Jumping rope? Isn’t that for boxers — and, um…little girls? Well, believe it or not the simple act of jumping rope can do more for you overall than the same time spent jogging. Jumping rope is also easy to do anywhere. A jump rope slipped in your backpack or bag can be brought along on a trip, to work, school or done in the living room while you’re watching your kids — or watching TV.Jumping rope? Isn’t that for boxers — and, um…little girls? Well, believe it or not the simple act of jumping rope can do more for you overall than the same time spent jogging. Jumping rope is also easy to do anywhere. A jump rope slipped in your backpack or bag can be brought along on a trip, to work, school or done in the living room while you’re watching your kids — or watching TV.
To start jumping rope, head to your nearest sporting goods store and get a rope. While you probably don’t want to get a lightweight rope from the toy department for a workout, if that’s all you’ve got, it will work. Plastic ropes are usually used in gyms and they are a little easier to use for speedwork. Once you have your rope, make sure it fits you comfortably. Most ropes range from 8 to 10 feet long. You can cut it to adjust it – but once you cut it you can’t make it longer. Stand on the middle of the rope and hold the handles comfortably at waist height. Adjust accordingly.
Pick a nice, flat surface to jump on like a gym mat or concrete floor. Something that gives a bit will be more comfortable but if you choose a grassy or dirt surface — as I have to do out here in the middle of nowhere — make sure there is nothing in the way like rocks, sticks, grass that’s very long, that kind of thing.
The benefits of jumping rope are many. Here are a few you might not have known about:
1. Improves Coordination
Jumping rope actually improves your coordination by making you focus on your feet. Whether or not you’re paying attention to them, your brain is aware of what your feet are doing. This practice, over and over again, makes you “lighter” on your feet. Training for one of those warrior-style obstacle course races? Jumping rope can help. According to expertboxing.com‘s Boxing Training Guide, “the more tricks you do with the jump rope, the more conscious and coordinated you have to be.”
2. Decreases Foot and Ankle Injuries
Jumping rope is beneficial for those active in other sports. Many athletes in basketball, tennis, football and other sports often suffer foot and ankle injuries from running and then stopping quick and turning. This is very common in both tennis and basketball. Jumping rope not only improves your foot coordination but also increases your strength in the muscles surrounding your ankle joint and in your foot, decrease the chance of injury to those areas. According to the Jump Rope Institute, “jumping rope teaches players to stay on the balls of their feet, as opposed to being flat footed or on their heels. And since you are on your toes the entire time you jump rope, you will find that staying quiet on your toes when playing tennis will become easier and second nature.”
3. Burns Major Calories
Compared to jogging for 30 minutes, jumping rope actually burns more calories. According to Science Daily, “This aerobic exercise can achieve a “burn rate” of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump.Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.”
4. Completely Portable and Fun
A jump rope can go anywhere with you. Take it to work, take it to school. Warm up before your basketball game or cool down after a bike ride. Learn to do tricks and double dutch with your kids or have competitions between you and your family — how long, how low you can jump, how high, spinning — all kinds of tricks can be done with a jump rope.
5. Improves Bone Density
Dr. Daniel W. Barry, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, at Denver, and a researcher who has studied the bones of the elderly and of athletes, says that the best exercise to improve bone density is simply jumping up and down. “Jumping is great, if your bones are strong enough to begin with,” Dr. Barry says. “You probably don’t need to do a lot either.” (If you have any history of fractures or a family history of osteoporosis, check with a physician before jumping.)
According to The New York Times, “in studies in Japan, having mice jump up and land 40 times during a week increased their bone density significantly after 24 weeks, a gain they maintained by hopping up and down only about 20 or 30 times each week after that.”
6. Improves Cardiovascular Health
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, skipping rope is highly recommended for aerobic conditioning. In order to increase your heart and lung health you must do it three to five times per week for 12 to 20 minutes at a time.
