The merits and health perks of jumping rope are well-documented. From burning calories, melting fat, and toning your legs to increasing agility, improving coordination, and boosting bone density, jumping rope can be like one-stop shopping for your cardio needs. The best part? Just about anyone with a will to work and healthy joints can do it. Luckily, there are also plenty of ways to turn up the heat on your next jump rope workout.
If you’re looking for a few new moves to add to your sequence, check out these 10 advanced jump rope workout techniques that will have you sweating — and reaching your fitness goals — in no time.
1. Double Unders
This one has all the same elements of the traditional jump — only it’s doubled. That means that the rope must pass under your feet twice every time you jump. For the sake of coordination, make sure you don’t kick your feet back underneath you. Always keep a solid base and maintain a strong vertical alignment from head to toe.
2. Travelers and Ski Jumps
Here’s another variation of the traditional jump, but this one has you moving around a bit (hence the name). For this technique, you’ll travel forward as far as the space in front of you permits before traveling back to the original spot. Here’s the challenge: during your travels forward and backward, you must preserve the traditional jump without losing form. Once you’ve mastered forward and back, add in ski jumps. This time, you’re going side to side instead of front and back. Beginning with the rope behind you and passing over your head, jump laterally to one side with both feet as the rope passes underneath you. When it comes around again, jump back to the original spot. The farther you jump, the harder the move.
3. Side Swings
This is the only movement that doesn’t require you to actually jump over the rope. Instead, you’ll swing the rope to either side of your body. To complete the skill, move both your hands to one side of your body while swinging the rope so it passes on your side rather than under your feet. You can do this while jumping to keep your momentum. Side swings are an important skill to learn because they will form a great foundation for mastering more advanced jump rope skills and combinations.
4. Mummy Kicks
Keeping that same traditional stance and form in mind, begin with the rope behind you. As it passes over your head and toward your feet, kick one foot out like a mummy in the movies would walk. This added emphasis on your quads and calves is just the right amount of spice to add to any basic routine.
Similar to mummy kicks, you’ll begin in that classic stance — but you won’t be there long. As the rope comes over your head, jump with one foot forward and one foot backward (think of an open pair of scissors). In the next revolution, switch the alignment of your feet.
6. One Foot Hops
Here’s one that sounds easy but is actually deceptively tough. You simply lift one foot and hop with each revolution of the rope on the other foot. The nice thing about this technique is that you can focus on one leg for as long as you’d like before switching. For most people, balance comes more naturally on one side than the other, so this technique is a good way to increase your strength in your non-dominant leg.
7. High Knees
If you’ve done any running or mobility work, chances are you’ve gone through high knees drills a time or two. That drill gets the heart racing and improves flexibility in your lower half. Now, imagine doing that same drill with a jump rope, alternating the knee you bring up with each revolution of the rope.
8. Boxer Step
Who among us hasn’t watched a heavyweight fighter jump rope using the boxer skip and thought, “Man, that looks awesome.” Not only does the boxer step look cool, but it’s an intense workout that can enhance your endurance. To perform the boxer step, you’ll begin by swinging the jump rope in front of your body toward the floor. When it travels under your feet and lands on the left side, your left leg should make the landing while the right leg touches. When the jump rope moves to the right side, you do the opposite with your feet. By shifting your weight back and forth, you can even take some stress off your lower joints.
9. Criss Cross
This technique may take some time to master, but it’s worth the effort. With the criss cross, begin with your legs shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms to the side and your palms facing toward the ground. As you jump, cross your right arm over your left and your right leg over your left. Once you’re back to the starting position, repeat with the opposite arms and legs on top.
10. Push-up Jump
Here’s an extra little bonus to add in some upper body strength work. For this technique, you’ll perform a traditional jump, then drop down for a push-up, and pop right back up for your next jump. One idea is to vary when and how often you drop down for the push-ups. Some people like to do them after every jump, while others prefer after five or 10. You can incorporate push-ups or other moves like burpees into just about any of the techniques mentioned here.
With all of these techniques, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a jump rope with the proper length for your height and the correct cable type for your skill level. Before moving on to any advanced technique, it’s always recommended that you have a complete mastery of the traditional jump form.
Not sure which jump rope is right for which workout? Try our Jump Rope Buyer’s Guide.