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The jump rope is perhaps the undisputed king of home workouts. It is as affordable and versatile a piece of equipment as you can buy, and takes up absolutely no space in your garage.

However, it does nothing for you if it stays curled up in a box in the garage.

Go get a flashlight and scare away the black widows. It’s time to whip that thing from side to side and knock out some reps. Time to start getting down with the best jump rope exercises.

Then get some coffee. You’re already at home. 

Or you’re at the gym. Either way, get some coffee.

Jump Rope Workout for Beginners

This is a basic jump rope workout designed for beginners who are brand new to the world of cardio workouts. This is designed to help ease newcomers into the idea of working out without scaring them away or presenting a challenge that is seemingly “too hard.”

Ideally you will have a track to use, but a treadmill is also fine.

A Jump Rope workout for beginners

The Workout

  • Jump Rope 30 seconds
  • Walk ⅛ mile (200 meters, or half a lap on a track)
  • Jump Rope 30 seconds
  • Walk ⅛ mile (200 meters, or half a lap on a track)
  • Do this until you have walked an entire mile, or eight rounds

For new jumpers, this will help ingrain the idea of being in constant motion over the period of time of the workout while remaining as low impact as possible.

As your fitness level improves, you can make the following changes to continue with the workout:

  • Jump rope for up to 1 minute
  • Add a 10-second plank before walking
  • Increase to 2 miles of walking

Once you reach a fitness level where you are doing all of these, you can go back and use your original workout as a warm-up and progress to one of the jump rope workouts below.

Personal trainers can use a modified version of this to fool clients into keeping their heart rate up longer and doing more work.

The Personal Trainer Modification Workout

  • Have the client jump rope. Ask them about their date Friday night
  • When the client is breathing hard trying to talk, have them walk on a treadmill
  • Tell the client you were so focused on their form you didn’t catch that last bit
  • When the client can speak in complete sentences, go back to jumping rope

Jump Rope HIIT Workout

HIIT workouts need to be quick and brutal. Once you are comfortable with your footwork and coordination, you can start to use a speed jump rope or perform double unders as a kind of “sprint” within your interval training.

A beaded jump rope, or some other kind of weighted jump rope, can assist you in pushing into the high-intensity zones with skipping rope (it can be harder to keep the cadence with light, whippy ropes unless you are highly skilled). As always, finding the best jump rope for you is important (someone told me you can buy stuff from some place called Amazon… never heard of it).

This is a simple Tabata workout we repeat multiple times through. Tabata is an HIIT method that uses  20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds (4 minutes). This is absolute murder on an air bike, but just the perfect level of hard for jumping rope (not for beginners).

A HIIT jump rope workout

The Workout

  • Jump 20 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Repeat for 8 rounds
  • After 8 rounds rest 1 minute
  • Repeat 4 times (24 minutes total)

Jump Rope Full-Body Workout

Adding a jump rope to a bodyweight circuit is a great way to work some strength training and blood flow into your workout routine.

This can be done on days off from heavy weight lifting to help recovery, or as a stand alone workout to help with weight loss.

A full body jump rope workout

The Workout

  • Jump rope for 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Bear crawl for 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Jump rope for 30 seconds
  • Rest for 30 seconds
  • Lunge walk for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 4 more times

If you are more confident and want to tear up your glutes and quads a little bit more, you can use the jump rope as a period of “rest” like in the workout below.

A full body jump rope workout

The Workout

  • Push-ups for 30 seconds
  • Jump rope for 30 seconds
  • Free squats for 30 seconds
  • Jump rope for 30 seconds
  • Sit-ups for 30 seconds
  • Jump rope for 30 seconds
  • Alternating reverse lunges for 30 seconds
  • Jump rope for 30 seconds
  • Repeat ad nauseum (literally, until you get nauseous and puke)

Benefits of Jumping Rope

There are a number of reasons that jumping rope can be beneficial.

Ease of Use

The real benefits of jumping rope lie in its portability and modularity. Not only can you jump rope just about anywhere, you can also tweak the workout to provide a steady state burn, an intense HIIT blast, or a means of intra-workout active recovery.

Jumping rope makes an amazing warm-up as well as being used as a stand alone workout. Because it is a full body movement with a repeated (albeit small) explosive element, it can prime your body for heavy weight lifting or intense athletic movements.

Hans Pirman, personal trainer and owner of Global Strongman Gym in Brooklyn, uses jump ropes with his strongman athletes as well as with gen pop. 

“We get strong guys coming in here, but they’re slow. We use the jump rope, along with some short sprints, to work on foot speed.”

Hans has a saying he loves. “Speed kills.”

Hans also uses the jump rope with his “regular” personal training clients. “I like that I don’t have to spend 30 minutes teaching them how to do it. I can have them jump rope for 5-6 minutes and they get a little out of breath and we’re ready to move on to some work.”

RELATED: Benefits of Jumping Rope

Caloric Burn

If you’re looking to get a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak, jump roping burns calories incredibly efficiently. According to a study done by Harvard Health, jumping rope will burn two to three times the calories when compared to walking or running. 

RELATED: Jumping Rope Vs Running


Finally, jump ropes are dirt cheap (compared to something like a barbell or rowing machine). A simple scroll through Amazon shows hundreds of jump ropes available, all of them below $20.

Jump Rope Workout FAQs

How long should I jump rope for a good workout?

This is totally up to your fitness level and goals. A certified personal trainer (CPT) can help you decipher all this so you don’t waste time mindlessly doing stuff in the gym (or not doing stuff!).

If you are a professional boxer, your jump rope workout will be a wee bit different than someone working 80 hours a week in an office who just bought a crossrope to get healthier. Fitness is task specific; therefore the nature of, and length of, your cardio exercise needs to reflect the task it is intended for.

What is jump rope exercise good for?

The integration of the upper body and lower body provides an avenue for increased athleticism, as well as being an extremely time efficient method of burning calories.

Is 10 minutes of jump rope enough?

Skipping rope for 10 minutes a day sure promotes positive health, bone density, and confidence way more than 0 minutes a day. Didn’t even need a CSCS to know that.

If you only have the time or energy for 10 minutes of jump rope at a time, why not try to get in three sessions a day? Try getting in 10 minutes when you have your morning coffee, a quick 10 minutes at the start of your lunch break, and 10 minutes in the parking lot before you drive home?

We all fool ourselves into thinking we don’t have enough time in our day. Doing little micro workouts throughout the day fools you into thinking you have more time.

Is jump rope good belly fat?

The calories burned through movement don’t draw resources for any specific place in human anatomy. You can dope your body into using fat as a fuel source through a combination of exercise and a caloric deficit, but you can’t tell it from whence the fat should be drawn.

As you lose weight your body shape will change, and your belly fat will change with it. Read that again. There is nothing special about belly fat other than some people find it unsightly. It will go away congruently with the rest of the body’s fat as you get leaner.

But yes, a jump rope is a marvelously efficient tool for weight loss.

Further reading

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