As soon as you start jumping rope, your heart rate elevates. This activity involves multiple joints and taxes both your aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms. If you jump rope for 10 minutes at 120 rpm, the workout equates to cycling two miles in six minutes, playing two sets of tennis, or running a 12-minute mile, according to Buddy Lee’s book “Jump Rope Training.” If you’re just starting out, gradually boost the intensity level of rope jumping until you reach the point at which you just catch your breath and need to rest to recover.
Imitate a jump rope workout for the first few days. Use an invisible rope to practice rotating your wrists and coordinate arm movements with jumps.
Advance to jumping lightly with two feet for 10 to 20 seconds at a time. Swing the rope forward. Use your wrists and forearms to turn the rope, keeping your shoulders still. Allow your heels to absorb the impact of the jumps. Keep your knees slightly bent.
Jump for no more than two to three minutes per day when learning how to jump rope, according to Gary Null’s book “Get Healthy Now!: A Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment, and Healthy Living.”
Try swinging the rope backward after you’re grown comfortable with the forward swing. Build coordination and endurance while alternating between forward and backward swings.
Aim to complete four to eight sets, in which one set consists of 30 reps with a forward swing and 30 reps with a backward swing.
A Cardiovascular Workout
To sustain a 10- to 20-minute jump rope session, weave together different types of jumps in the same way that a dancer choreographs a routine to keep the movement flowing sequentially. For example, begin by hopping on two feet, shift to one-footed hops, progress next to a run with the rope and then perform jumping jacks jumping, which is a combination of jumping jacks and jumping rope. Repeat the sequence as well as reversing it.
Warm up with light jumping for five to 10 minutes to slowly raise your heart rate. Perform sprint intervals spanning 20 to 60 seconds each, jumping at maximum speed. Use different types of jumps during the sprints, such as a run or a two-footed jump. Aim for maximal effort to push your metabolism into overdrive.
Use resting moves when you need to catch your breath and temporarily lower the intensity of the workout. For example, continue jumping at a gentle pace, but swing the rope to the side of your body or simply hold the rope while jumping.
- RopeSport: The Ultimate Jump Rope Workout; Martin Winkler
- New Wellness Encyclopedia; University of California, Berkeley
- Jump Rope Training, 2nd Edition; Buddy Lee
- Ultimate Jump Rope Workouts: Kick-Ass Programs to Strengthen Muscles, Get…; Brett Stewart, et al.
- Get Healthy Now!: A Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment, and Healthy Living; Gary Null
- Fitness Instructor Training Guide; Cheryl L. Hyde
- Perform a warm-up and cool-down after every workout. Focus on raising and lowering your heart rate gradually to begin and end a session, respectively.
- If you jump with incorrect form, you risk doing injury to your lower back and legs. Avoid jumping rope every day, allowing your muscles to recover between workout sessions.
Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.