Jumping rope may seem like an activity solely for children but you might be surprised to find that it's actually a very respectable and effective cardio workout. Boxers, MMA fighters, and many other professional athletes use jump rope training as part of their regular routines. If you want a good cardiovascular workout at home but don’t want to spend a few thousand dollars on a piece of bulky equipment, try spending $8 to $10 on one of these easily stored cardio tools.
In as little as 10 minutes you can burn from 110 to 200 calories depending on the intensity and style of jumping. Compare that to walking or jogging and the benefits become even more evident; walking at 3.5 miles per hour only burns around 60 calories in 10 minutes and you would have to run at 5.5 mph to burn 110 calories in 10 minutes and at 8.5 mph to burn 200 calories in the same amount of time (all numbers are based on a 180 lb or 82 Kg person).
Jumping rope training burns a high number of calories for two reasons. First, this type of workout uses the large muscles of the legs and forces them to move constantly in order to keep your rhythm. Secondly, it incorporates your upper body, which very few types of cardio do. This can easily be considered the cheapest form of all cardio workouts, as all you need is the rope; you don’t even need shoes!
Are you getting excited yet? You should be. Routines using this simple piece of equipment can be performed anywhere you have a smooth, even surface. It is ideal for use at home, at your local gym, or even while on vacation at a hotel. Jump roping workouts are easily the most versatile form of cardio you will ever come across.
What does it do?
In addition to the high number of calories burned jumping rope, this workout is also a great total body toning exercise. It hits almost every muscle in the body in some way, but it’s main target is your calves, quadriceps (top of thigh), glutes (butt), bicep (front of upper arm), triceps (back of upper arm), forearms, deltoids, and core (abdominals, lower back, and obliques). Depending on the style/technique you are using while jumping, you can target even more areas, such as your chest, upper back, and hip flexors. Similar to other types of cardio, jumping rope workouts also give you an extended metabolism boost, allowing you to burn calories at an elevated rate for an hour or two after you’ve finished your routine.
How do you integrate Jump Rope Cardio into your Routine?
Integrating jumping rope workouts into your own exercise regimen could not be more simple. You can use it as a stand-alone cardio routine or as a component of a strength or toning routine.
The demand on aerobic fitness and necessary coordination can prove to be challenging for some, so start out small and work your way up in terms of time and intensity. Start with the “running in place” or “two foot hop” technique, and once you have those down and your endurance built up, you can start adding in techniques such as crisscross, high knees, heel toe taps, and double under. Below is a good 10-minute jump rope routine to work up to and use as a stand-alone cardio routine or a warm up for a strength or toning routine.
10 Minute Jump Rope Routine
30 sec - Rope Swing (warm up)
60 sec - Running in place (while jumping rope)
60 sec - Two Foot Hop
10-30 sec - Rope Swing (rest)
120 sec - Running in place
30 sec - High Knee, Left Leg
30 sec - High Knee, Right Leg
60 sec - High Knee, Alternating (two on each side)
10-30 sec - Rope Swing (rest)
30 sec - Running in Place
30 sec - Crisscross (arms crossing over in front of body)
20 sec - Double Under (2 rounds of the rope underfoot per jump)
40 sec - Running in Place
20 sec - Double Under
40 sec - Jump Rope, Running in Place
Each section of this workout becomes more difficult, so just repeat the sections that you can do if the others are too challenging, while working on building your skill with the technique that you are having trouble with. Jump rope workouts can get boring if you only use one or two different styles, especially as you increase your overall time, so be sure to learn as many different techniques as you can to keep it more interesting.