If you’re craving an anywhere cardio workout that torches calories, builds muscle, and improves coordination, then it’s time you get acquainted with jumping rope. Now, you may associate this toy with recess and childhood fun, but you can actually get an intense workout with this simple (and affordable!) accessory. After all, there’s a reason celebs like Jennifer Garner and Carrie Underwood swear by it.
“Jumping rope is an easily accessible, effective, total-body workout that builds cardiovascular fitness, rhythm, and coordination,” says Lany Herman, CSCS, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and master coach at Title Boxing Club. It’s a great training option that builds skill, stamina, and endurance, while simultaneously working your mind-body connection since it also requires agility and balance, she says.
Not to mention, jumping rope works your lower body including your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes, while also targeting your back, core, and forearms, says Herman. Plus, it’s great for improving your footwork to enhance your overall athletic performance.
Most importantly, jumping rope is accessible and totally beginner-friendly. It may take some practice to build endurance, but be patient with the process, says Herman. “It takes time to build jump rope stamina, and I recommend jumping rope at least three times a week if you would like to see improvements,” she explains.
Quick safety note: Jumping rope can add stress on your joints, research has found. If you have previous or existing knee and/or ankle injuries, check in with your doctor or a physical therapist before getting started.
Ready to jump on it? Get started with a jump rope workout for beginners programmed by Herman, plus everything you need to know about jump rope benefits, proper form, and how to include it in your current fitness routine.
How To Jump Rope With Perfect Form
- Stand on the middle of your jump rope with your feet together, and stretch the jump rope up the sides of your body. The ends of the rope (excluding the handles) should reach your armpit. (Adjust longer or shorter if they don’t.)
- Hold the handles in each hand, with the rope behind your ankles on the floor.
- Stabilize your shoulders by activating through your mid-back and maintain a neutral spine with your core engaged. Keep your head up and avoid looking at the ground.
- Rotate your wrists forward so the rope clears over your head in front of you. Your wrists should be around waist height with your elbows slightly bent while the rope is swinging.
- Jump one to two inches straight up in the air from the balls of your feet so the rope can clear underneath you and land softly back on both feet. Keep your toes pointed down to the floor with every jump. That’s 1 rep.
Pro tip: If you haven’t grabbed a rope since your recess days, Herman recommends practicing in front of a