The Greatest Soar Rope Exercise for Newcomers and Execs

Though the days of jump rope competitions with friends are gone, the activity doesn't have to remain a fond adolescent memory. It's actually an efficient and versatile form of exercise. Plus, jumping rope doesn’t take up a lot of space or require any equipment aside from the rope itself. You can carry it in your backpack to bring on vacations and work trips, making it one of the easiest ways to build agility and strength on the go.

Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. 

Benefits of Jump Rope Workouts

While jumping rope may look like a workout for kids, it's actually a simple and effective way for anyone to get a full-body workout. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity. When done correctly, jumping rope is an intense workout routine that shreds fat and burns calories.

A 2020 study, published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, analyzed whether jumping rope helped beginner endurance runners build speed and agility. Over a 10-week period of jumping rope before training, the study concluded that the runners did in fact increase their speed and agility. They also noticed less stiffness in their legs and feet.

“Jumping rope is an excellent full-body cardio exercise that builds coordination and improves your cardiovascular system,” says Rachel MacPherson, CSCS, CPT. “It also burns a ton of calories and is easy to implement, so long as you have the skill.”

Best Jump Ropes for Working Out

Make sure you’ve got a good rope. Beaded or plastic “speed” ropes are durable and whip around quickly, making for a more intense workout. They’re also mandatory if you want to build up to doing advanced jump-rope moves like the double jump (which we’ve included here, although we don’t expect you to master it right away). 

Before you begin using a rope, measure it to your height. When you stand in the middle of the rope, the handles should extend to your armpits. Cut and adjust the length as necessary.

To help you whittle down your jump rope options, we picked out our favorites. Whether you're a beginner who wants to do a quick workout before the workday or a jump-roping veteran who wants an intense cardio session, there’s something for you. 

Best Adjustable Jump Rope: Proud Panda Adjustable Weighted Jump Rope

Proud Panda Adjustable Weighted Jump Rope

Courtesy Image

An adjustable jump rope is a great option for your home gym, especially if you share it with your family. With Proud Panda Adjustable Weighted Jump Rope, anyone can adjust the rope to make it the perfect length for them. Plus, the weighted handles add a bit of difficulty without going over the top, making it perfect for beginners. 

$20 at Amazon

Best Ball Bearing Jump Rope: VOXLOVA Weighted Jump Rope

VOXLOVA Weighted Jump Rope

Courtesy Image

If you want a simple jump rope that's smooth when in use, try VOXLOVA Weighted Jump Rope with ball bearings. This inexpensive rope, which has an adjustable cable and silicone-covered handles, is great once you get your rhythm down.

$20 at Amazon

Best Weighted Jump Rope: Proud Panda Heavy Jump Rope

Proud Panda Heavy Jump Rope

Courtesy Image

While the Proud Panda Heavy Jump Rope looks like a regular rope, it's actually heavy-duty, durable, and weighs in at three pounds. Don’t think that sounds heavy? Once you start using this rope you'll notice it. That added weight helps not only to build strength in your arms and back, but also burn more calories than the average rope.

$20 at Amazon

Best Jump Rope Workout Routine

Jumping rope is “ideal as a pre-workout warmup movement because it activates the central nervous system, helping you get revved up and prepared for lifting weights or any other sport requiring power and speed,” MacPherson says. That said, if you're short on time, running through a fairly quick jump rope workout like the one outlined below is a great way to burn calories and get your heart rate up.

The ideal jump rope workout for beginners consists of three training blocks. You practice different jumps, rest for two minutes, and move on to the next block. 

Block 1

1. Forward Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • This is the basic jump. Jump over the rope with both feet on each revolution, swinging the rope forward.

2. Side-to-Side x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Jump laterally on each revolution, going a few inches to your left as the rope passes under your feet, then to your right on the next rep. Continue to alternate sides as you get into a rhythm.

3. Backward Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Similar to the forward jump, jump over the rope with both feet on every revolution—only you'll swing the rope backward on each jump.

4. Single-Leg Jump (Left) x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Jump on one foot while swinging the rope forward, making sure to land softly to absorb impact.

5. Single-Leg Jump (Right) x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Repeat the exercise above with the opposite foot.

Block 2

1. Forward Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Repeat the same exercise you did in the first block by jumping over the rope with both feet on every revolution, swinging the rope forward.

2. Alternating Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Jump on one foot, then the other, alternating single-leg jumps on each rep.

3. Foot-Cross Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Cross your feet over each other on each rep. Alternate the foot that lands in front.

4. Single-Leg Jump (Left) x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Repeat the same jump you did in the first block. Starting with your left foot, jump as you swing the rope forward.

5. Single-Leg Jump (Right) x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Once again, repeat the same jump as in the first block. Switch to your right foot and jump as you swing the rope forward. Don’t forget to land softly.

