Forget any association you had with jump ropes and gym class. The jump rope is a robust workout tool. It builds cardio fitness, balance, agility and bone strength. It is also among the best go-anywhere fitness accessories, fitting easily into even a crammed carry-on.
“It requires plenty of coordination and really works your cardiovascular system,” says Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, the women’s 2014 CrossFit Games winner. She likes to train with double unders, a common CrossFit move that requires you to jump explosively and spin the rope faster to pass it beneath your feet twice. This works your muscles harder and pushes your cardiovascular system towards its upper limit.
To get probably the most out of your workout, ensure your rope is the precise size. CrossFit HQ trainer Dave Lipson says that when you hold the rope under one foot, the handles should just reach your armpits. To maximise results, practice good form. “Hold your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock and at waist height. Revolve the rope from the wrists, not the shoulders,” says Lipson.
And if you’re shooting for double unders, we recommend buying a speed rope with bearings. Speed ropes start around $20 and spin faster than inexpensive licorice and beaded ropes.
Now here are seven jump rope workouts — most of which will be completed in a half hour or less — that may have you ever burning calories and building strength.
Fitness competitor, former ballerina and coach Dom Spain teaches outdoor bootcamp classes in Miami. She calls jump rope workouts the “no excuses” workout because, “if I’ve clients that say they haven’t got time or do not have the money for a gym membership, they will always do this.”
– Warm up by doing 30 seconds of jumping rope, 30 seconds of air squats, then a 1 minute plank hold. Repeat four times.
– 1 minute of jumping and 30 seconds of push-ups.
– 1 minute of backward jumping and 30 seconds of tricep bench dips.
– 1 minute of side to side jumping (imagine your feet are bound together, and jump rope while hopping from side to side) and 30 seconds of lunges.
– 1 minute of skipping rope (one foot lands as the opposite takes off) and 30 seconds of jumping squats.
– 1 minute of single leg jumping (30 seconds on one leg, then switch), and 30 seconds of mountain climbers.
– 1 minute of alternating high knee jumps (like the skipping rope move, but pull your knees up as high as you may), and 30 seconds of flutter kicks.
Many essential CrossFit workouts have names and this one is named Annie, but it is okay in the event you just want to call it hard.
“It’s a great way to check your double unders and core stamina. You are breathing hard, your abs are worked to the point of cramping, and your shoulders will burn,” says Leblanc-Bazinet.
You may do five sets total, each time doing 10 fewer reps than the previous set. There is not any rest between sets, just hammer through.
Start with 50 double unders. If you cannot do multiple double unders, do two normal jumps (100 instead of 50) until you’re comfortable with double unders. Next, do 50 sit-ups. Then repeat until you’ve got reached sets of 10.
– 50 double unders
– 50 sit-ups
– 40 double unders
– 40 sit-ups
– 30 double unders
– 30 sit-ups
– 20 double unders
– 20 sit-ups
– 10 double unders
– 10 sit-ups
Core Strength Builder
Jumping rope burns calories, but once you add in movements that challenge your balance — like single footed jumping — you engage your core to remain upright.
This abs-focused jump rope workout is courtesy of Molly Metz, a competitive jump rope athlete and coach at JumpNRope, a jump rope gym in Louisville, Colorado. She says she likes this workout because it challenges a variety of muscle groups directly. For this workout you will want the following exercises:
Mountain Climbers: Start in a high plank, in your hands, not your forearms. Jump your right foot to the skin of your right hand. As you bring your right foot back, simultaneously jump your left foot to your left hand. Count every time your right foot jumps forward.
Jump Rope Speed Steps: This is nearly a skipping motion over the rope — you pass one leg at a time over the rope as it comes beneath you. Try to move as quickly as you’ll be able to and count only every time your right leg hits the bottom.
Air Squats: Perform this body-weight squat like you are lowering into a chair. Your hips should drop just below your knees; keep your shoulder back and chest up.
Bicycles: Lie on your back along with your knees up and your shins parallel to the bottom. Extend your right leg out as you crunch towards your left knee along with your upper body. Repeat on the left side. Count every time you complete a rep on the suitable side.
Walking Lunges: There should be 90-degree angles in both legs at the underside of your movement. Your back knee should barely touch the ground.
Jump Rope Backwards Jumps: This takes some practice. Instead of turning the rope forwards, turn it backwards, jumping right before it hits the back of your feet.
Jump Rope Single Leg Jumps: Jump repeatedly on either the best or the left leg.
Burpees: Plant your hands on floor, jump your feet back, and lower your chest all of the way to floor. Then jump up and clap your hands overhead. Repeat.
