Jumping rope is a great cardiovascular exercise. It’s one of the foundations of a boxer’s conditioning program, and you’ve got to be in shape to box. The tennis champ Jimmy Connors used to skip rope as part of his conditioning routine.

History of the Jump Rope

There are a lot of theories regarding the history and origins of jumping rope. One such theory holds that the Egyptians used to play a game where they’d cut a vine and jump over it. Others believe that jumping rope can be traced to festivals in ancient China. While I was traveling in The Netherlands a little over a year ago and shopping in a store that specialized in antique etched tiles, I came across a tile dating back to the late 1600s that had a picture of a little boy jumping rope on it! Since the early 1900s we know that boxers have used jumping rope as an important part of their training routines. About the same time, little kids began jumping rope on local school playgrounds. There are scenes of famous actors including Charlie Chaplin and Shirley Temple jumping rope in movies that were made well over 50 years ago. So one thing we can say with certainty is that jumping rope has been part of our popular culture for many years.

Wear supportive cross-trainers, tennis or basketball shoes while skipping rope. Running shoes won’t give you enough forefoot support and are not intended for bouncing on the balls of your feet. Avoid jumping on concrete, floors laid over concrete, and other hard surfaces like tile. If you don’t have a springy wooden or carpeted floor, place a thin exercise mat on whatever surface you do have and jump on that.

Try this routine, used in boxing classes:

  • Skip rope for three minutes. (A round in boxing is three minutes long.)
  • Take a minute off, and do as many crunches as you can.
  • Skip rope for another three minutes.
  • During the next minute between rounds, do as many push-ups as you can.
  • Back to skipping for three minutes

You can alternate rounds of skipping with crunches and push-ups until you’ve completed 30 minutes or more of exercise. After the second or third round of skipping, your heart rate wonít drop that much during the crunches and push-ups.

You might not be able to do more than a few intervals of push-ups. Use any exercise you want during the minute between rounds. Try doing squats and lunges (with or without weights) to give your larger leg muscles added work. Do upper-body exercises with dumbbells during that minute.One more thing: Skipping rope emphasizes your calves, so be diligent about stretching them.

Boxers use jump roping as a staple in their conditioning program. And for good reason: it works all major muscle groups. Besides burning up to 1000 calories per hour, it provides cardiovascular and endurance benefits. Jumping rope improves coordination, agility, quickness and footwork. It is one of the least expensive pieces of workout equipment available and is portable. The jump rope workout can be done inside or outside and is fun.

Getting Started in Jumping Rope

Mastering the skill of jumping rope is necessary before thinking of it as a conditioning tool. A beginner can start with short jump rope sessions several times each week. These can either be done alternating one foot at a time, like running in place, or using the two-footed jump. Someone who is not physically fit or used to jumping rope should walk briskly to warm up and jump rope for 20-30 second intervals. The jump rope workout would look like this:

  • Walk briskly for 2 minutes
  • Jump rope 20-30 seconds
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times
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This brief workout should be done 3 times each week, adding 10-15 seconds of jumping each week, with the goal of building up to jumping rope for 3 minutes. The workout would then look like this:

  • Jump rope for 3 minutes
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times

Basic Interval Jump Rope Workout

After mastering the skill of jumping rope and building up to continuous jumping for 3 minutes, a basic interval workout would alternate between fast jumping and slow jumping:

  • Jump rope fast for one minute
  • Jump rope slowly for 20-60 seconds
  • Repeat 6 times

Jump rope is an amazing exercise equipment. It’s portable and inexpensive, hence, you can just buy one for yourself and start your exercise session. What’s more, you can regularly perform jump rope exercises and maintain a healthy body weight. These are one of the effective cardiovascular exercises, that help you loose weight and tone all the major muscles of upper and lower body. It works your chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, calves, hamstring and glutes. Apart from these benefits, the primary advantage of jump rope exercises is that you can perform them anywhere, at home, in the gym or in the parks. So, no excuses! Well, let us now move on to know about the basic jump rope exercises that you can perform daily and improve your fitness.

Basic Jump Rope Workouts

Before you start the exercises using a jump rope, first you need to get the right piece for yourself. Here’s how to find the right jump rope. Stand on center of the rope, grasp the handles and pull them to your chest. Now the top of the handles must be about six inches below your collar bone. Remember, that it must not reach the collar bone or be just up to your upper abs. A bit longer will do, but using a shorter might make you fall. So, now you have a perfect jump rope. Just put on a good pair of cross training shoes and start the workout with this amazing exercise equipment.

Basic Jump Rope
To start with the basic jump rope workout, keep your feet together and elbows close to your sides. Hold the rope and jump 1 to 2 inches off floor. Swing rope over your head in forward motion and slip it under feet as you jump. Make sure that just the balls of your feet touch the floor. Your wrist and forearms should move, shoulders should not. Continue for a minute. Rest for a minute and again repeat. Repeat this basic jump five times. Go on increasing the duration of jumping and reducing the duration of intervals after every week.

