...Ta da! The ropeless jump rope. I kid you not. (Read the comments to the product. Pretty funny!) Some manufacturers tout that these ropes count the number of revolutions of the "rope". Who cares how many times it turns? We're looking for duration not reps. Others talk to you while your jumping. That's just distracting. Other ropeless models have weighted handles. This sounds like a repetitive stress injury just waiting to happen, to me.
We should have all learn how to jump rope as kids. It may have been awhile, but try it again. I'm no fancy double-dutch girl but I can at least jump a rope.
Forget these gadgets--and the $35-70 price tags-- and just grab a length of rope and start jumping. To find the best fit for your rope, stand in the middle of the rope. The ends/handles should reach your arm pits. The right length means no tripping over it or slapping yourself in the head. Not so fun.
If you really suck at jumping rope, then just mimic the action. Or cut a jump rope in half and jump, jump, jump!
Good form is important. Relax your neck and shoulders. Keep abdominals engaged to support your back.
Jumping rope burns a butt-load of calories per minute. Extended periods of jumping rope is great for the fit folks. Not so good for newbies. A good way to add it to your exercise routine is to take it on your walk. Speed walk a couple of blocks, then jump rope for 15-30 seconds. Repeat. This is just an idea.* There are tons of workouts online too. Play with it... and of course if you're not even walking regularly, for crying out loud, just walk!
Now go take it outside!
*See your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. (this is a whole other topic for discussion...)