When you think of jump rope you might picture PE class when you were a kid or something boxers do during training. But over the last 10 years jumping rope has gone mainstream with numerous scientific studies pointing to its benefits (outlined below), a whole competitive culture adopting it as a core discipline (CrossFit) and personal trainers and fitness influencers recognizing its benefit as a quick, highly effective way to burn calories and improve athleticism.
Thinking about picking up a jump rope? Here are a few reasons to give it a try:
1. Helps You Develop, and Keep, an Exercise Routine
We all know that developing a regular workout routine is essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind. But for many of us the big struggle is staying consistent beyond a big New Year’s resolution or “summer bod” prep.
The reason jump rope is so effective for developing a routine is because it removes many of the barriers that kill our routines in the first place.
- Time: Many of us don’t have time for hour-long workouts everyday. Jumping rope is an extremely effective and efficient form of exercise in short amounts of time. 15 minutes of jumping rope burns up to twice as many calories as a 15 minute run.
- Space / Portability: You don’t need a gym to jump rope, and it’s not weather dependent. You can always find a space to jump rope indoors or outdoors. So if you’re traveling, it’s easy to maintain your routine.
- Enjoyment: There are 100s of jump rope movements and tricks you can learn to challenge yourself and keep it fresh.
2. Killer Cardio Workout With Weight Loss Benefits
Burn, baby, burn! In just two ten-minute jump rope sessions, you can burn up to 200 calories. Practicing every day for seven days can help you burn more than 1,000 calories per week. A 20-minute run clocks in at about 100-150 calories, so why not exchange a morning jog for a jump rope?
If you practice for just 15 minutes a day, you can burn about 200-300 calories. One pound of fat is equivalent to about 3,500 calories, so it'll only take about 12 days to lose a pound by jumping every day. Fifteen minutes is an easy commitment for such dramatic results.
You can also use a jump rope during High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. These workouts use a 2:1 ratio of exercise to rest, turning your body into a calorie furnace. You’ll burn extra fat as you increase metabolism in half the time it takes to complete a moderately intense workout.
Jumping rope keeps your heart healthy, too. There’s a reason the American Heart Association created an entire movement around jumping rope (ever heard of Jump Rope for Heart?). Jumping rope has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and reduce inflammation. In fact, the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation published a study that revealed jumping rope is a more efficient cardiovascular workout than jogging.
3. Brain Stimulation
We know that exercise is good for the brain. But did you know that activities with both physical and mental demands (like slacklining, ballroom dancing, or jumping rope) have higher impacts on cognitive functioning than exercise tasks alone (like the treadmill or stationary bike)?
The very best workouts for brain health involve coordination, rhythm, and strategy. Since coordination, spatial awareness, and precision are required for jumping rope, that means your brain works out with you! Exercise that demands mental focus strengthens your cognitive functioning. Both hemispheres of your brain are active when you are jumping rope. By upping your skills through new tricks, your brain can form new neural connections. In fact, practicing every day may protect or even stimulate memory.
So, the next time you're jumping rope, challenge yourself to try some jump rope tricks. Turns out they're really good for your brain.
4. Increased Agility & Speed
Want to get "lighter on your feet?" Skip rope every day for a few minutes. When you jump rope on the balls of your feet, your body connects with your mind to make "neural muscular adjustments" to keep you balanced.
Essentially, skipping rope improves your balance, quickness, and coordination by focusing your mind on your feet for sustained periods, even if you're not conscious of it.
Boxers know this. Why do you think jumping rope is a favorite exercise for the best boxers in the world?
5. Full-Body Workout
No need to choose between leg day and arm day — and why not add a core workout while you’re at it? Jumping rope strengthens muscles all over your body, including:
- Lower extremity muscles, such as calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes
- Upper extremity muscles, such as triceps, biceps, chest muscles, shoulders, and back muscles
- Core muscles, such as abs and obliques
These muscles support tendons, ligaments, and joints. And the repeated impact of jumping on the ground increases bone density. By building up your body’s strength daily, you can benefit from a lifetime of wellness.
6. Bang for Your Buck
The average cost for a gym membership is about $40 per month. That adds up to $480 a year. At-home workout equipment is expensive, too. All you need to jump rope…is a rope. Of all the fitness options out there, rope jumping is still one of the most affordable.
Simple but high-quality jump ropes can be purchased for as low as $3. A top-of-the-line-fitness jump rope is only $59. In addition to being cost-effective, these top-notch jump ropes are durable, non-kinking, and designed to meet your workout or competition goals. And, depending on the surface you jump on, a rope should last you a while.
