When you were a little girl toting around a jump rope, you didn’t worry about whether you were burning calories or toning muscles. But that’s all changed now that you’re a woman. You’ve got a ton of things on your mind and developing a killer set of abs is one of them. It's a good thing you can kill two birds with one stone. If you want to pick up the rope again, you’ll be delighted to know that you can work your abs at the same time. All it takes is a little strategy.
Jumping rope is one of the most demanding cardio exercises for your abs. It engages every part of your body from top to bottom and forces your core to keep it all moving together. Without tightening and stabilizing your core muscles, you won’t be able to complete the motion -- at least not for long -- which is what makes it a powerful workout for your abs. Your abdominal muscles are activated and worked by providing stability and also helping supply the power to maneuver the rope.
Another way jumping rope works your abs is by blasting calories and removing fat from your body so you can see the muscles underneath. According to Harvard Health, a 125-pound person can burn 300 calories in 30 minutes while jumping rope. When combined with a healthy diet, cardio workouts like that can help you trim away fat faster than doing one without the other. And with jumping rope’s ability to torch calories at such a rapid rate, you’ll be sure to whittle your middle if you stick with it.
Beyond simply moving the rope up and around your body, you can get ab-specific by doing a few strategic moves. Instead of jumping as usual, perform high knees as you rotate the rope. As the rope is moving, do a forward crunch toward your knee on every other revolution. After completing one set, switch it up by crunching to the other leg for the next. Doing this will add core work to your calorie-blasting cardio.
Rope Ab Exercises
If you’ve finished your cardio and want to get in some more ab work, don’t put your rope away. It can actually enhance your regular ab routine and help you add some extra challenge and creativity. Try placing the rope on the floor in front of you and lining up your hands along the edge for a set of mountain climbers. Stand up, double the rope and place it in your hands. Extend your arms over your head and do side bends to work the obliques. With your arms still extended, lower the rope to chest-level and do forward crunches with alternating knee lifts.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.