Jumping rope may be popular with kids, but this girlie activity is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and improve cardiovascular health.
Over the years, jumping rope has helped many people get fit fast and improve athletic performance. In fact some of the world’s greatest athletes jump rope. Especially in sports like boxing and basketball.
The legendary Bruce Lee used to jump rope every day and it helped him develop tremendous speed and get lean.
Now you may be thinking, I’m not an athlete and I don’t need to be quick. Well, the benefits of jumping rope go beyond that, just read on and you’ll see what I mean.
If you have never jumped rope before or you are horrible at it, have no worries. You will learn how to here, and start having fun workouts soon.
Running on a treadmill can be boring – jumping rope on the other hand is fun and enjoyable. You’ll even burn more calories without realizing as you learn new skills and variations.
All you need to get started, is a jump rope and enough space for swinging the rope.
Let’s dive right in and see the benefits of jumping rope and learn how you get the most out of it.
Benefits of jumping rope.
Fat loss and getting lean
Jumping rope is a strenuous exercise and it burns more calories than treadmill cardio or running. It’s safe to say you will burn more fat with it than any other form of cardio.
On average, jumping rope for a minute burns 11 calories. And if you increase intensity you can burn up to 20 calories per minute.
You can see the potential here. One could burn as many as 500 calories in less than 30 minutes. Therefore, it will be easier to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week if your diet is on point.
Jump rope workout will also help a great deal if you are trying to lose belly fat or get ripped abs.
Improves cardiovascular health
Any exercise that raises heart rate is good for you. Jumping rope does just that.
Doing different HIIT jump rope workouts will improve the heart’s health. The benefits will be more if you jump fast.
Now, you don’t have to do super speed jumps like Mayweather. Moderate-impact jumping will work great.
Builds calf muscles
If you have ever tried to build calf muscles you know how stubborn they can be. You can train them for months without even seeing any growth.
Jump rope will help a great deal. Jumping consistently and for long will make a huge difference. Single leg jumps will hit the calf muscles even more.
Improves coordination and quickness
Jumping rope will keep you more alert and improve responsiveness. That’s why jumping rope is very important in boxing and other sports which require speed.
It requires one to coordinate arms and feet, and you’ll gain more speed and coordination by jumping fast. Learning different jump rope techniques will also improve your coordination a lot.
Warm up exercise
Jumping rope is a great way to get the blood pumping through the body. It activates all the muscles groups therefore you’ll be ready for an upper body or lower body workout.
Starting a workout without warm up is an injury disaster waiting to happen. A 5-minute jump rope workout is enough to get the blood flowing through the muscles and joints.
Great conditioning tool
Jump rope is one of the best conditioning tools. The arms, the core and legs are being worked when you jump rope.
Do different skills and more challenging variations to make get the most out of the workout.
You can even make things better by adding plyometric exercises like box jumps and burpees to your jump rope workout.
Improves muscular endurance and athleticism
Don’t mistake hypertrophy for muscular endurance, one can have big muscles but lack muscular endurance. Again, this is why jumping rope so important for athletes. Just try spreading your hands sideways for 5 minutes. Now, imagine boxers have to keep theirs up for 12 rounds.
Doing 30-minutes jump rope workouts will greatly improve your endurance. If you want to improve your vertical jumps, it will help a lot too.
I know jumping rope already sounds like a magic potion, but these are just the main benefits. There is so much more you can get from jumping rope.
Knowing the benefits is not enough to start jumping rope right away. First learn the various different jump rope workouts you can add to your routine.
Jump rope workouts
You can use jump rope for different workouts, depending on your goals.
I have gathered a few great jump rope workouts around the web, choose the one which suits your fitness level and goals.
Jump rope warm up workout
I mentioned earlier that you can use jump rope for warm up. The warm up can last anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
Here just do different variations or just the basic jumps. No routine for this one, do whatever you like.
HIIT jump rope workout
High intensity jump rope interval is one of the best ways to burn fat. It helps keep metabolism up for long and retain muscle mass.
When doing high intensity jump rope interval you can focus on either the speed of the jumps or the height of the jumps.
