These Jump Rope Benefits Are Sure To Put A Skip In Your Step

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Sweat

February 15, 2022

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For many of us, the last time we used a skipping rope was when we were back at school (does anybody else remember Jump Rope For Heart?), but there are so many benefits to including jump rope into your workout routine, no matter your age. 

Get ready to dust off that rope and start jumping!

It’s great for any age or stage

Whether you’ve never set foot in a gym or have a regular workout schedule, using a jump rope is an awesome way to incorporate more exercise into your life. Jump rope can be a vigorous training style in itself, a fun move to add to your circuit training or a quick and effective way to warm up before your workout. 

If you’re feeling confident, you can start with regular jumps, or you can reduce the difficulty by slowing the pace or by simply stepping over the rope until you feel comfortable with the movements.

It’s affordable and portable

Adding a jump rope to your home gym equipment collection won’t set you back too much and unlike some of the larger equipment out there (we’re definitely not taking a heavy barbell to the park!), it’s easy to take it anywhere. 

This makes it a perfect option to help you stay active if you’re travelling for work or a holiday, or if you’re changing up your routine by exercising in a new location.

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It’s a cardio and strength workout combined 

From the moment you start jumping, you’ll begin to feel your heart rate and breathing increase as well as your muscles working. How can it be such a great workout when it’s so simple? Anyone who has tried jump rope will know - the burn is real!

Jumping works your calves, quads, hamstrings and core, as well as the supporting muscles in your feet and ankles, while rotating the rope adds a workout for your biceps, forearms and shoulders. 

It’s a great cardio workout and can be beneficial for both your heart and lung health, as well as a way to improve your VO2 max - a measure of how efficiently your body takes up oxygen during exercise.

A 2017 study by the Department of Physical Therapy at Korea Nazarene University found jump rope exercise significantly enhanced lung function and increased oxygen consumption in the body by strengthening the respiratory system. 

Jumping rope regularly can also improve other elements of your athletic performance, such as coordination, agility, explosive power and speed. All of these will have an impact on other Sweat programs or on-demand workouts you are doing, the sports you play and being fit and active in your daily life.

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It can help to boost bone density 

Although jump rope may not be suitable for those with joint or bone density issues (we recommend checking with your doctor before starting any new form of exercise), it can help to boost bone strength. 

A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion had 60 women aged 25 to 50 years take up jump rope activities to assess the impact on bone mineral density. The study found that after 16 weeks of high-impact jump training, hip bone mineral density can be significantly improved.

If high-impact exercise isn’t for you, no worries - there are many other low-impact ways to work out!

It’s fun and easy to add variety

New to jump rope? It might take you a bit of practice to get your rhythm and coordination if you’re a beginner, but you’ll quickly see improvement and there are so many ways to keep your workout fresh and challenging. 

For a high-intensity workout you can push yourself by increasing the speed of your jumps and rope rotations, by trying new variations like double unders (swinging the rope under your feet twice with every jump), or attempting new jumping styles such as hopping from foot to foot or doing a boxer’s shuffle. 

Want to use your rope to keep moving on an active recovery day? Simply slow your pace or take more rest breaks.

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Ready to jump to it? Try these tips

Before you start, it pays to make sure your rope is the right size for you. Place a foot in the middle of the rope, then pull the handles up to your chest. If they reach around armpit height, you’re good to go. If they’re much shorter or longer, you might want to try a different size. 

Find an open space with enough room for the rope to do a full rotation without hitting anything - check in front, behind and above you. 

Jump rope is a high-impact exercise, so wear good quality shoes to support your feet and ankles. You can further reduce the impact on your joints by jumping on a mat or wooden surface instead of concrete. 

Stand with a straight posture, your shoulders back and down, and your eyes looking straight ahead. Engage your core by thinking about drawing your belly button towards your spine, and hold the rope with your upper arms close to your ribs so your wrists do most of the work. 

Finally, rotate the rope and jump only as high as you need to clear it. This will allow you to jump for longer and increase your speed too. Keep a soft bend in your knees and land softly on the balls of your feet. Voila!

Ready to challenge yourself?

If you’re looking to take your jump rope skills to the next level, try these fun variations:

  • Single bounce: The rope goes under your feet each time you jump

  • Double unders: The rope goes under your feet twice each time you jump 

  • Boxer shuffle: Bounce your body from side to side as you rotate the rope 

  • Staggers: Scissor your feet back and forth as you rotate the rope

  • Jacks: Jack your feet in and out like a star jump as you rotate the rope 

  • Run: Hop from foot to foot in a jog or high knee run, with the rope passing under your feet with each step 

  • Use a weighted rope for more of a challenge

Work out anywhere, anytime with Sweat

Ready for your first workout?

Practice (and patience) makes perfect! 

No matter how experienced you are with a jump rope or how fit you may be, there are always going to be times where you lose your rhythm or step on the rope - that’s ok! It takes time to build coordination, timing and get comfortable with any new movement. Laugh it off and give it another go - you’ll be surprised at how quickly you improve.

Do you have any jump rope tips of your own? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

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