I Tried the Bala Jump Rope & It Made My At-Home HIIT Workouts More Intense

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Confession: for a woman nearing 40, I’m pretty darn good at jumping rope. I can do a few tricks, including jumping on one leg with my arm underneath the other (you’ve gotta see it to believe it), and my endurance is strong. It’s customary for me to log at least 10 minutes without stopping or tripping up. Not only do I love jumping rope because it’s a terrific cardio exercise that gets me off the treadmill, but it’s also fun! It reminds me of my childhood when I used to jump rope for hours with my friends after school.

When Bala sent me a jump rope, I jumped at the chance to try it out. Pegged as “a playground classic reimagined” with the tagline “recess never ends,” I was excited to try out the latest accessory from the fitness company that brought us the super popular Bala Bangles. While I hadn’t jumped rope regularly for many years, I was eager to revisit my old hobby and integrate it into my workout routine. Jumping rope seemed the next step for me in my fitness journey since I’ve been paring down my intense HIIT cardio workouts which burned my body out for years. While I love sculpting sessions, including Pilates and ballet, I missed getting in an extra burst of cardio that didn’t require me to log in miles on the pavement or treadmill. Jump rope is a great way to rev up circuit training with shorter intervals that pack a powerful punch. It’s also a fantastic way to help with your coordination and balance.

When I received my jump pope in its very fancy box, I was surprised there weren’t any instructions included with it. I mean, I get it — there are two handles with two adjustable, replaceable ropes. What more do you need to know, right? But still, I was a little confused about what to do at first before I looked at the product’s website and read the specs that included an “intuitive locking mechanism makes rope easily adjustable.” So I snaked either end of the rope into both handles, heard a click, and thought, “Well, that was simple enough.”

Now came the testing experience. After using a non-weighted jump rope, it took me a few minutes to get used to the weighted handles. I noticed that I couldn’t jump as fast as I could without them, and some moves (like the crazy one leg and one arm one that I mentioned above) were a bit more challenging to do because of them. It was also a bit of a challenge to jump for extended periods because the handles started to feel heavy after a while.

Even though the handles are only half a pound, it does start to add up after a few minutes (ask any barre lover whose arms shake after lifting two or three-pound weights, and they know exactly what I’m talking about). This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it demonstrated to me that this was no ordinary jump rope — and if I wanted to jump faster and longer and do some fancy tricks, this might not be the rope to do that.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the rope. After ten minutes of jumping, those “intuitive” handles didn’t work, and one end of the rope slipped out, smacking the ground behind me. After putting the rope back inside the handle, the other side did the same thing. This happened twice again. Because there weren’t any instructions attached to the rope, I assumed I put the rope and handles together properly (I mean, there isn’t any other way to do it as far as I can tell).

Another blow? The price. The Jump Rope by Bala retails for $75. While it’s super stylish, like all of the line’s products, and boasts that it’s made of “the highest quality fitness materials — recycled steel, ball bearings, and baby-soft silicone handles” and “ergonomically designed for cardio and HIIT,” I’m not sure if it’s worth the steep price considering there are other options for half available on Amazon.

Because it’s such a new product, there aren’t any reviews available online, but I’m sure fans of Bala will scoop up this accessory anyway. If you want what the cool kids are jumping with, head to Bala now and snag a stylish rope for yourself.

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