7. Improved Breathing Efficiency
In addition to improved heart health and stamina, jumping rope also improves how efficiently you breathe. This becomes very beneficial when doing other activities because you won’t be as out of breath after running down the court or swimming laps in the pool.
8. Makes You Smarter
Believe it or not, jumping rope can make you smarter. According the Jump Rope Institute, jumping aids in the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain, which further enhances spacial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert. Jumping on the balls of your feet requires your body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a result jumping improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.
9. Improves Your Ability to Stay Calm
Because you are actually working your brain and your body at the same time, boxers in the ring who jump rope actually are more calm overall than those who don’t. The Jump Rope Institute attributes this to the biomechanical perspective. “As one dissects this exercise further and views it from a biomechanical perspective, it represents a composite movement combining a circular motion with an angular momentum. The body resembles a projectile subject to all the laws that govern projectile motion while the rope becomes a dynamic flywheel subject to all the laws that govern rotary motion. It is in the synchronous and harmonious coordination of these movements where the secrets and benefits are received.”
Your improved ability to jump rope and be synchronous with your body, mind and the rope, can actually help you be more calm in other situations.
Grab a jump rope, get hopping and be amazed by the different ways your body and mind will benefit.
I see many people at the gym jumping with ropes. It looks like fun; I remember doing it as as a child. What are the benefits of jumping rope and what is the best way to get started?
Jumping rope is one of the most inexpensive and oldest forms of exercise dating as far back as the Egyptians who used vines as jump ropes and it’s no wonder because it’s one of the best whole body workouts you can get. And if you do it the right way, your body will take less of beating than it does when you jog.
And jumping rope is the perfect alternative to any cardio activity-it quickly raises core body temperature, which also makes it an excellent choice for a quick warm-up.
Jumping rope is a skilled movement that requires good form in the take off and landing, proper timing and a little coordination to make the rope swing with each jump.
The jump should be no higher than one inch off the ground; this makes it a safe low impact exercise. (Most injuries occur in the knees, ankles and feet from jumping too high and landing heavily on the feet). The best floor to jump on is a sprung floor. At your gym, the fitness studio most likely has a sprung floor – if you are not sure, ask. If you choose to jump outside, use the grass instead of the driveway. (I know we all jumped on the tarmac as kids, but we are much bigger now and must be cautious about impact)
Jumping helps you develop almost every area of your body especially your heart. Your heart is the most important muscle in your body as it pumps blood to every cell delivering the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay alive and healthy. Jumping is also a multi-joint exercise as it incorporates every muscle in the body as well as trimming legs and waistlines. At 10 calories a minute, jumping is one of the most efficient methods for burning calories.
And there are mental benefits, too. Skipping develops the left and right sides of the brain, increases mental alertness and spatial awareness (jumping is a particularly good way to start your day). Jumping’s vertical motion creates enough ground force to increase bone density and help prevent osteoporosis.
A good jump rope should cost between $10-$30 at your local sporting goods store. To ensure proper length, stand on the middle of the rope; bring both ends up until they reach your arm pits. If it is too long, tie a knot in each end. Be sure to wear a good pair of cross training shoes or runners to help your body absorb the shock of your jump.
Start with some stretching exercises (side bends, head/ neck circles, and joint rotations), then grab your rope and stay light on your feet, knees relaxed, feet together. Turn your rope using small circular movements from your wrist (not from the arms), then simply jump over the rope as it comes around. Land on both feet; do not jump high. Have patience: this is a new skill.
Start with a basic jump for 2 minutes a day for the first week, add 2 minutes a week and before your know it you will be jumping for 10, 15 even 20 minutes. The key to a good jump rope exercise program is to stay focused and motivated, and to never give up. After you have mastered the basic jump, you may want to try these to spice up your routine:
- Low: Skipping – Feet are alternated up and down while the rope makes its turn.
- Moderate: Jogging – A jog is incorporated while jumping over the rope at a slightly faster pace with increased intensity.
Knee lifts – Lift the knees higher for increased intensity.
