Once a playground favourite, it’s now a booming – and pricey – workout trend. But…Is £343 to skip money for old rope?

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  • There is a 250 percent increase in people searching for ‘skipping ropes’ in the U.S. UK
  • Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner are among those leading the exercise trend
  • Sadie Nichols tests the Crossrope Get Fit bundle developed by Dave Hunt

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During eight sun-soaked weeks in Spain over the summer, I had an unexpected holiday romance.

Every morning, I would walk out of my villa while my husband and younger son slept and lay in the shade on our driveway. With my jump rope. Almost 40 years after learning how to do it on the playground in elementary school, I fell in love with skipping again.

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Oddly enough, I’m not alone. Skipping took off during the pandemic with actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner — who are in the best shape of their lives at 49, the same age as mine — showing off their jump rope moves.

It’s the perfect COVID-era exercise: cheap, portable, effective, with mandatory social distancing unless you want to take a few eyelids. There has been a 250 percent increase in sales of ropes in the UK since March 2020 among those searching for ‘skipping ropes’ online.

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Sadie Nichols (pictured) tested the Crossrope Get Fit bundle, which includes four ropes weighing lb, 1 lb, and 2 lb, including two sets of easy-to-replace metal handles

Businesses are taking note: Crossrope and Elevate Rope — companies that sell jump rope — reported record-breaking sales last year. Elevate Rope’s revenue grew 240 percent in 2020, while Crossrope reported a four-fold increase in sales compared to 2019.

As with more of us on cotton, skipping rope is no longer a special protection of little girls and boxers. It is especially good for middle aged ladies like me. Skipping is low impact because you land on the balls of the feet, not your heels, and bounce only high enough (about 2 cm) to clear the rope on most standard moves. This makes it easier on the joints and pelvic floor.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society recommends quitting as a great bone-strengthening activity for menopausal women. And it burns a ton of calories, too—as a time-squeezed working mom, I’d rather get estimated for my buck than the typical calorie burn of 150 to 200 for 25 minutes of bodyweight high-intensity interval training (HiiT). Double bang. Session.

According to The Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, a ten-minute jump rope workout is equivalent to a 30-minute run because it can raise the heart rate two to three times faster than other workouts.

Although I’ve been a size 10 my entire adult life, within a couple of weeks of my daily summer jump rope regime I noticed that my bra and bikini top were looser around my cleavage, and my waistband was even more spacious.

Totally hooked, as autumn descended I toyed with upgrading my trusty £10 rope to a weighted set from high-tech brand Crossrope, considering the creme de la creme for its increased calorie burn, resistance (lean muscle and To build strength) and is considered a more efficient cardiovascular workout thanks to.

Sadie admitted that she was able to get four consecutive bounces before tripping and badly hitting her awkward bone.

Sadie admitted that she was able to get four consecutive bounces before tripping and badly hitting her awkward bone.

Developed by Dave Hunt, a former US Navy pilot, I was seduced by the Crossrope Get Fit bundle that includes four ropes weighing lb, lb, 1lb, and 2lb, along with two sets of easy-to-replace metal handles. You input your height when ordering them online so that ropes of the correct length are shipped without the need to adjust them.

At £218 (fiction), the bundle is pricier than a flight to Spain, but, what the heck, I also opted for a £125 crossrope jump mat. Made from heavy duty waterproof material, it provides a flat surface on which you can bounce wherever you go and further minimizes impact on joints.

For a total of £343, was it worth the investment or is it money for the old rope? Although I am only 5ft 5in, years of dedication to workouts has meant that I am fit. Yet the two-pounder was a beast that beat me. The metal handle with grips combined with the rubber cord made the skipping feel like swinging a baby. I only did four consecutive bounces before tripping and badly hitting my awkward bone.

I did over a dozen skips with the one-pounder, but that too was tough and I gave up. So what are those heavy ropes aimed at? Annie Dosse, brand strategist for Crossrope, says: ‘They get used to it but the 2lb rope is designed for all fitness levels.’

Sadie (pictured) said ropes seem better suited to ultra-strong men or women, but she leans on lb and lb crossropes

Sadie (pictured) said ropes seem better suited to ultra-strong men or women, but she leans on lb and lb crossropes

I’m staggered – ropes seem better suited to ultra-strong men or women. “For shorter sessions it’s best to use heavier ropes,” she adds. About ten seconds in my case.

For half and quarter pounders (ropes, not burgers) – wow, it was love the first time you left. I downloaded the Crossrope app to my phone, set up shop in the garden with my mat on the patio straps, and followed a 30-minute HiiT workout that intertwines the two ropes. It was difficult to determine which got burned the most – my lungs, feet, hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders or upper arms. I was gasping for air when the beep went to signal the end of my inaugural Crossrope HiiT session. . . And burning about 398 calories felt incredible.

My usual rope (which now feels like skipping with spider silk by comparison) makes me sweat, but these two ropes have taken my workouts to a whole new level. “When more muscles are active, you burn more calories,” says Annie. ‘The weighted jump rope provides a full body exercise that works the calf muscles, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, obliques, forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, back and chest.’

She’s not joking.

Although I haven’t given up on my holiday romance rope just yet, I am hooked on lb and lb crossropes. If you want to recapture your childhood – and lose the pounds – buy the Lighter Ropes in Get Lean Bundle for £89. This will spare you the cash for a firm support sports bra.

Remember, it’s not just your feet that bounce, ladies.

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