Tone Your Body
With Jump Rope Exercise



Jump rope exercise is both challenging and rewarding.

Find tips on buying a jump rope and creating great jump rope workouts.

Skipping is a great way to burn fat, and doesn't require much equipment.

With a little practice, really get stuck into a huge variety of jump rope exercises.

You can start skipping from any fitness level.

Similar to mini trampoline exercises, you'll improve your strength and aerobic fitness with rope jumping.

Before you get going, don't be disheartened by a slow start. Many people try to do too much from the beginning. Like most skills, it's not as easy as it looks!

Rope jumping is a skill that can be learnt by anyone. Just like any other sport, if you learn the basics first, you can build from there. As long as you keep this in mind, you won't get to the point of exploding.

That's the challenging part. The reward is, you'll quickly tone your body (if you also have a balanced diet).



Buying A Jump Rope

There are several different types of jump rope:

  • Speed Ropes.. Lightweight for fast turn speed, made from plastic. The best to start with skipping. You can easily adjust the length for your height.
  • Beaded Ropes.. Plastic beads surround a plastic rope. For more advanced rope jumpers, as they are better suited for rope skills. Length is harder to adjust, and they are slightly heavier than speed ropes.
  • Leather Ropes.. Famously used by boxers, who are at a peak physical condition. I don't recommend regular use with them for beginners or general fitness rope jumpers. They're more expensive and take a long time to form proper shape.
  • Weighted Ropes.. These either have weighted handles or ropes. They come in various weights. They're a good option to mix things up, once you've mastered the basic jump rope exercises.


  • Rope Size

    Your jump rope size does matter! Too short is worse than too long. When too long, tie some knots to adjust the length. But when too short, there's not much you can do, other than buy a longer skipping rope.

    What's the right length? Stand on the middle of the jump rope with one foot, hold each handle straight up. The handles should come up to your chest. Below your breast bone is too short, above your collar bone is too long.

    Double check the length during a jump. The rope should brush the floor under your feet.



    Jump Rope Exercises

    Getting started with jump rope exercise is probably the hardest part. You're learning a new skill, so go at your own pace.

    Get into the right habits from the start. Here is the correct technique to position yourself for every jump rope exercise:

  • Jump and land on the balls of your feet. Heels should barely skim the ground. Jump on a surface with some give (i.e. wooden floor, grass - not concrete).
  • Bend your knees slightly on each landing. Never lock your knees during a jump. Only jump high enough to clear the rope.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides, and hands at hip level. Turn the rope with your wrists moving in small circles.
  • Keep your body straight, without leaning forward. Don't tense at your shoulders. The more relaxed your upper body is, the more rhythm and flow you'll get.
  • Look straight ahead, not down. You'll stay better balanced by keeping your head level.
  • Practice this positioning in front of a mirror without the rope. In fact, it's good to do a "dry-run" for each exercise. That's where you practice the subtle movements without the rope, to get the "feel".

    Here are some basic jump rope exercises to get started:
    As always, remember your warm up and cool down.

  • Basic Single and Double Jumps.. Swing the rope forwards and jump with both feet together. Single jumps are where you jump once per rope swing. Double jumps include 2 jumps per rope swing (1 balancing jump + 1 rope jump). Get used to single jumps to advance to harder exercises. You can vary this by swinging the rope backwards.
  • Jumping Jacks.. Swing the rope forwards, jump and land with feet shoulder width apart (i.e. bottom half of a jumping jack). On the next swing, jump and land with feet back together. Continue this jumping jack movement.
  • Slaloms.. Swing the rope forwards, jump and land with feet together, slightly to the right. On the next swing, jump and land with feet together, slightly to the left. Continue this slalom movement. You can vary this slightly, by swinging your hips to each side, so your knees will end up pointing to the sides with every jump (feet stay central).
  • Scissor Legs.. Swing the rope forwards, jump and land with your right foot forward, and your left foot back. On the next swing, jump and land with left foot forward and right foot back. Continue this scissor movement.
  • Hops.. Swing the rope forwards, jump and land on your right foot (left foot in the air). Do this for 2 swings and then land on your left foot (right foot in the air), for 2 swings. Continue this hopping cycle.
  • High Knee Jogging.. Start with normal jump rope jogging. Swing the rope forwards, jump and land on your right foot. On the next swing, jump and land on your left foot. Continue this jogging on the spot movement.

    Once you're comfortable with that, move on to high knee jogging. It's basically the same movement cycle. But with each jump, drive alternating knees high towards your waist.

  • Connecting Exercises.. These will form a vital part of your jump rope workout (see below). They are any exercise that doesn't involve jumping through the rope. Use them to connect other exercises, or to "rest" from skipping whilst keeping your workout going.

    For example, you can swing the rope to one side, with both handles in one hand. Walk on the spot or kick your legs forward, whilst doing this.

  • Freestyle Moves.. As you get more comfortable with your jump rope, you can start to experiment more. Think outside the box. Include some dance moves, spins and turns, for example. If you do any other movement and rhythm orientated activities, include those movements too. There's no right or wrong freestyle moves, just make sure you have enough space!




  • Jump Rope Workouts

    Once you've practised each exercise on it's own, combine them and create fast, efficient and enjoyable workouts.

    What's the best way to create jump rope workouts?

    Think of jump rope exercise as interval training. It's the best way to get going, and keep going. That's where your connecting exercises come in.

    Start with workouts of 20-30 seconds jump rope exercises, followed by 15 seconds connecting exercises (rest). Continue that for 4 minutes (with extra 1 minute warm up and 1 minute cool down).

    As you getter fitter and more skilled, reduce rest time. You may get to the stage where the connecting exercises are exactly that, a connection from one move to another (without any rest).

    At that point it becomes more aerobic than interval training. It's up to you whatever direction you want to go.

    You could increase intensity with each interval and keep some rest time. Or you could create jump rope routines, with exercises connecting on to other exercises, more like a dance routine.

    It all depends on what you enjoy and what your goals are. The interval style workouts are better for burning fat quickly.

    If your goal is to burn fat, then intervals go great with circuits. Include some skipping in a circuit of, for example, exercise ball and body weight exercises.

    Say you're on each circuit station for 1 minute. Your skipping minute could be 4 x 10 seconds of different jump rope exercises, with 5 seconds of connecting exercises in-between.



    Final Word

    I'm not too sure why jump rope exercise doesn't get the attention it deserves. It's so cheap to get started, and is a great workout.

    It should be up there with the popular exercise balls and rebounders. Let's start the mainstream skipping craze!

    Seriously though, give jump rope exercise a go, at the very least. Challenge yourself and reap the rewards.

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