- High: Cross jump- While in the air, cross lower legs slightly and land with legs crossed.
Side to Side – Alternate landing areas from left to right. This one may take more patience.
Jumping to music will also make your routine more fun and interesting. Music serves as great motivator and is a great way to keep track of time. For example, I will jump for one song today; tomorrow I will jump for one and half etc. Stick with it and you will have a great work out that you can do anytime, and any place (as long as the floor is good).
Sarah Brown is a very healthy woman. She is not only a fitness instructor at Goodlife where she teaches Body Pump, Body Flow and yoga but she is also a registered holistic nutritionist.
A jump rope or skipping rope is perhaps the cheapest and most convenient exercise equipment that you can use almost anywhere to burn calories in less than half an hour. Not only is jumping rope a healthy activity, it has quite a few other benefits that are revealed in this article, along with its basic requirements and how to partake in this activity.
A jump rope is perhaps the only piece of exercise equipment that you can fit into a briefcase, will cost you no more than $20/ £10, your whole family can use, and will tone your muscles while giving you a cardio workout. You can easily burn off calories by jumping rope for merely 15 to 20 minutes. Using a jump rope is an excellent calorie-burner.
Using a jump rope burns plenty of calories in a brief amount of time and strengths the lower and upper body, so it is definitely good for the heart. Fit adults can spice up their exercise routine with rope-jumping. It puts direct stress on ankles, hips, and knees, though it is not an activity as impactful as jogging.
If you are a novice, it is recommended that you use a beaded rope because you can easily control it and it will hold its shape, unlike a lightweight cloth or vinyl jump rope.
- Hold the handles and stop on the jumping rope to adjust it.
- The handles of the jump rope should your armpits, so shorten it.
- Wear athletic shoes that are properly fitted, perhaps cross-training shoes.
When jumping rope, above your head there should be a space of 10 inches and you should an area of at least 4 x 6 foot to use the jump rope. Rope-jumping on asphalt, carpet, concrete, or grass is not recommended. Although impact is reduced by carpet, your ankle or knee could get twisted since it can grab your shoes. For rope-jumping exercise, it is better to use an impact mat, a piece of plywood, or a wood floor.
Why Jump Rope?
Rope-jumping is the ultimate high intensity and cardio workout for both boys and girls. If you are still not convinced that you should jump rope, then these jump rope benefits might.
- As mentioned, it takes the same amount of effort to jump for ten minutes as it does to run a mile in 8 minutes.
- You can burn 1,300 calories if you jump rope for an hour.
- If you jump rope for 10 minutes, you can avail the same health benefits as running for 45 minutes.
- Rope-jumping is a full body workout in which your abdominals are used to stabilize the body, arms and shoulders are used to turn the rope, and legs are used to jump.
- When you jump rope, it does not jolt on your joints as much as running does.
How To Jump Rope?
It can be quite humbling to jump rope if you have not used one since third grade. It builds coordination since it demands it. You should start by practising arm and foot movements separately.
- Develop a rhythm while holding both rope handles in each hand and swinging it.
- Next, practice jumping without using the rope.
- Finally, combine the two together and you will gradually get the hang of jumping continuously.
You can also alternate with lower intensity exercise like marching, and you will be able to continue jumping for much longer periods. Jumping continuously for 10 minutes is not recommended, if you’re a beginner. Instead, it should be incorporated into a varied exercise routine. For instance, rope-jumping intervals can be used, such as 50 to 200 repetitions, combined with an aerobic and strength training program.
For the highest intensity, you should jump every time the rope passes. If add an extra little jump by slowing the rope down, it will reduce the intensity. You should also be careful about your target heart-rate zone, the zone where the intensity of the exercise is actually beneficial rather than a hazard to your health.
Subtract your age from 220 to determine your maximal heart rate. 85% of that number will be your target zone’s higher end and 70% of that number will be your target zone’s lower end. So, if you are 30 years old, then your maximal heart rate will be 190, and your target zone will be between 133 and 161 beats per minute.
