If you want a workout that delivers cardiovascular benefits, strength benefits, and the nostalgia of being a kid again look no further than a jump rope!

Studies have shown that jumping rope burns about 720 calories in an hour (based on about 120 to 140 turns per minute and varies with intensity, type of rope, height and weight) and provides improvement in strength, agility, coordination and endurance.

The question most people ponder when deciding if they should invest time jumping rope is the whether or not it will deliver results. Most want to know if jumping rope is as challenging and/or better than running.

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The answer is simply…yes!

Jumping rope works most of the muscles in your body. Your arms, shoulders, core, and legs are engaged when jumping rope which provides a more efficient workout than jogging on a treadmill. When given the option of jumping rope vs. running, I prefer the rope!

Although the muscles in your calves are exerting most of the energy, your quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles are also working. Regularly jumping rope will increase leg and knee strength, jumping ability and running speed.

Now that we have established the lower body muscle recruitment and benefits of jumping rope, let’s discuss the upper body involvement. As you jump and keep balance, you are using your chest, back and core muscles.

As you are turning the rope, you are utilizing your forearms, triceps, biceps, and shoulders. Using a weighted rope is a great way to increase the upper body recruitment and energy you exert while jumping.

skipping rope vs running_02

When it comes to weight loss, it is important to burn more calories than you take in.

This is where jumping rope can be a great benefit. There really is no way around that equation. Because you are working so many muscles simultaneously in the body, the calorie burn during rope jumping is high.

There is one downside to jumping rope and that is the joint pain associated with jumping on hard surfaces. Joints in the knees, hips, and ankles can become achy.

In order to counteract this, you can do the following:

1. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
2. Wear shoes with good shock absorption
3. Use arch supports if needed – a doctor can advise on this
4. Jump on soft surfaces such as grassy areas, running tracks, and wood floors when possible
5. Cross-train with low-impact cardio choices such as walking, swimming, and elliptical

If, after reading this article you are still conflicted about jumping rope vs. running, I will leave you with this last bit of information.

According to Jump Rope Institute…

This was founded by former Olympian Buddy Lee, it has said, “Research has shown jumping rope for a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness and when you build to ten minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 RPMs it can provide the same benefits as the following”:

30 minutes of jogging
2 sets of tennis singles
30 minutes of racquet and handball playing
720 yards of swimming
18 holes of golf

Give jumping rope a try and decide for yourself!

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