Jumping rope is often overlooked, but the reality is that it can be a fabulous weight loss aid. It is very inexpensive, it’s compact, it has the benefit of being useful in a small area, and it can be a lot of fun.

Jumping rope gives you the cardiovascular benefits of running without the impact. And, on a per-minute comparison, jumping rope has one of the highest calorie burn rates among the usual choices. For example, a moderate jogging pace for a 150-pound person will burn about 11.3 calories per minute, whereas a moderate jump rope pace will burn about 13 calories per minute for that same individual.

Plus, taking a jump rope with you on a trip can give you a powerful fitness option when running isn’t a possibility.

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To take the plunge into the world of jump rope workouts, first select an appropriate rope

I suggest getting one made of thin nylon, as it will be easiest to handle. These are often called speed ropes. You don’t need to spend much on a rope. Second, make sure the rope is the correct length for you. Hold the handles of the rope in each hand, then step on the center of the rope with one foot. Make the rope taut; the handles should come to your armpits.

Prepare yourself mentally: in my gym, most new clients haven’t jump ropeed for decades. Expect to trip sometimes. Everyone trips! Be patient; you’ll get your form back quickly. Don’t be discouraged if it’s a bit tricky at first. If you need to, you can start by practicing your jumps while spinning the rope beside you in one hand. Remember that the rope can be a fast track to losing weight!

Proper rope jumping requires you to maintain a rigid body. The prime movers will be your wrists and forearms to turn the rope and your ankles and calves to lightly jump. Stabilize your core and shoulders, and keep your knees slightly bent. Keep your arms close to your body and your hands at waist height and slightly in front of you. Look forward, not down at the rope. You will develop coordination, so don’t try to visually cue yourself. Don’t overthink it! Oh, I almost forgot: go to the bathroom before you start!

Now, you’re ready to go! Clients almost always start off wanting to double jump with each turn of the rope. To really burn those calories, you need to jump faster, more often. Every jump you make should be accompanied by a turn of the rope. This will get you into the 120-180 revolutions per minute that will burn that fat!

jump rope workout

Here are a few jump rope workout variations

Your status The workout Benefits
The beginner 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for a total of 20 minutes using the basic two-foot bounce. Introduction to jumping rope, building cardiovascular ability and coordination
The endurance athlete Cycle through 2 minutes basic bounce, 1 minute side-to-side hops, 1 minute high knees; try for 5 rounds. Aim for about 120-140 rpm. Weight loss, cardiovascular endurance
The power athlete 60 seconds on, 60 seconds off for 20 total minutes. Aim for max jumps per minute and try to stay over 160 rpm each round. Our gym record is 205 revolutions in one minute, by the way. Anaerobic power, increase in VO2 max
The weight loss seeker 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. You can even do it while watching TV, if you like. I suggest mixing your basic bounce, your side-to-side hops, and single-leg hops. Enhanced weight loss, cardiovascular endurance

 

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