Other Jump Rope Benefits
Apart from being an excellent exercise in its own right, the skills involved in jumping rope tend to extend to most athletic endeavours. One of the key things that you may not realize is until you begin rope-jumping is that it builds body awareness. When you jump rope, you have to be aware of what you are doing with your body and it is an excellent skill to connect the neurons in the brain.
Hopefully you are now convinced to dust off your old skipping rope, or go buy one, and start jumping rope as a part of a varied exercise routine.
Marc Dressen, MSc
Personal Trainer in Londonwww.marcdressen.com
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There are plenty of articles that briefly touch on basic health & fitness benefits of jumping rope.
But if you read through this article, you will develop a greater knowledge and understanding on how to take advantage of the powerful benefits to achieve your personal goals.
To begin, here’s an overview of the more common health, fitness, and training benefits of jumping rope.
Let’s touch on them quickly:
Benefit 1 – Fast Fat Burning
We’ve covered jump rope fat loss in depth in other posts.
But it’s true. Science has shown it. We’ve seen it over and over again through the fitness fitness challenges and bootcamps we host inside our community.
The calorie-burning benefits of jumping rope are real. Research has shown that jumping rope can help you burn roughly 1,300 calories per hour.
“This aerobic exercise can achieve a “burn rate” of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump. Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.”
So yeah – if weight loss is on your check list, the jump rope can help.
Benefit 2 – Improved Mental Sharpness
How many training tools can you say make you smarter?
According the Jump Rope Institute, jump rope helps with the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain, which further enhances spacial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert.
As described in this article from BrainHQ, the best exercise for the brain involves a combination of timing, rhythm, coordination, and mental strategy.
Think about what happens when you’re jumping rope.
You’re combining timing and rhythm and you’re constantly having to make quick calculations to ensure your brain is recognizing the rope’s distance, speed, direction, and position relative to your body to ensure the rotations keep going.
This combination of physical and mental activity has a greater effect on cognitive function. If you like to be productive and efficient with your time, look no further than the jump rope.
BOOM. Enough said.
Benefit 3 – Great for Aerobic Exercise
Boxers and martial artists have long used the jump rope to build the aerobic capacity needed for long-lasting battles in the ring.
Many of the jumpers in our community have completely replaced running with jumping rope because it offers the same aerobic building benefits with less impact on the joints. (That’s not a typo. Jumping rope with proper technique IS lower impact than jogging and running)
You can dig into our thoughts on running vs jumping rope here.
Benefit 4 – It’s Fun
I’ve saved the best for last.
I personally don’t like running. I have a disdain for cardio machines because they bore the hell out of me.
The jump rope is different.
It’s fun to work with and develop new skills. It’s fun to be able to take it on the road and do your workouts anywhere. It’s fun to share with a partner (like this).
And we all know that one of the key elements of being consistent with your exercise and actually sticking to a training program is that you’re enjoying it.
Firas, one of our jump rope fitness community members, said:
“I’ve always hated the cardio warm-up part of working out whether it was on a treadmill or elliptical machine as they’re boring for me. What I love about the jump rope is that it’s challenging and forces me to be more mindful of what I’m doing. This way it’s both a warm-up for my body and my mind that helps me go into my workouts with more focus.”
Pretty good so far.
So we’ve covered the basic jump rope benefits that most people already know.
But that’s just the beginning. We wanted to dig deeper.
We wanted to get into the trenches and talk to actual jumpers to find out what benefits really matter to them. So we’ve polled nearly 6,000 jumpers in our jump rope community and asked them what jump rope benefits are most important to them.
Here were some of our favorite responses:
Pretty cool stuff, right?
Btw – don’t forget to join our community and share your thoughts as well.
Alright. We’re not finished yet. Let’s dig deeper.
The ‘regular’ jump rope has been around for a long time.
And apart from some slight improvements in design and material choice, very little has changed about it over the past century.
