 1 really helped me push through exercises and made me appreciate rest periods. And unlike a live class at a gym, I could always hit pause.
The quality of all the rope components seems excellent. The coating on the braided stainless steel ropes is durable and has only shown the slightest bit of abrasion after 2 months of use. I also appreciate that the materials of the Crossrope don’t retain shape or kink. Looped over a chair or coiled up in the provided storage bag, when it’s time to use one, it’s ready to go.
The Get Lean set retails for $99 and the Get Strong set for $139. For the quality of the components, that seems like a fair price to me – especially when you factor in the free app. Sure, you could buy a $10 jump rope and still use the app, but the fitness aspects are specifically geared around the Crossrope weighted ropes. Compared to subscription systems or gym memberships, the one-time investment seems reasonable.
Important tip: start slow. If you haven’t jumped for a while, take the “it’s like riding a bike” analogy and tack on this disclaimer: you may not be ready to climb Alpe d’Huez, but you can peddle your way past the start line. I discovered some smaller muscles that clearly hadn’t been getting much activity with my routine of weight lifting and running. It took me a while to discover it, but “Learn How to Jump Rope: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Jump Rope Training” on the Crossrope Blog is a must read. Although Crossrope is perfectly suited to be a primary source for working out, adding it to my other fitness activities has made them all more enjoyable.