A jump rope is an often overlooked and underestimated fitness tool, despite its exceptional versatility. Jumping rope is a full-body cardio exercise that has many great benefits and is the perfect workout “filler.” This means you can use jumping rope in between lifting weights or other exercises to keep your heart rate up and skip that long cardio session after your workout. Here are some compelling reasons to incorporate jump roping into your fitness routine:
Jump ropes—even high-quality ones—are relatively cheap. You can also start by pretending to jump rope just by going through the motions.
You can easily increase or decrease the intensity by simply moving your hands and feet quicker or slower, raising your knees, hopping on one foot, hopping side to side or traveling through space.
Jump ropes are easily adjusted to fit your height. Stand in the middle of the rope and extend the handles to the armpits. If it’s too long, cut or tie the rope so it doesn’t get tangled or affect your revolution speed.
Jumping rope helps the stability muscles in your lower extremity to support your joints. If you don’t include a lot of impact in your current workout, you can gradually incorporate more impact by starting with light little jumps, landing softly on your feet.
When jumping rope, the upper body also gets a workout—it’s just not as strenuous, making it ideal for upper-body workout days. Be sure to keep your arms close to your body and elbows slightly bent. Also remember to remain in an athletic stance, with your shoulders back and chest lifted.
Not only is jumping rope beneficial for cardiovascular health, it’s also great for agility, hand-foot coordination and footwork for sports. Jumping rope also helps improve bone density and stability throughout the body. It can, however, be hard on the joints, so be sure to progress gradually.
A jump rope is light and mobile; so it can be used at home, in the office, at the park or in the gym. You can even bring it with you when you travel.
Jumping rope makes it possible to perform a wide range of movements with one piece of equipment, so you can constantly challenge yourself.
There is a relatively low risk of injury from jumping rope, as long as you remember to land softly on your feet to absorb the shock and move within your personal limits.
Jump Rope Workout
Aim for 18 sets total, whether you rotate through the first three movements or through the whole list. Start with 15 seconds for the beginner, then 30 seconds for the intermediate and 60 seconds for the advanced level. Keep your work and rest rate equal throughout.
If you are not used to high-impact movements such as jumping, start with the beginner exercises and progress down the list. The whole circuit should take 15 to 25 minutes including rest periods.
Check with your physician if you have any concerns about your current ability to perform these high-impact, high-intensity exercises. Remember, it is extremely important to start with a proper warm-up and conclude your workout session with a proper cool-down to avoid venous pooling and lactate build-up in the legs.
Hop scotch jumps
Single-leg: 1 hop, 2 hop each, 3 hop each, 4 hop each
Double jump: 2x revolution per high jump