Fitness Articles

Jumping Rope for Fitness

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

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Your Height Rope Length
Under 5' 7'
5' to 5' 5" 8'
5' 6" to 6' 9'
Over 6' 10'

Now that you’ve got the perfect rope, it’s a good idea to spend a couple weeks perfecting your jumping technique—the basic bounce step. Remember that jumping rope is a skilled movement—it takes both coordination and timing to rope with each jump. Keep these pointers in mind:
  1. Hold handles with a firm grip, elbows close to sides.
  2. Make small circles with wrists while turning the rope.
  3. Keep torso relaxed, head lifted, and gaze ahead for balance.
  4. Jump only high enough to clear the rope, with light ankle-knee motion.
  5. During jumping, the rope should skim the surface lightly and your feet should not kick back behind you.
  6. Always land softly on the balls of your feet.
  7. Never sacrifice good jumping form for speed!
Introductory Jump Rope Program
Now that you’ve mastered technique, this three-week program will help you build endurance. Always warm up before you start jumping, either by marching or jogging in place, for about five minutes. Finish each workout with a 5-minute cool down, and be sure to stretch the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and shoulders.

Week 1: Practice the basic bounce step, using an interval (work-rest) training method. Try to jump and rest at a 1:2 ratio (rest twice as long as you jump, such as 15 seconds jumping and 30 seconds resting). Depending on how quickly you pick it up and how conditioned you are, start with around five to 25 consecutive jumps each work period. Then stop, rest, and start jumping again for a total of about three to five minutes. Aim for three practice sessions each week.

Week 2: As you gain confidence and ability, try to increase the number of consecutive jumps you can do before resting. Use the same interval training method, but this time at a 1:1 ratio (your rest time to be equal to your jump time, such as one minute jumping and one minute resting). Repeat your intervals for a total of five to six minutes. Aim for four sessions each week. By the end of week two, you should be able to jump for two to three minutes non-stop.
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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

  • I have not jumped rope since I was a girl. ROFL. not trying to die now. But I may consider a mini trampoline soon..we shall see. I loved jumping rope as a girl...brings back fun memories - 12/19/2014 12:42:50 PM
  • I read this article a week ago & decided I wanted to try jumping rope again, haven't done it for probably 30 years! I found a NordicTrack Deluxe Speed rope for $6.99 at Sears tonight. Lets see how the next 3 weeks go! - 10/24/2014 9:29:52 PM
  • 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
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