Jump rope workouts could easily be the most cost-effective, flexible (you can do them ANYWHERE) and amazingly simple conditioning regiments that you can add to your daily workout routine. What most of us consider a childhood activity, skipping can quite easily push you past where your current cardio routines take you, and leave you with a pool of sweat on the gym floor. There is a reason why jumping rope is such an integral part of a boxer’s conditioning, and it’s not because it is easy to do. Boxers have to undergo an insane amount of conditioning training prior to a fight, because those rounds in the ring are absolutely gruelling and will push even the most in-shape boxers to their limits.
Anyone Can Afford It
A basic skipping rope is probably going to cost you less than $5, easily making it the cheapest piece of workout equipment you can purchase. There are more costly options available as well, made of different lightweight materials and custom handles, but that’s not something you need to worry about when just getting started. Jump rope workouts should be both fun and challenging at the same time, and as convenient as walking out your door into the back yard and getting started!
Length Is Important
All of us are different heights and have unique bodies, therefore it’s important that you choose the right length skipping rope. Most are around 9′ long, which is suitable for someone under 6′, but for someone taller that 6′ (like my husband who is 6’5″), then a 10 foot rope is better suited. A quick way of determining if a rope is the right length, is to stand on the middle of it with both feet together, and pull the handles up towards your armpits. If the ends of the handles comfortably reach your armpits, then you have the right length rope. If needed, most ropes will allow you to trip some length off to ensure you are skipping with the proper length rope.
Perfecting the art of skipping can take some time, what’s great is that you are getting an amazing workout in while you practice! Adding speed and fancy footwork will come over time, to begin you want to start out with some basic skipping techniques, one of which is the “Running On The Spot” technique or the simple “2 Foot Jump”.
Running On The Spot – It’s as easy as it sounds, simply pump your knees as high as you can while running on the spot and rotating the rope once per step.
2 Foot Jump – This is the classic 2 feet together jump per one rope rotation, or adding an additional small bounce between jumps. You did it as a kid, surely you can do it now!
Double-Unders – Rotating the rope twice under one jump. This can be very challenging for some beginners, because it requires coordination and quick hands. See how many you can do in a row!
Criss-Cross – On the downward swing of the rope, cross your arms at the elbows and jump through the loop you created. Un-cross your arms while bringing the rope back to the top of the swing. This too will take some time to master, but is a fun way of switching things up while you are skipping.
Sample Jump Rope Workouts
Intervals – Going as hard as you can for a set amount of time, with a rest period between. As your conditioning and technique get better, extend your skipping time and reduce your rest periods. I guarantee there will be a puddle of sweat on the gym floor.
- Skip 30 seconds – rest 10 seconds (repeat 5 times)
- Skip 1 minute – rest 30 seconds (repeat 5 times)
- Double-Unders 30 seconds – rest 20 seconds (repeat 5 times)
Multi-Exercise Routine – Use jump rope workouts as the cardio blast between other exercises that you are doing that day to keep your heart rate up and help burn more calories.
- 20 Double-Unders
- 15 Pushups
- 10 Air Squats
- 5 Pullups
- repeat 3 times
- 1 minute jump rope (as fast as you can)
- 20 Air squats
- 30 Mountain Climbers
- 20 Box Jumps
- repeat 4 times
Be sure to track your progress and celebrate the new levels of cardio fitness that you achieve!