When deciding between jump rope and spin classes, examine how each exercise fits into your lifestyle, current fitness level and fitness goals. Both burn more calories per hour than aerobics or martial arts, making them excellent choices for losing weight. Jumping rope may require more coordination, however, than spinning on a stationary bike.
For a 155-pound person, jumping rope can burn 744 calories per hour. Spin classes vary in intensity -- at a moderate pace, the stationary bike can burn 520 calories per hour, while at a vigorous pace it can burn upwards of 782 calories in an hour for a 155-pound person. You must jump rope continuously for an hour to burn that number of calories.
Jump rope and spin classes are both aerobic exercises that work your cardiovascular system. By raising your heart rate during exercise, you can help increase your overall heart health. Participating in either activity strengthens your heart and can lower your risk of heart attack. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, reports MayoClinic.com. Both spin classes and jumping rope, when done correctly, can count as vigorous exercise, of which the MayoClinic.com reports on getting at least 75 minutes per week.
Jumping rope can be hard on your joints because it is a high-impact exercise. To minimize the pressure on your joints, jump on soft surfaces like a sprung gym floor or grass instead of concrete. If you do notice pain in your ankles or knees while jumping, do not push off the floor as high -- when boxers jump rope they jump only as high as they need to clear the rope while still getting an aerobic workout. It doesn't matter how high you jump, but how fast you go. Spinning is generally easier on the joints as you aren't repeatedly leaving the ground. Some gyms, however, take spin classes into the pool to further lessen stress on the joints.
Jumping rope requires high ceilings and open space -- it is best as an outdoor activity. If you have the space at home or in your backyard, you can jump rope at your convenience. Jump ropes are portable -- you can throw one in your suitcase on your vacation. But spin classes require the heavy, stationary bikes. For a spin class, you have to make it to your local gym at a specific time. Classes are generally offered in the mornings and evenings -- some gyms even offer lunch-break classes. Spin classes are usually an hour long, whereas you can jump rope for as long or short a time as you want. Ten-minute increments of aerobic activity still count toward your overall weekly total of exercise.
- Harvard Health Publication: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- MayoClinic.com: Fitness: Aerobic Exercise
- United States Tennis Association: Jumping Rope
- American Council on Exercise: Jumping Rope: Not Just for Kids Anymore
- CBCNews: Spin Class Takes a Dip to Ease Impact on Joints
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images