The jump rope gets a 21st century high-tech face lift


Woman using LED Smart Rope

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The jump rope is a highly effective piece of workout equipment that burns a ton of fat in a short period of time while engaging both your lower- and upper-body muscles and improving heart health. It's also a great way to improvecoordination, footwork, agility, quickness and endurance in any sport. (Boxers aren't just jumping rope for the fun of it!)

So isn't it about time that seemingly primitive rope with two handles got a 21st century makeover?

There are two “smart” jump ropes making their way into production that are taking wearables to the next level and changing the way we train.


The Smart Rope

Go deeper into your warm up and farther in your cardio workout with this LED-embedded, jump rope that works with your smartphone via Bluetooth to track your jump rope activity. The Smart Gym virtual trainer app function keeps track of the amount of jumps you complete by using a magnetic sensor system in the handles in real-time; calculates your calories burned, using your BMI (body mass index) and jumps counted; and provides you with goals and interval training recommendations. You can even share your progress and compete with friends on Facebook. 

"A lot of people grew up jumping rope," said Joen Choe, president of Tangram America told Stuff.co.nz. "You kind of work away from it for a variety reasons. We thought jumping rope was this classic tried and true workout we could bring new technology to and sort of evolve."

The rope is positioned at a 45-degree angle to the handle to encourage effortless, natural motion and ball bearings are used to ensure fast, smooth revolutions. It looks pretty cool, too!

"It’s straight out of 'Tron' - I imagine Daft Punk using Smart Rope to work out. I wonder if they’d keep their helmets on,” Choe said in a release.

Smart Rope recently launched a Kickstarter campaign. All funds raised will go directly to the final development of the Smart Rope and Smart Gym app, and the initial production run.

Jumping rope

Like the Smart Rope, Sophia - The Smart Skipping Rope tracks calories burned and counts the amount of jumps completed via Bluetooth to your smartphone. What sets Sophia apart from the Smart Rope is that it gamifies your workout routine. In the app's Arcade mode, select between ‘time challenge’ or ‘jump countdown’ and send a notification to a friend and start jumping together. You can invite friends to compete with you in the same room or remotely, and buddy up to get fit together.  

If you use the Sophia every day for 30 minutes, the battery should last you one month. Another cool feature is the magnetic handles that stick together when not in use. You can easily stash them in your car’s glove compartment or purse. Choose between three bright colors or a rugged leather design.

Check out the Kickstart campaign here


Quick HIIT jump rope drill

While you're waiting for these techie jump ropes to roll out try this easy-to-follow high intensity interval training jump rope workout to raise your heart rate and burn fat:

  • Jump rope as fast as you can for 60 seconds
  • Rest for 15-30 seconds
  • Repeat 5 – 10 times (take more rest if you need to)