Steady cardio jump rope workout
If you find jumping fast physically demanding or just don’t like it, jump at a moderate-steady rate. You will still get all the benefits.
When jumping you can either use a timer or count the number of jumps. For example, you could target 1,000 jumps per workout or do a 20 minute session.
The jumps don’t have to be consistent, take short rests when you get tired. Try to keep the rests as short as possible.
Combining jump rope with bodyweight training
This is a killer combination. Even though jumping rope is very effective in burning fat. It’s not enough to increase lean muscle mass.
You can either do both in the same workout or have a specific workout day for each.
Jump rope beginner tips and advice
If you have never jumped rope before or you suck at it, these tips will help a great deal. Jumping rope is not a complicated skill, so if you apply these tips and do it consistently, you’ll learn in no time.
If you haven’t been jumping before you want to start slow. Don’t expect burn 500 calories in your first rope routine. That will lead to a lot of soreness and even worse, injury.
Jumping rope stresses the knees….as I will explain later. So start slow and give the body time to adjust.
You will suck the first time
Don’t be one of those people who quit because they are messing up.
You can’t be good at something if you have never done before. So get out there and jump no matter how many times you mess up. It’s the only way to learn. These tips are just guidance – the only way to become good at jumping rope is by jumping.
It will take time to learn different skills but learning the basics is the first step.
Don’t jump too high
This is very common with most beginners. They jump too high to avoid stepping on the rope.
It’s not possible to skip for long if you jump high. Instead focus on rhythm and coordination.
As you get better you will automatically be making small jumps.
Don’t ignore arms
Beginners tend to focus only on footwork and forget the arms – which is a big mistake.
The first thing is to avoid making huge circles with the arms. In fact hand movement should be minimal. Don’t move the shoulders – instead use the wrist to swing the rope.
Where you place the hands is also important. Keep them besides the waist or slightly above when jumping.
Heels shouldn’t touch the floor
I know this is basic stuff but I have to remind you. When jumping, step on the toes and the ball of the feet. This helps absorb shock and it’s easier to jump that way.
Stepping on the heels might cause injury, and you won’t be able to jump for long.
Skills and different variations
Doing the same stuff over and over can be boring. So you need to spice up your jump rope workout by doing different variations and even learn new skills.
Once you have learned the basic 2 leg jump – start working on variations. They actually won’t take long to master because will already have gained rhythm and coordination.
Learning new skills will help you a great deal, jumping rope will become more fun and you’ll get fit without much effort.
Prevent jump rope injuries
Like any other exercise, there is the risk of getting injured when jumping rope. But the risk is low compared to other exercises.
Jumping up and down puts stress on the hip and knee joints. But it’s nothing to worry about. After all, exercises like jogging and sprinting put more stress on the knees than proper jump rope.
If you jump rope properly and follow the advice I have share here, the chances of getting injured are close to none.
In case you start feeling pain at any point you should immediately stop jumping. If the pain doesn’t go away see a doctor. It’s not hard to prevent jump rope injury….I have jumped rope for many years and not even once have I had an injury.
Avoid doing too many single leg jumps especially if you are a beginner. It puts extra stress on the knees. Do more as you advance.
Choosing a jump rope
Before you log on to amazon and order a rope before, read this. The type rope of you use also matters.
With different types of ropes like weighted ropes, speed ropes and beaded ropes, you need to choose what will work for you.
Personally, I prefer speed ropes because they are fast to skip and you can perform all skills with them. Read more on choosing the right jump rope here.
The size of the rope also matters. If you a beginner you need to use a longer rope. To measure the right length – step on the rope with one foot and pull the rope up keeping the handles straight. For beginners, the handles should reach armpit level. Experienced jumpers the handles can be as low as waistline.
I believe jumping rope is one of the best ways to burn fat. If you keep learning new skills and keep it fun you will never get bored.
You need to have a workout plan though. Otherwise you won’t get much benefit if you jump aimlessly without timing yourself or counting jumps. If you plan to do a 15-minute workout, you have to time yourself.
Now get yourself a jump rope and start burning fat!
Have you gotten any results from jumping rope so far?