Convenient, portable, and effective, jumping rope is a must.
Many of us associate jumping rope with boxers, those quick workouts where it looks like they can go forever. Or our minds jump to the playground as little kids killing time during recess. But what is unknown about this once fun game is that is an excellent source of exercise and can really increase your overall goals and athletic performance.
As a great way to burn calories and aid in weight loss, jumping rope can support your mission of sculpting your body into that perfect physique and work on building muscles in a fun and different way. As an affordable and convenient tool to aid in all of your workout needs, a jump rope is a must have in your home gym or gym bag.
Check out this great jump rope set from QuickFit here.
While running is a great cardio partner for bodybuilding, jumping rope provides an alternative that is easy on your knees to reduce inflammation and injury since each jump is absorbed by both legs. Since the movement requires your upper body as well, it is great for strengthening your arms and shoulders. As a solid exercise for aerobic work and coordination building, jumping rope is a popular exercise for individuals of all athletic activity.
Great For Weight Loss
As a cardiovascular exercise intended for longer duration, it allows you to burn more calories and aid in weight loss. With constant movement and calorie burn, your metabolism will kick into gear and that unwanted fat will start to melt away. Jumping rope is also a great exercise for high-intensity interval training which will recruit more muscle activation and allow for a more efficient calorie burn (1).
Enhance Aerobic Capacity and Athleticism
By working for a longer session, your heart rate will increase thus building up a great aerobic base (2). Increased cardio overtime will allow you to work harder and smarter and your endurance will greatly improve. As a solid tool for athletic performance, it will promote power and quickness and it is no wonder by athletes, and especially boxers, love using the jump rope as an exercise tool.
Jumping rope is a full body workout so while it works to target your lower body through repeated jumping, your upper body, in particular your arms and shoulders, will get a great workout with the repeated motion of the rope. As a great form of strength endurance (3), you will feel this exercise all over from your calves and hamstrings, to your pecs and delt, as well as your lats, biceps, and abs.
Jumping rope is great for coordination because even if you don’t consciously recognize it, your brain always knows what your feet are doing to get over the rope. The repeated motion of the rope traveling around your body forces your brain to think of the exact timing to jump, requiring your whole body to be in-sync to sustain the movement for a longer period of time (4).
Assist Posture And Avoid Injury
This exercise assists posture by forcing you stay upright with your shoulder blades to align your body in efforts to keep you taller. A slouching posture will not allow for full efficiency of this workout and good form is crucial to execute for sustained duration. As an easy alternative on the knees to running, jumping rope is perfect for those just coming back from injury or for those who want to protect their knees from unwanted pain and stress.
While other forms of cardio are great and should be included in your workouts, like biking and running, jumping rope provides for a fun alternative to these. With different styles and variations, it allows you to challenge yourself in a different way and still enjoy the process of staying fit.
There are many techniques and variations to use to change up your jumping rope workouts and these are just a few to get you started.
Perfect for beginners, the basic jump is your standard idea of jumping rope. With both feet slightly apart, jump at the same time with both feet over the rope. This should be a staple to master before moving on to other variations.
Alternate Foot Jump
This is slightly more challenging than the basic jump and requires a different level of coordination since you alternate your feet on the ground. It is effective because you will not only double the amount of skips but will challenge your brain to work harder to keep the movement going.
The criss-cross approach is a fun variation and is an easy way to show off your jump rope skills. Although it requires some patience to get right, it will really work to target your upper body more efficiently than some others. Similar to the basic jump in movement, the only difference is to cross your hands to the opposite sides of your body while jumping.
The skier jump is a challenging alternative in that you perform a traditional movement around your body, however, you jump side to side while maintaining good form at the same speed. The lateral jumping motion works muscle you otherwise don’t use.
Jumping rope is a great way to challenge yourself while also having fun doing it. Cardio can grow to be monotonous and boring at times, but with the right approach, it can make your weight loss and strength building goals more enjoyable. The benefits of jumping rope are amazing for your overall health and will aid in weight loss, improve coordination, promote strength and athleticism, and help you avoid injury. With these variations above, you can really work to challenge yourself and have fun doing so. As an affordable and convenient exercise tool, a jump rope is something to definitely have for whatever your workouts may bring.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Sung, Ki-Dong; Pekas, Elizabeth J.; Scott, Steven D.; Son, Won-Mok; Park, Song-Young (2019). “The effects of a 12-week jump rope exercise program on abdominal adiposity, vasoactive substances, inflammation, and vascular function in adolescent girls with prehypertension”. (source)
- Chen, Chao-Chien; Lin, Shih-Yen (2011). “The impact of rope jumping exercise on physical fitness of visually impaired students”. (source)
- Ozer, D.; Duzgun, I.; Baltaci, G.; Karacan, S.; Colakoglu, F. (2011). “The effects of rope or weighted rope jump training on strength, coordination and proprioception in adolescent female volleyball players”. (source)
- Trecroci, Athos; Cavaggioni, Luca; Caccia, Riccardo; Alberti, Giampietro (2015). “Jump Rope Training: Balance and Motor Coordination in Preadolescent Soccer Player”. (source)