Block 3

1. Forward Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Repeat the same exercise you did in the first and second blocks. Complete this basic jump by jumping over the rope with both feet on every revolution, swinging the rope forward.

2. Double Jump x 30 sec.

How to Do It

  • Jump high enough that you can pass the rope under your feet twice on every revolution. If you can’t do it fluidly, practice it for 30 seconds—it doesn’t matter how many times you miss.

3. Alternate Foot Jump x 30 sec.

How to Do It

  • Similar to the single-leg jump, the alternate foot jump allows you to add a little intensity to your workout. Start by jumping over the rope with one foot and switch to the alternate foot on every revolution as you swing the rope forward.

4. Backward Jump x 60 sec.

How to Do It

  • Just like the forward jump, you will want to jump over the rope with both feet on every revolution. However, with the backward jump, you will swing the rope backward instead of forward.

5. Jumping Jack Jump x 30 sec.

How to Do It

  • A great alternative to the basic jump is a jumping jack jump. Put your hands out to your side while holding your jump rope and jump slightly over the rope while you move your feet out as if you were doing a jumping jack.

The best jump rope workouts burn calories and build muscle.

Justin Steele

Weighted Jump Rope Benefits and Workout

Jumping rope is already a cardio-heavy form of exercise, but when you add weight, you find the sweet spot between burning calories and gaining muscle—especially in your upper body. Studies also show you can improve joint repositioning, increase your levels of coordination, and gain greater overall endurance for individuals using them.

When it comes to jumping with a weighted rope you can pretty much do all the same exercises as a regular jump rope, plus a few that specifically target your upper-body muscles.

Basic Forward Jump x 40 

How to Do It

  • The basic forward jump is simple and straight to the point. Jump over the weighted rope of your choosing with both feet as you swing it in a forward motion.

Double Outside Circle x 20 

How to Do It

  • Standing with both feet hip-width apart, hold the ends of the rope in each hand. Using a 5 lb jump rope, bring the ropes in towards each other as you rotate your arms to create a circle.

Weighted Jumping Jack Jump x 30  

How to Do It

  • For added intensity for both your upper and lower body, put your hands out to your side while holding your jump rope and jump slightly over the rope while you move your feet in and out as you would during a jumping jack.

Side Swipe x 15 

How to Do It

  • With your rope in each hand at your side, start by doing a basic forward jump. Next, swing the rope outside of your body to the left and then to the right before coming back to the middle. This is one rep.

How Long Should I Jump Rope for a Good Workout?

Workout duration depends on your goals and your health. If you want to lose weight, jumping for a long time can help burn calories. If you're looking to gain muscle, you may not need to jump for as long, but you might want to use a weighted rope.

“If you're jump roping for an extensive plyometric workout, I would keep the reps lower, rest higher, and perform no more than three to five sets, keeping reps around 10 to 15,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Jarrod bbe, MA, who's the head weightlifting coach at Athletic Lab. “For cardio, 10 to 15 minutes of jump roping will help you reach your goals. I wouldn't recommend continuously jump roping for that amount of time, so using intervals of 10 to 60 seconds with a 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 work-to-rest ratio would be great. Start with less time and as you become acclimated, jump rope for longer.”

Can I Lose Belly Fat by Jumping Rope?

Jumping rope can be a great addition to any weight-loss routine. That said, how many calories you burn doing any sort of exercise depends on several factors: duration, intensity, and your individual body.

If you’re tired of hearing the same old, You can’t spot-reduce fat, we’re with you. But according to MacPherson, “Losing belly fat happens when you lose overall fat. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, and part of your calorie burn comes from jumping rope, you can lose belly fat.”

Related: The Fat-Burning Jump Rope Workout You Should Add to Your Routine

What Is 10 Minutes of Jumping Rope Equivalent To?

Jumping rope isn’t going to yield the exact same results as other forms of cardio. However, bbe equates 10 minutes of jumping rope to 10 minutes spent jogging or moderate biking. 

If you instead perform high-intensity jump rope intervals—during which you jump very fast to spike your heart rate, then take ample rest in between each rep—it's more comparable to sprinting, bbe says.

“Match your effort and intensity to your intended method," says bbe. "Longer work should be performed at a lower intensity and equal or less rest. Higher effort should be at a higher intensity with longer rest.”

Is 15 Minutes of Jump Rope Enough to Lose Weight?

Weight loss is an individual journey. Both MacPherson and bbe agree that while jumping rope for 15 minutes on its own may not be the sole reason for weight loss, it can definitely be a helpful tool. “If you add it to your workouts every day or two, it can contribute, as long as you consume fewer calories than you burn,” MacPherson says.

"Fifteen minutes of jump roping can be a step in the right direction for weight loss. Switch up your routine by using shorter or longer work intervals to reap the most benefits," says bbe. "Pair regular exercise with a balanced healthy diet and hydration for best weight loss results.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *