Best Health



The Rookie is a Bluetootha­nd-sensor-equipped skipping rope with a sleek app and, it turns out, a sense of humour—because when I first logged in, I discovered my daily goal had been pre-set to an eye-popping , jumps. That… simply wasn’t going to happen. I dialled the daily goal down to , reconsider­ed, then took it to . I should’ve kept dialling.

To be fair, a lot of the blame is mine. Skipping is—as should by now be abundantly clear—an enormously tough workout that makes a whole bunch of cardiovasc­ular demands on your body. It also requires the sort of coordinati­on that took me a while to remember from my th-century gradeschoo­l days. But some of the fault lies with the Rookie’s rope, which is made of a thin, polypropyl­ene plastic. It’s good for speed but bad for tangles, leaving parts of the rope coiled back on itself and leaving me feeling like I was constantly tussling with an unruly headphone cord. At least it didn’t hurt much when the rope inevitably slammed into my legs.

The lightweigh­t plastic handles are easy to grip—mine came in a very cheerful coral—and the length of the ‚-cm rope is a snap to adjust. The app’s interface is super intuitive, but its metrics are about what you’d expect: number of jumps, time spent jumping, calories burned, percentage completed of your daily goal. While there are a couple interval programs designed around experience level, they’re pretty straightfo­rward: jump ‚ times, rest for ‚ seconds, repeat twice, or jump ‚ times (ha!), rest for ‰ seconds, repeat thrice. It’s not especially difficult to track these metrics yourself, which is ultimately the hitch with any smart skipping rope. You can count just as well as it can.

I might feel more charitable if I were inclined to, say, compete with friends on Rookie’s app or chart my progress on its global leaderboar­d. But I just want to skip in peace (and maybe fudge my totals when I’m done). A dumb ol’ jump rope is perfectly up to that particular task.—D.G.

Rookie Smart Skipping Rope, $ƩƩ,

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