I’m sure I’m not the only one to ever wonder, “Should My Jump Rope Touch the Ground?”
You know as well as me what a fantastic cardio and conditioning workout jump rope can be.
However, for what seems to be a very simple exercise there are a few technical aspects that you need to adhere to.
In fact, getting all these factors correct can lead to a far greater workout.
One such technical point is whether the jump rope should touch the ground or your feet should clear the rope while it’s in mid-air.
So, allow me to explain the best way to jump rope.
Should My Jump Rope Touch the Ground?
Your jump rope should touch the ground, although some people prefer it not to. The jump rope “tick” when it touches the ground can provide you with a lot of information about your form and rhythm. However, in terms of speed you don’t want your jump rope to drag along the ground. Plus, this can wear down the rope much quicker. You should aim for the jump rope to hit the ground no more than a couple of inches in front of your feet.
1. The Rope “Tick” Provides Essential Information
From a personal perspective I feel your jump rope should touch the ground.
I know for a fact that there are many people who never hit the ground, but still have a sound jump rope technique.
However, I feel that the “tick” you typically hear when the rope does strike the floor can give you some great feedback on your technique.
This is especially true about your hand placement.
So, as an example, if you don’t hear the rope ticking while you jump rope this could be an indication that your hands are too high.
Therefore, it probably won’t be long before you hit your feet or trip over the rope.
You’ll also find that if your hands are too high that you’re placing a lot more emphasis on the shoulders.
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So, in effect, your shoulders could well tire long before you get a decent cardio workout.
Additionally, if your hands are too low then you won’t hear a tick, but more so the rope dragging across the floor (more on this in a moment).
Plus, even if your hands are in the correct position then a “tick” or lack of could provide feedback whether your rope is the right length.
Jump rope length is obviously extremely important for ensuring you get a decent workout.
So, as I say, I feel that your jump rope should touch the ground with every revolution.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m sure there are many people who disagree, and never allow the rope anywhere near the floor.
So, it is a matter of personal preference.
With that being said, as the rope gently tapping the ground provides so much great feedback you may as well take advantage of it.
2. Don’t Be a Rope Dragger
I’ll openly admit when I first started to learn to jump rope I had the “slap and drag” technique.
By this I mean, that the rope would hit the floor well in front of me and I would literally drag it along the floor underneath me.
Plus, my overall technique was poor and each revolution would take 1 to 2 seconds.
However, I look at this as part of the learning process.
Nowadays my technique is on-point and depending on the type of workout I’m getting at least 2.5 revolutions per second.
With that being said, the “slap and drag” is anything but correct.
Firstly, by the rope landing so far in front of you and then having to drag it below you, you’re slowing down the rope.
So, it can be difficult to get into a proper rhythm, plus it slows down the speed of the rope.
In effect, you won’t be getting the great cardio and conditioning benefits of jump rope.
Furthermore, it will slowly wear your jump rope down.
To be honest, your jump rope’s durability will rely a lot on the surface you use, and you shouldn’t overly worry about it.
With that being said, it is advisable to not jump rope on concrete.
Not only will your jump rope wear out quicker, but it can be hell on your joints.
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However, all-in-all, out of all the various techniques that people have, dragging rope should definitely not be one of them.
3. How Far in Front of You Should a Jump Rope Hit the Ground?
I’ve alluded to this above, but you’re probably wondering how far in front of you a jump rope should hit the ground.
Back in my dragging days the rope was probably a good 6-8 inches in front of me.
This is definitely far too much, and was probably a good indication that my rope was too long.
As I say, jump rope is more about speed and rhythm, so you need to have the rope landing a lot closer to you.
Now, I’ve heard some people say that the rope should tick the ground directly below your feet.
However, for me, this can create the need to jump a little higher than you need to.
Personally, I prefer that the jump rope lands no more than 1-2 inches in front of my feet.
This also ensures that my feet are never more than an inch or two off the ground.
This is perfect in terms of speed and rhythm.
I will say that the distance in front of you can vary depending on what you’re doing with your feet.
With that being said, regardless of foot movement, having the rope tick no more than two inches in front of you is the way to go.
This won’t affect your speed or rhythm, plus you’re less likely to trip over a higher held rope.
4. More Speed Can Mean No Ground
I’ve spoken of some jump ropers never allowing the rope to touch the ground.
I believe there may be a place for this depending on the type of workout.
As an example, I would prefer to perform double-unders with the rope never touching the ground.
With that being said, I know there are people who like to listen for the double tick before allowing their feet to touch the ground.
Once more, it’s down to personal preference.
So, in the same vein, my preference is to hear the jump rope tick a couple of inches ahead of me when performing single bound jump rope.
However, if I’m speeding things up to the extreme, and even performing double-unders, I prefer the rope to pass clear of the ground.
Personally, I believe this technique for either type of jump rope activity leads to best form.
Plus, it allows you to jump rope as fast as you need to, while getting into a perfect rhythm.
So, if you’re struggling with any of these aspects then try to adhere to what I’ve mentioned here.
Jump Rope Double Under Tutorial
So, it should be obvious by now that my preferred technique is to allow the jump rope to touch the ground.
The “tick” that you hear with every revolution can provide you with some feedback on your speed and rhythm.
You should ensure that the rope hits the ground no more than an inch or two in front of you.
The only time I would waiver from this technique is when I’m performing a more speed-based jump rope workout, such as double-unders.
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Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.