That is, until the introduction of heavy jump ropes.
We believe that heavy jump ropes are the best kept secret in fitness, with a list of benefits that continues to build on the already-mentioned ones.
We’ve talked about the advantage of weighted jump ropes in the past. But here are some of the key benefits of heavy jump rope training –
Heavy Benefit 1 – Almost Every Other Benefit is AMPLIFIED
Each of the jump rope benefits outlined above is amplified when you introduce heavy ropes.
The fat burning is more substantial because more muscle is engaged (see heavy benefit 3). The mental component is heightened because of the increased level of fatigue. The aerobic effects are greater, as are the new elements of strength and power. The versatility is heightened because now you have a variety of rope weights to work with.
And yeah – it’s way more fun.
Heavy Benefit 2 – Faster Learning
Learning how to jump rope can be frustrating if you’re using a ‘regular’ rope. That’s because there’s very little feel of the rope – there’s little feedback. And it makes it difficult to know when to time your jumps.
A (slightly) heavy rope – like our ½ Lb blue Energy rope – offers just enough feedback to help you get the feel you need for the rope.
That makes it much more effective for beginners.
Heavy Benefit 3 – More Muscle Engagement
With heavy jump ropes, more muscle groups are engaged on each and every rotation. And that adds up over time.
Check out the difference between the use of light and heavy ropes:
Finally, let’s bring it all together.
The real advantages and benefits of jumping rope come from being able to employ different light and heavy rope workout sets and doing so quickly and efficiently within a workout.
The lighter ropes can be used to improve endurance and conditioning. The heavy ropes maximize strength, muscle toning, and provide the highest calorie burn rates for fat loss.
And that’s what our focus was with creating the Crossrope Infinity Rope System – we wanted to create a jump rope system that delivered the ultimate jump rope experience; a jump rope system to produce all of the fitness results you want.
Our system allows you to quickly transition between ropes of different weights by clipping in different weights in and out of your handles, like this:
And the benefits of that are impressive. I’ve listed them as bonus benefits below –
Bonus Benefit 1 – More Engaging Workouts + Programming Advantages
Like any other tool, variety is the key to consistency.
Just like you wouldn’t train with only a single weight of dumbbells for the rest of your life, you shouldn’t do that with the jump rope either.
Having the ability to mix and match between different weights is what makes this tool so powerful.
Want to see?
Check out this workout we put together in our Beginner Workshop that’s built around two different ropes:
This interchangeability really comes in handy for programming.
We’ve found that jumping rope with different weights increases the rate at which beginners learn and experienced jumpers master new skills.
The ability to mix and match different ropes creates a more fun and progressive training experience which makes it more likely to stick to and enjoy.
Bonus Benefit 2 – Superior Design
We’ve talked about the importance of heavy rope design in the past.
There are three design principles that come into play: weight placement, rope design, and the ball bearing connection.
Of the three, the ball bearing connection is what makes the biggest difference as this is the part that makes or breaks the experience. And it’s what we spend the most time on developing.
A poor design in this area not only makes it frustrating to turn the rope, but it also encourages poor jumping form, places excessive strain on the wrists and shoulders, and increases the chance of injury.
Our focus on good ball bearing connection means that your heavy ropes spin smoothly, relieve strain on the wrists and shoulders, and enable faster rotation for your training.
Again, the full details of these design principles are covered here.
There you have it – all of the jump rope benefits that you’ll ever need to know. My goal was to show you the true value of jump rope training and I hope I’ve achieved that with this post.
If you’re not convinced that jumping rope can get you the fitness results that you want or if you’re not convinced that this tool belongs in your training arsenal in some capacity…
Then I think you need to scroll up and read it again. 🙂
Seriously. Don’t miss out on all of the amazing benefits of skipping rope that I’ve outlined for you. It’s easy to get started and worth the try.
Now you tell me – what is the one benefit that stands out most to YOU? Leave your response in the comments below.