What allows you to work out at home, with equipment that costs next to nothing, and has calorie burning power that exceeds that of running? Jumping rope may be an old-school favorite, but makes an awesome choice if you want to get fit and lose weight. Jumping rope is a cardiovascular exercise that burns a ton of calories, up to 1000 calories per hour (!), and it works the arms, legs and core, as well as strengthening your bones and improving your balance. Is there no end to the benefits of jumping rope?
If you’re a beginner use a comfortably heavy PVC rope. Being heavier, the rope means you’ll jump more slowly. As you improve, use a lighter rope, which will let you jump faster, increasing intensity and requiring greater skill.
Below you’ll descriptions of the various jumps and an intense 15 minute jump rope workout.
This is a basic jump. Simply jump over the rope and land on both feet. You only need to jump high enough to clear the rope.
Hold the handles of the rope together. Swing the rope to your right, tuning it twice in circular motion. At the same time step to the right and tap your left toes to your right heel. Repeat on the other side.
This jump requires you to simulate running, by alternating your feet when you jump. Run in place while jumping over the rope using one foot at a time.
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and hold the handles of the rope together with both hands in front of body. Now trace an imaginary horizontal figure of eight (infinity sign ¥) in front of you: moving from left shoulder to right hip and then from right shoulder to left hip. At the same time, transfer your weight from your left to your right foot and back.
This is an advanced jump and requires that you jump high enough and swing the rope fast enough, to pass the rope twice under your feet before you hit the floor. If you find this jump too challenging, do single jumps, until you are able to do double jumps.
Imagine you’re slalom skiing (in place – with a rope!). As you jump over the rope, you want to alternate between landing left and right. Jump about 6 inches to the left on one jump and 6 inches to the right on the next jump, and continue to alternate. Keep your feet together as you jump and land on both feet.
Jumping Jack Jump
This is another jump where you alternate your position. On the first jump land with your feet wide apart and your next jump land with your feet together, and continue.
This is a combination of the running jump and single jumps. For 10 turns of the rope do the running jump and for 10 turns of the rope do single jumps.
Again, you’re alternating your position. With your feet together jump forward about 6 inches, on the next jump, jump back about 6 inches. Continue to alternate jumping forward and back.
This jump is a variation of the running jump. With each turn of the rope you alternate between landing on the right and the left foot. However, instead of running “normally” bring your knees up high to a 90-degree angle.