Jumping rope isn't only a fun activity that kids do, it's also a great form of cardio that can boost your health in several ways and build your endurance, and agility, and improve coordination! Plus, a 10-minute jump rope session can burn just as many calories as 30 minutes of jogging!
Jump rope is a great fat-burning cardio workout, and the best thing is that you can do it anywhere and any person at any fitness level can do it! So, if you want to start jump roping to lose weight, keep on reading to learn more about its benefits and effective tips on how to get started...
Benefits of jumping rope
The first and main benefit of jumping rope is that it can help you achieve weight loss. This full-body workout involves jumping with your legs, swinging the rope with your arms, and stabilizing yourself with your torso during the constant movement. It helps get your heart rate up and helps you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time - even more than with running! Skipping rope for just 15 minutes at a moderate to high intensity can burn up to 200 calories, and you don’t even need to leave your house to do this.
Weight loss may be the biggest jumping rope benefit and the one that makes people want to buy a jump rope, but besides helping you burn fat, these are other big health benefits that come with this head-to-toe calorie burner:
- Improves bone and heart health
- It’s accessible and convenient
- Improves balance, coordination, and rhythm
- Offers a lot of variations
- Improves your lung capacity
- Helps you maintain and build strength and muscle
Tips on how to start jump roping
Jumping rope is quite easy, but if you want to get started doing it for weight loss, here are a few tips you should follow...
Work your way up
Jumping rope can be a complicated exercise if you’ve never done it before. It requires full-body coordination and good rhythm to be able to swing the rope at a constant pace, so don’t give up if you don’t get it on the first time! It can be frustrating, but the benefits are worth it, so take it one step at a time and start by jumping slowly. Focus on getting the rope around your body and timing your jumps so that you don’t trip, and you’ll get the hang of it eventually.
Don't get discouraged by other people being able to jump rope for an extended period of time – start at your own pace. You can start by jumping for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 more seconds before you start jumping again so that you get used to the movement and intensity of the exercise. With time, you’ll be confident enough to jump for one minute non-stop, then two, then five, and so on.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you should be able to enjoy your workout, so don’t push yourself too hard at first - or ever really! Go at your own pace and keep going until you break a good sweat so that you can enjoy it while still benefiting from it, making it sustainable for you.
Pick a good rope
With jump roping, you only need one piece of essential equipment: a good jump rope. While it’s true that you can use any rope to do your workouts, because the important part is the actual jumping, picking a good rope can help you get used to the jumping and swinging movement, as well as get closer to your weight loss goals.
The first thing to consider is the rope length. You don’t want a short rope to brush your hair when passing through, or sweep the floor because it’s too long. A good rule of thumb is choosing a rope that’s 3 feet taller than you. If you already have a jump rope, you can measure how good the length it is by holding the rope by the handles, stepping on it, and pulling it taut - if the ends reach your armpits, you’re good to go! And don’t forget to wear an appropriate pair of shoes when working out since you’ll be putting a lot of stress on your legs and feet. Try to wear supportive cross-training shoes with enough cushioning to make the jumping motion easier on you.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to use a regular jump rope or a weighted one. A weighted jump rope creates more resistance when swinging it, they typically only weigh an extra pound or two – but that extra pound makes a huge difference! This will help you burn even more calories, but also work your upper body at the same time. Even beginners can use them! But we suggest starting with a regular jump rope to get adjusted to the movement first.
Master good form first
Whether you’re a complete beginner to jump roping or you’ve already skipped before if you’re ready to get serious with it as a fat-burning workout you need to master good form so you can reap all the benefits of this highly effective exercise.
Jumping rope is a little bit more than just grabbing a rope and jumping over it, you need to be able to keep your form throughout the whole range of movement to do it properly. Practice good form by keeping a close eye on how you position your body while jumping rope - this is better if you have a mirror!
Here are a few pointers to guarantee that you’re jumping correctly:
- Make sure that you’re rotating the rope with your wrists, instead of using your elbows or shoulders, and keep both hands at the same distance from your body so that the movement is symmetrical.
- Your spine should be straight while you keep your shoulders back and your chest and head up, looking forward at all times.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet close together and pointed slightly down on each jump, and make sure to bounce off the balls of your feet to make the landing easier on your joints.
- Don’t jump too high! Try to make the space between you and the floor small enough for the rope to pass through without tripping on it. Ideally, the jump distance should be around 1-2 inches off the floor.
Include it in your HIIT workout
You can take your jump roping to the next level by adding it to a HIIT workout! Adding it to a HIIT workout in combination with other exercises will help make jump roping more fun since you won't be simply jumping rope for an extended period of time.
A great HIIT workout could consist of jump roping, burpees, squats, and jumping jacks… Or a completely different set of exercises, with less or more! Or you can also just opt for a HIIT jump roping workout to keep things simple! It's up to you and what you like, the key is alternating in short intervals between working time and resting time. And if you want to create a HIIT workout with just jump roping, there are a few variations that you can try in each circuit so you can benefit from jump roping in a variety of ways and make your workouts more engaging. So let’s talk a little bit more about this...
Try different variations
One of the best things about jumping rope is that you can do it in several different ways. This is great because, of course, if a workout feels boring or you’re not enjoying it, you probably won’t want to keep going! Variations are a way to keep things fun and keep monotony away from your workouts, and jump roping offers a lot that you can try, either in the same workout or alternated on different days.
These variations can range from beginner to advanced, so you can choose the ones that fit your current fitness level and jump roping skills better, and keep changing them as you make progress so that you never reach the point of boredom. Here are a few of the most popular jump roping variations:
- Backward hop: Instead of swinging the rope from back to front, do it in reverse to challenge your coordination.
- Double hop: Jump when the rope passes your feet, and once again when the rope goes over your head. This requires more speed and rhythm.
- Double under: Instead of jumping twice on one rope turn, you’ll jump once while turning the rope twice under your feet before you touch the floor again.
- Crossover: On each jump, alternate between crossing and uncrossing your arms, challenging your balance.
- Alternating feet: Jump with your right foot once, then switch to your left foot, and keep alternating on each hop as if you were jogging in place.
- High-knee: This movement is the same as the previous variation, but this time your knees will go higher, further challenging your legs.
- Slalom: On each jump, hop from side to side, making it harder to keep your balance.
These are only a few variations, but there are countless more that you can try to change up your jump rope workouts a little bit for a more sustainable weight loss journey.
Make your cardio workouts fun with jump roping
Jump roping is a fun way to get cardio in your routine, and it'll help you achieve pretty much any fitness goal - from endurance and muscle-building to weight loss! Just remember to always listen to your body and go at your own pace so that you’re able to benefit from jump rope exercises without getting tired of them too quickly, keeping all these tips in mind so that your fitness journey can go as smoothly as possible! And if you’re serious about losing weight and want to take it to the next level, make sure that you combine cardio with weightlifting to maximize fat loss!