A jump rope sans rope: Clever or just plain nutty?

What do you have when you remove the rope from a jump rope? Well, you get either a new clever piece of fitness equipment or just a whole lot of silliness. We at SNEWS® are still trying to decide.
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What do you have when you remove the rope from a jump rope? Well, you get either a new clever piece of fitness equipment or just a whole lot of silliness. We at SNEWS® are still trying to decide.

A man named Lester Clancy patented a ropeless jump rope consisting of two separate handles, each with a hollow donut-shaped thingy on the end. Inside each hollow, circular chamber is a weighted ball and, according to Clancy's U.S. patent claim, "When rotated, the weighted balls generate rotational torque to simulate the use of a jump rope."

OK, we know what you're thinking because we were thinking the same thing: Ummm,… why? Clancy's patent claim points out a drawback of the traditional jump rope -- to use one you need a high ceiling. In an Associated Press report, Clancy also said that, with his invention, ceiling fans are no longer a problem. OK, we'll give him the high ceiling thing, but if you've ever tangled your jump rope in a ceiling fan, you shouldn't be touching any piece of exercise equipment. In fact, just sit still in your house and don't touch anything. Please, you might hurt yourself.

According to the patent claim, filed in May, jumping rope also requires lots of practice and coordination. The patent states: "Most importantly, it requires some practice until one develops the coordination necessary to jump rope without becoming tangled in it." OK, it takes some practice, but we remember jumping rope in, like, fourth grade, so just how hard can it be? Clancy, who works as a laundry coordinator in a state prison and lives in -- if this means anything -- Mansfield, Ohio, also told the AP that the device would be good for prisons and mental institutions, where folks can't be given ropes since they might use them to commit suicide.

Speaking of mental institutions, we bet our neighbors would be ringing the men in white coats if they saw us hopping up and down holding nothing but two handles. But that's the price you pay for getting in shape, right?

On second thought, Clancy's invention could spark a whole new trend in fitness equipment for the clumsy and lazy. Lifting weights is dangerous and requires coordination, so how about the Weightless Weight Set? Or Stepless Step Aerobics? Or Pulley-free Cross-County Ski Simulator? You could trip or fall, you know?… Hmmm…. Forget that…. We gotta run.… Got some patents to file.

The truly curious can click here to check out the patent.

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