Try a Jump Rope Workout to Crush Your Weight Loss Goals

best jump rope workouts
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Spring is in full swing, and these few months of blooming flowers and warmer weather mark a critical moment in the annual fitness calendar. It’s a time to both reassess your New Year’s Resolutions from way back in January, and an opportunity to start building that coveted beach body, whatever that means to you.

If your idea of a summer body includes sculpted abs and a trim waistline, you’re going to want to focus on workouts that burn calories and obliterate fat. Traditional cardio exercises such as running, walking and swimming all offer excellent ways to shed pounds. But they’re not for everyone. If you’re craving something a little different, we recommend jump rope workouts, which make it easy to ramp up your heart rate and burn calories with one simple fitness tool that fits in your pocket.

But what separates a jump rope workout from the simple jump rope games you played on the elementary school playground? Think of it in terms of circuit training. The best jump rope workout will incorporate multiple techniques of jumping rope that each test your body in different ways. Whether you’re tackling a standard jump rope in place, hopping side to side or experimenting with single-leg iterations, any jump rope workout will effectively target multiple muscle groups while helping you work toward your weight loss goals.

Read on for some of our favorite jump rope benefits, jump rope workouts and the best jump ropes for tackling them.

  

Jump Rope Benefits

There’s a solid list of jump rope benefits, aside from (in our humble opinion) one of its greatest perks — fun. Yes, channeling your inner playground child to jump rope is an absolute blast, particularly compared to the often monotonous experience of running on a treadmill for 30 minutes. From a health and fitness standpoint, the benefits of jumping rope include:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Muscle strength
  • Balance and agility
  • Bone strength

Plenty of research has have demonstrated the benefits of jumping rope. One 2017 study tested the effects of jumping rope vs. stationary cycling in overweight adults. Both pulmonary function and Body Mass Index improved significantly in the jump rope group. Another study conducted just last year on an Olympic synchronized swimming team proved that jumping rope can help build increased bone density and reduce the risk of bone damage.

While the jump rope might seem simple and rudimentary in nature, it’s clearly an effective training tool for not only burning calories but also a host of other physical health benefits.

  

Jump Rope Workout for Beginners

Any jump rope workout starts with a good rope. Make sure your jump rope is the right length — too long and all that extra rope will lag and bunch up on the ground. Too short and you’ll be tripping over the rope, or needing to jump way too high to clear it. When it comes to weight, a regular jump rope will be easier to maneuver and learn on. Weighted jump ropes, on the other hand, add resistance and force your body to work a bit harder to whip it around. If that sounds like your cup of tea, we have an entire list of the best weighted jump ropes.

If you haven’t jumped rope since the playground days — or simply need a refresher — here are a few to get you started:

  • Jump on your toes, not your heels. This is a more athletic position that will make the movement easier.
  • Keep the rope close to your body. This creates a more efficient motion and prevents your arms from tiring out.
  • Flick the rope with your wrists, not your arms. Once again, this is the best way to create an efficient path for the rope.

Now, onto the workout.

For a beginner jump rope workout, we suggest pairing some basic jump rope techniques with other simple bodyweight exercises. This offers the benefits of a circuit training-style jump rope workout without asking too much of your jump rope skills, which do take time to develop and perfect.

Beginner Jump Rope Workout:

  1. 30 seconds of jump rope
  2. 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  3. 30 seconds of jump rope
  4. 10 lunges
  5. 30 seconds of jump rope
  6. 10 push-ups

A full-body workout like this will blend cardio and strength training to ramp up your heart rate and really feel the burn. It’s a great way to incorporate the jump rope without relying too much on advanced jump rope skills.

  

The Best Jump Rope Workout

If you’re a seasoned jump roper looking for something a bit more difficult, no need to reinvent the wheel. You can continue to use the circuit training approach from the beginner jump rope workout. But instead of dropping the jump rope and hitting some air squats, experiment with different jump rope techniques. There are a number of different tricks and iterations you can choose from, but here are a handful of our favorites.

  1. One-footed jump ropes — bounce on only one foot. This is pretty tough but will do wonders to ensure both of your legs reap the benefits of jumping rope.
  2. Side jumps — instead of just jumping up and down, bounce both feet to the right and left of your body, like you are skiing down a mountain.
  3. High knees — as if high knees weren’t tough enough, try tackling them while whipping a jump rope under your body.
  4. Double-unders — jump high enough so you can let the rope pass underneath you twice on each jump. It’ll take some practice!

Now, for a more advanced workout, you can incorporate all of your favorite tricks. We’ve built two circuits that make use of these different jump rope styles. Feel free to adjust as you see fit.

Circuit 1 — 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout

  1. Basic jump rope (45 seconds)
  2. Left foot jump rope (15 seconds)
  3. Right foot jump rope (15 seconds)
  4. Sidestep jump rope (30 seconds)
  5. Double-unders (15 seconds)

Repeat five times without rest for a total of 10 minutes.

Circuit 2 — High-Intensity Jump Rope Workout

  1. Basic jump rope (60 seconds)
  2. 30 air squats
  3. High knees jump rope (60 seconds)
  4. 10 burpees
  5. Freestyle jump rope (30 seconds)

This might look simple on paper, but just wait until you get to the eighth and ninth burpee. Your body will be spent. Repeat the circuit three to five times, and mix and match with your favorite jump rope tricks.

  

The Best Jump Ropes To Buy

  

1. DEGOL Jump Rope

BEST OVERALL

Yes, there are all kinds of high-tech jump ropes that count your reps, sync with your phone and cost a pretty penny. And there is nothing wrong with those jump ropes. But the whole essence of jumping rope is the primal, minimalist approach to exercise that makes it such a refreshing way to burn calories. With an easily adjustable length, comfortable memory foam handles and a price tag under $10, this jump rope from Amazon is as simple as it gets, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

DEGOL Skipping Rope Image courtesy of Amazon
  

2. Wastou Jump Rope with Calorie Counter

BEST BELLS & WHISTLES

On the other end of the simplicity spectrum we have this jump rope, which leans into its technological features for great results. The built-in jump rope counter will display your rotations and time on a tiny screen, and after inputting your weight, will also calculate your calories burned. It also has a sound effect that rings when you reach a pre-set goal. You can even swap the rope for two ball attachments to enter cordless mode, a feature that somewhat limits the results of jump rope’s agility-based benefits, but represents another cool innovation on a piece of equipment that clearly prides itself on that.

Watsou weighted jump rope Courtesy of Amazon
  

3. RENPHO Smart Jump Rope

BEST INTEGRATION

Rounding out our short list of the best jump ropes is another high-tech option. This one comes from RENPHO, a company already known for its smart fitness products like its bathroom scale. Its jump rope syncs with the company’s fitness app and analyzes various metrics throughout your jump rope workout. It sports three modes — free jump, time countdown and numbers countdown — to serve as your mini personal trainer. For only $20, it’s a pretty cool jump rope if tracking your progress is a priority.

RENPHO smart jump rope Courtesy of Amazon
  

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