Fitness Articles

Jumping Rope for Fitness

Change Your Body on the Cheap with This 3-Week Plan!

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I believe that most people would say jumping rope is for play, not for exercise. After all, you jumped rope as a kid on the playground and you probably forgot about it entirely after fourth grade. And it certainly isn’t touted as a benefit of joining the newest fitness center. “Join our facility! We have an excellent variety of jump ropes!” I doubt you hear that. Even if it isn’t very common as a workout tool, jumping rope fits right in with other forms of aerobic exercise (running, swimming, cycling, etc.). And as a matter of fact, it may be one of the best forms of cardio exercise out there.

For years, top athletes have been using the rope to condition for their sports. Boxers probably come to mind. But with other well-known jumpers like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball), Arnold Schwarzenegger (bodybuilding), Jerry Rice (football), or Michael Chang (tennis) joining in, jumping rope is certainly not for “girly men!”

So is jumping rope for you? Here are several reasons why you might want to give it a try:
  • It’s inexpensive. You probably have a jump rope somewhere in your house already. Otherwise, most ropes cost less than $10, while higher-quality ropes are around $20 and top-of-the-line models (made with the best materials) will set you back just $25.
  • You can do it practically anywhere. A jumping surface like hardwood, rubberized flooring, or very thin carpet is preferred, but any hard surface works fine. Outside, inside, at the gym—anything goes.
  • It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. It is estimated that 10 minutes of jumping rope (at 120 turns per minute) has the same benefit as jogging for 30 minutes. Those are great numbers for people short on time.
  • It’s compact. A jump rope makes a great addition (or start) to your home gym. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of equipment that takes up a lot of space. A jump rope can fit nicely in a drawer—just don’t forget it’s there!
  • You’ll notice improvements. Jumping rope helps build agility, speed, balance, and coordination, while improving your overall fitness level.
  • You can do it with your family. Because jumping rope is a fun activity that almost anyone can do, it’s also an easy way to get your whole family exercising with you. Try making a game out of it. How many jumps can you do in a minute? How many jumps can you do without stopping or messing up? What kind of cool tricks can you do while keeping the rope turning?
Before you get started, first make sure you have the right sized rope for you. When you step in the center of the rope, the handles should just reach your armpits. This chart will help you find the correct length rope for your height.
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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

Member Comments

  • AZRIDERS
    I tried it, but too hard on my knees. - 8/5/2014 2:15:15 PM
  • I have bought several different jump ropes but none seem to be quite right so I followed the other piece of advice that I found on Sparkpeople...I jump without a rope making the same circular motion with my hands. May not be exactly the same but it works for me for now. - 6/21/2014 11:22:06 PM
  • Back in my martial arts days we did a lot of jumping rope as a timing drill. I found my rope about a week ago and well it's not quite like riding a bike in that I didn't go right to all my little tricks, but it was kind of fun and I'm determined to get back my swerve. - 4/5/2014 8:56:27 AM
  • I am going to try it, although I have always avoided exercises that involved much jumping. I wonder how many girls were laughed at because of bouncing 'boobs'. Guys have it so easy. - 4/5/2014 7:20:25 AM
  • EMERALDISLES
    There's a way of making jumping rope low impact, if you only hop an inch or two off the ground and turn the rope fast. If you've ever seen boxer's jump, you'll notice they don't go high, they keep their feet low to the ground and use good form. - 12/15/2013 5:46:43 PM
  • Reading this article has inspired me to buy a jump rope - I shall have to use it outside though, as I'm scared about getting it caught on the light fittings in the ceilings around my house.
    Luckily I have plenty of space outside so no excuses! - 12/10/2013 11:23:01 PM
  • Bought jump rope. Started to use it. Was hard. Stopped using it. Got sparked. After living The Spark Life for almost a year jumped again. First attempt, jumped 125 consecutive jumps without missing a step. Amazing. True. Jaw-dropping experience. Testament to The Spark Life. - 11/1/2013 12:34:37 PM
  • PEACENCARROTS
    I would love to try a jump rope routine along with kickboxing. Sounds fun! - 9/19/2013 11:01:09 AM
  • I really wish I could jump rope but I'm not able to do any impact activities due to a knee injury. - 6/23/2013 1:57:09 PM
  • I've tried it before and it is HARD! I am thinking about incorporating it back into my routine but I know that I need to build up to it, so I was glad to see this article. - 6/23/2013 12:03:35 PM
  • ANIMATOR606432
    I LOVE jumping rope as a part of my work out. It's fun and it burns a lot of calories in very little time. Also, it's the perfect exercise equipment to take for somebody who is on the rode lot. - 6/23/2013 8:07:03 AM
  • I have a jump rope. But I have used it over a year because of my hip. But I am going to get on my car porch tomorrow and see what I do. I love jump rope. When I was a kid I was the #1. - 5/17/2013 8:51:31 AM
  • Okay, as a kid I always had the hardest time skipping rope, I don't know if I get the concept of how/when your hands move the rope and when to jump. I think I would jsut once and then forget to keep the rope moving! But for a cheap rope, I will try again.... Another one that was just too crazy for me was the cartwheel.... WHAAT how do you do that? I just can't see how that works!? haha

    Any tips for a first timer? I'm only 24... I should know how to jump rope! I'd love to add it in on my off days for an extra little something! - 5/5/2013 4:26:36 AM
  • STRIPERGIRL
    Does Nicole have a video you can buy of her 10 minute jump rope? - 1/10/2013 3:20:40 PM
  • STRIPERGIRL
    If you can't last the 10 minutes, can you add up your revolutions? - 1/10/2013 3:03:38 PM
Popular Calories Burned Searches: Step Aerobics (high impact)  |  Step Aerobics (low impact)  |  Aerobics: General: High Impact (including P90X and Insanity)

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