– 100 mountain climbers
– 100 speed steps
– 80 mountain climbers
– 80 double unders
– 80 air squats
– 60 mountain climbers
– 60 air squats
– 60 bicycles
– 60 speed steps
– 40 mountain climbers
– 40 air squats
– 40 bicycles
– 40 walking lunges
– 40 backwards jumps
– 20 jumps on one foot, then the opposite
– 20 mountain climbers
– 20 air squats
– 20 bicycles
– 20 walking lunges
– 20 burpees
Jump Rope For Runners
Florida-based running and triathlon coach Matthew Reedy uses jump ropes to teach good posture and help runners learn to choose up their feet. “Jumping rope makes you focus on picking up your feet, which makes you a more efficient runner,” he says. On this workout he uses the jump rope to elevate the guts before having athletes do a build-up run — gradually accelerate to top speed, hold for a few steps, then decelerate, all over 100 meters.
Warm up with just a few easy laps around a track. Reedy recommends you also run backwards for a number of meters to stretch out your calves before taxing them with speed work.
Do 30 seconds of jumping rope. Then put down your rope and run a 100-meter build-up, being careful to maintain your stride short as you accelerate up to top speed. Return to your jump rope as quickly as possible. Begin jumping for one more 30 seconds. Do 10 sets of 30 seconds of jump rope followed by 100 meters of running.
Do the sets with minimal rest, which will train you to run at fast pace with an elevated heart rate. The jump rope also acts as an active recovery tool, teaching you to recover while still moving.
The Do-Anywhere, Total-Body Workout
By mixing jump rope exercises with bodyweight movements you will get a full body workout with out a gym. Christy Johnson, a Portland, Oregon-based certified personal trainer says she often recommends jump rope-based workouts for time-crunched clients. “You do not must do it for very long to get a benefit,” she says.
Set a timer for 3 minutes. For the first three minutes, cycle through doing 20 two-footed jumps, 20 jumps on the right foot, then 20 jumps on the left foot. When the three minutes is up, do one minute of air squats.
Repeat this 3-to-1 routine five times, subbing in push-ups, plyo-lunges (jump from one leg to the other), tricep dips, and planks for the squats. With a few minutes of warm up and cool down, you have worked every major muscle group and burned hundreds of calories in less than half-hour.
The MMA Workout
Chris Reilly was a professional MMA fighter for greater than a decade. Today, he coaches athletes at his Southern California gym, Legends MMA. Jumping rope, he says, is sort of always involved in daily workouts. “Jump rope is crucial to fight training as it incorporates so many of the elements fighters are attempting to master: conditioning, timing, hand-eye-foot coordination, and the mental focus to access these elements at the identical time,” Reilly says.
He likes this particular workout because it includes form and strength work, but finishes with several hard rounds of jumping to challenges muscles when the body is already fatigued. And be warned, this hour-long workout will leave you spent.
Warm up with three rounds of three minutes of jumping, one minute easy jumping. Also, Reilly gives this hint: “The rope may be very thin, do not jump any higher than you’ll want to with the intention to clear the rope as it passes under your feet.”
Next, do three rounds of shadow boxing, three minutes on, then one minute easy. Reilly suggests using a mirror so you can check your form while practicing and he says to concentrate on rhythm, timing, and your biomechanics, not power. If you have not shadow boxed before, watch this quick introduction.
Now do three rounds of three minutes hard, one minute easy with a heavy punching bag. Alternate between punching, kicking, kneeing, and elbow striking the bag. Reilly says to add in combos, which challenge both the mind and major and minor muscle groups.
– 3 sets of 10-20 pushups, varying your arm position to work different muscle groups on each set.
– 3 of your max pull-up reps.
– 3 sets of your max bar or ring dips.
Finish with five rounds of jumping rope, again going three minutes hard, one minute easy. This time, give attention to speed, timing, and footwork. Really push yourself here, and in order for you to add in tricks, now is the time to do it. If you are unsure where to start out, spin the rope faster, jump higher and throw in double unders.
Rob Sulaver, the certified nutritionist and coach behind Bandana Training, says that he loves giving members of his Bandana Army workouts that include jump rope work because, “it doesn’t matter what, you always find yourself feeling like Rocky. What’s not to love?”
This workout has an inverted pyramid format. Start with 500 reps, drop all the way down to 400 and 300, then climb out with sets of 400 and 500 again. That last set will burn, but that’s the purpose. You need either two kettlebells or dumbbells, and to know the next exercises:
Goblet Squat: It is a deep squat, but you hold the kettlebell in front of and near your chest. Your feet are slightly wider than normal in order that, at the underside, your elbows are inside your knees.
Renegade Rows: Get right into a high plank position with your hands on top of the kettlebells. Do a full push-up, then keeping your core engaged, pick up the proper kettlebell, pulling your elbow straight as much as bring the bell level with your right ribcage. Set the correct one down and repeat with the left. That’s one rep.
Plyo Pushups: From the floor, push upward hard enough to take your hands off the ground for a second. Ideally, you need to be capable to clap within the moment your upper body is airborne, but if you can’t quite do it, just attempt to get some air between the floor and your hands. Land softly and immediately begin your next pushup.