Jump Rope Aerodynamics

Researchers have used high-speed video and numerical simulation to capture the effects of aerodynamics on jump roping. After videoing an athlete jumping rope and constructing a jump roping robot (shown above imaged multiple times with a strobe light), they found that the U-shaped tip of the jump rope bends away from the direction of motion. When they built a computer model capable of deforming the jump rope based on its drag, they found the same behavior. They concluded that the “best” jump ropes are lightweight, short, and have small diameters to maximize speed and minimize the drag. #

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