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EZJumper: review

08/11/2010

Westchester is a wondrous strange place. On my last trip out I had the privilege of taking one of the best kIckboxing classes I have ever enjoyed, followed by one of the best Pilates classes. Both taught by the same instructor Fran, at the Dobbs Ferry NY Sports Club.

These exciting classes were followed up by an equally exciting introduction to the handsome inventor of a product that, at first, seemed very much like a gimmick designed to separate well meaning fitness enthusiasts from their money–the EZJumper.

During the short break between classes, Fran had described the virtues of a jumprope that doesn’t require you to jump. In fact it “doesn’t go under your feet at all” she animatedly explained. She was thrilled. Even though there was no jumping the jumprope-y device allowed you to feel like you were jumping rope because you could move your hands around in a jumprope-like way.

Fran was so excited she demonstrated the rope swinging motion with her arms at the edge of the weight room, while showing me all the different things you could do with your feet if there was no rope there to trip you up. Scissors, lunges, and a fast back-and-forth switch were all possible now in rope-less freedom.

I was skeptical about the thrill of what seemed like the removal of the business end of rope jumping until, as good fortune would have it, Sammy Black himself, Inventor and Engineer of the EZJumper, as it says on his business card, drove up in his shiny sportscar to say hello to my new friend Fran.

I asked if he had an EzJumper with him I could try,,and within minutes I was tearing into the plastic packaging of the quite handsome looking, black matte, nicely weighted set of ball bearing handles, each connected to about three feet of plastic tubing, with small weighted rubber knobs on the ends. A pair of them. Which answered my first question about a no jump jumprope-it was a set of handles and plastic cords-thus no middle.

Still skeptical, I gave it a try in the parking lot (a perfect location because you need a little clearance) and after the first few turns of the ropes- I was hooked. The pair of handles and cords quickly fell into what was a surprisingly satisfying and intuitive spinning rhythm making me feel like an expert jumproper and after a very short while I figured out how to add my feet naturally to the mix for a fun and flexible upper and lower body workout, that I am now convinced, as Fran was, may actually have a lot more fitness potential than regular jump-roping.

I can imagine the EZJumper successfully used in fitness classes (though the necessary clearance could be a challenge in a crowded classroom), and the experience of turning the weighted ropes offers a fun complete upper body workout (which i normally don’t enjoy much)because of the constantly changing resistance, that could be terrific for folks at home, or for seated mature exercisers.

My rating for this product: 3 of 4 sneakers

Pros: portable, well made, novel, fun, provides good exercise, appropriate for all fitness levels
Cons: needs a little space