Purchasing a jump rope is a one-time payment without the commitment of a costly gym membership. If you want to give jumping a try before committing, start with a lower-priced jump rope, and there is no need to terminate a contract if it's not for you. Also, isn't it way less time-consuming to jump rope at home than it is to trek to the gym seven days a week?
You don’t even need a pair of snazzy running shoes to jump rope. Yep, you read it right. Jumping rope barefoot is excellent for balance and agility.
7. Stronger Feet & Ankles
Think jump rope is a closed-toe shoe sport? Think again. Wearing shoes restricts the hundreds of complex structures in your feet, “binding” them in injury-inducing ways. Creating that foot-to-earth connection strengthens the stabilizer muscles in your feet and ankles without relying on a shoe to keep you balanced.
If you’re a beginner, you should start off with shoes. This will decrease the chance of a stubbed toe. More experienced jumpers can let those piggies loose.
8. Stronger Bones
Jumping rope increases bone density due to the repeated impact with the ground every time you jump.
Lower bone density is associated with higher mortality rates. That’s why it’s important to build up your skeletal strength before it begins to decrease later in life, usually around age 50.
9. Endless New Skills To Learn
Day-in and day-out, jump rope never gets boring. There's always a new goal to strive toward. For example, you might want to increase your rotations per minute to jump as fast as possible (and burn as many calories as possible). Or you can set an endurance goal to up your skipping efficiency and boost stamina. You can even learn to dance and jump rope at the same time.
There are endless jump rope tricks to pick up. Gaining enough speed to graduate from a simple jump to a double under — where the rope passes underneath your feet twice per jump — is exciting enough. Just imagine being able to perform a boxer’s skip like a true heavyweight. By practicing every day, you’ll be floating like a butterfly in no time.
If you want to advance your technique at home, Elite SRS provides a variety of online tutorials. Elite also offers advice on the best jump rope social media accounts to help you advance your skills and learn new tricks.
Unlike other workout options, with jump roping, you can pick a specific style you like and own it. Speed jumping. Chinese wheel jumping. Double Dutch. Jumping rope while juggling a soccer ball. There’s evidently no end of ways to have fun with a jump rope.
11. Better Mental Health
Daily exercise is linked to a reduced risk of developing depression and anxiety. The release of endorphins and the concentrated effort necessary to jump rope help alleviate stress. Even working out for as little as ten minutes per day improves mood. Try jumping rope outside to absorb some sunshine and get a boost of serotonin. If you opt to join a jump rope club, the social interaction and sense of community can put a smile on your face.
That satisfying post-workout exhaustion contributes to a healthy night’s sleep. Sufficient, deep sleep is linked to higher energy levels and greater emotional satisfaction.
12. Jump Rope Tech
We’ve come a long way from the beaded ropes of PE class. Modern fitness ropes come with ball-bearing handles, ultra-fast cables, and easy sizing systems (and the color customization options are endless). "Smart" jump ropes will even count your jumps. And the new beaded ropes can be customized with your favorite color of ultra-light, unbreakable beads.
13. Fun with Friends
With daily practice, you will soon feel comfortable enough to show off your skills. Now it's time to join a jump rope team! Jump rope teams are a great way to express yourself and build long-lasting friendships. Finding other jump-rope lovers is as easy as using apps like MeetUp and Facebook. You'll learn how to coordinate jumping routines between extra-long ropes. Feeling competitive? Jump rope contests all over the globe allow teams to show off their skills and connect with the worldwide jump roping community.
14. Prep for Other Activities
We know it's one of the best forms of cardio, but you don't have to dedicate your entire workout routine to jumping rope. Using a jump rope is an excellent supplementary workout to other activities. The International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance published a study in 2019 which demonstrated how jumping rope enhanced the reactive strength index (RSI) and overall performance of amateur runners. Boxers like Floyd Mayweather are famous for their jump rope training.
Use a jump rope to warm up your body before starting another physical activity. It’s a quick way to raise your heart rate and get your blood pumping.
We’ve listed 14 benefits of incorporating jump ropes into your daily workout routine, but the list of benefits goes on. Discover how jumping rope can transform your fitness goals today.
Need a jump rope refresher? Jump rope is a skill that can be picked up quickly with even just a little perseverance. If you have never jumped before or it's been a long time, here are a few tips for learning to jump like a pro.
About the Author
Matt Hopkins is a former competitive speed jumper and jump rope coach. Matt has won numerous national championships in speed jumping, and his athletes have won several national speed and freestyle titles and have broken world and national speed records. He also taught middle and elementary school PE in Leavenworth WA for 23 years.
Absolutely a nice article. Well done.
How do you measure for correct size of jump rope?