Having the right speed rope is vital in mastering your double-unders. But with so many options, how can you pick the right one? Here are five things you want to look for before you make a purchase.

Don’t forget that we have a blog on the most common mistakes athletes make with double-unders (and how to fix them).

Psst! Here are a few options, in case you’re gearing up to buy yourself a new rope.

5 Things Your Speed Rope Should Have

1. Adjustable Handles

Perhaps unsurprisingly, taller people will need longer speed ropes than shorter people. If your speed rope is too short, you’re either going to have to kick your feet way higher than necessary (which is totally inefficient and exhausting, or you’ll end up tripping. If it’s too long, it’ll drag on the ground, slow you down, and once again, you’ll end up tripping.

Ropes don’t come in an infinite variety of lengths, and you definitely don’t want any that claim “one size fits all.” Instead, you should be able to adjust the length of your rope so that it perfectly suits you.

2. A Smooth Spin

When you perform a double-under, you aren’t only circling the rope around your body. The rope is also spinning independently of you (or at least, it should!). If there’s any friction, it’s going to slow down the rep and make it harder to successfully execute. Thus, you want your speed rope’s spin to be smooth like butter.

3. A Lighter Weight

Your rope should effortlessly fly around your body, with minimal involvement from you. If you have to use more than a flick of your wrists to get it going, it’s too heavy. Think of keeping your elbows locked at your sides. Are you still able to spin the rope as quickly as you want?

Side note: Weighted ropes do exist. But these are for building strength and endurance and should be used strategically — not as your everyday speed rope.

4. A Durable Cable

Think of how many hundreds — more like thousands — of times your speed rope is going to skid across the floor. You need something made of sturdy materials so that it can withstand wear and tear and hang on through the toughest of WODs.

5. Compact and Easy to Carry Around

Lastly, you should be able to easily fold/wrap up your speed rope and put it in a carrying case for quick and convenient storage in your gym bag, without it causing any damage to the cable.

Once you find a rope that feels amazing for you, it’s going to be your strongest ally in improving your double-unders. Try a few different kinds to see what feels best in your hands, and you’ll be knocking out reps in no time. Get to work!

Shop The WOD Life’s collection of speed ropes.