Reverse Basic Jump Rope
This is similar to the basic jump rope, just the direction in which you swing the rope differs. Hold the rope and start jumping as you would in regular jump rope session, feet together, elbows at sides. This time swing the rope over your head in backwards motion. So, instead of bringing it in front of you, take it back from over your head and let it slip under your feet as you jump. Continue for a minute and rest for a few seconds. Again repeat for a minute. Perform 5 such repetitions. Increase the speed and duration of exercise as you get comfortable.

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Alternate Foot Jump
This is one of the easiest jump rope exercises. Here you need to skip with alternate feet off floor. The rope will slip under one leg and then raise the next leg, it’s like jogging on a place and swinging the rope at the same time. The benefit of this exercise is that you perform double the number of skips in a particular amount of time, as compared to that in basic jump rope. Learn various jump rope tricks.

Running Jump Rope
Running jump rope is similar to alternate jump rope, but you don’t have to be on the same place. Here you have to run forward while you jump on the rope. Some also enjoy running backwards and performing this exercise, it’s fun! You need more space to perform this fat burning exercise

Here are the top five reasons to jump Rope

1: Through Jump Rope Exercises You Can Burn up to 1000 Calories an Hour

Because you’re utilizing all the major muscle groups of your entire body, both upper and lower, you will burn an incredible amount of fat during your RopeSport workout – up to 1000 calories an hour! That’s more calories than virtually any other exercise in existence and something that makes RopeSport truly unique. Even a 15 – 20 minute workout will burn lots of fat and help improve your overall fitness level.  

2: Jump Rope Will Tone Your Entire Body

Jumping rope is a fantastic exercise for shaping all the major muscle groups of the lower and upper body. Beginning with the lower body, jumping rope will do wonders for your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes (i.e. your butt). What you may not realize, however, is how the constant turning motion of the rope will also shape and tone the entire upper body including your chest, back, deltoids (shoulders), forearms, biceps and triceps. 

3: Using a Jump Rope is Easy to Learn

Throughout the years that I’ve taught thousands of people to jump rope correctly, probably the single most frequent objection I’ve heard is that “it’s just too hard” or “you have to be in great shape” to jump rope. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, through the use of an innovative teaching technique based on what I call “Resting Moves” and “the 3 Step Breakdown,” virtually anyone can become a proficient jumper in only a few workouts. I’ve taught students from 7 to 70 years old, from weekend warriors to professional athletes. The constant emphasis on “go at your own pace” with specific and easy to follow techniques for modifying your workout allows beginning jumpers, as well as people who might not be in the best of shape, to have a successful and beneficial experience almost immediately. And because you’ll “get it” right from the start you’ll have a lot of motivation to stick with the RopeSport program. Time and again I’ve seen people who had some doubt about their own ability become great jumpers in a matter of a few weeks. As an instructor nothing could be more rewarding and it’s one of the main reasons I still love teaching after all these years.

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 4: Jump Ropes Will Make You a Better Athlete. Jump Ropes are Key to Success!

Professional boxers, arguably the most well-conditioned athletes in the world, have used jump ropes as an indispensable part of their training routines for many years. Elite athletes from a variety of sports including tennis, basketball, golf, volleyball, skiing, football, etc… credit at least part of their success to jumping on a regular basis. The primary reason for this is that jump ropes will lead to improvements in agility, hand/eye/foot coordination, explosiveness, vertical jumping ability, hand and foot speed, fluidity of movement and timing. These skills are essential to maximize performance in almost any sport you can think of. “You’ll float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

 5: A Jump Rope is Extremely Portable and Inexpensive

All you need to begin your RopeSport workout is a jump rope and a 4 x 6 foot area to jump in. A room in the house, a gym, a backyard and a park are all ideal for your RopeSport workout. And jump rope is perfect for traveling – just throw a rope in your suitcase and you’ve got the greatest portable workout in existence.

You can start your RopeSport workout with just one inexpensive item – a jump rope. In comparison to other popular fitness items flooding the market – many of which are, in my opinion, nothing more than expensive gimmicks – jumping rope is extremely affordable, no matter what your budget. That’s also one of the main reasons why jump ropes is part of physical education curriculums in K – 12 exercise schools throughout the world; for very little cost an entire school can begin a jump rope program.

Ways to Jump Rope

At Home.
If you’re someone that prefers to work out in the convenience of your own home, or you’ve only got 30 minutes to get in a workout, or you’re a single parent without a babysitter, etc… you can always jump rope at home. Your living room, a basement or backyard are all ideal for your workout. One advantage to jumping at home is that in addition to easily referencing information contained in this book, you have the option of jumping along with RopeSport’s instruction DVDs or audio workout CDs.

The gym is another great place to jump. If your gym has an aerobic floor with additional cushion and support, so much the better. Combining jumping rope with weight training makes for an extremely effective workout that gives you the best of both worlds, cardio and strength training.

If like many people these days the only time you have to workout is during your lunch break at work, your office is another place you can jump.

If you like to the workout outdoors, consider jumping at a local park. Another benefit of jumping at a park is there are other things for the kids to do – that is, if they’re not already jumping rope with you!