9 Best Jump Rope Exercises for All Levels

9 Best Jump Rope Exercises for All Levels

What do boxers and schoolchildren have in common? They both tend to use jump ropes as a way to get moving.

So if you usually associate jump ropes with P.E. class, it’s time to shift your mindset to the chiseled bodies of boxers.

It’s time to relearn how to jump rope!

Jump rope exercises are great because they boost your heart rate, which benefits your cardiorespiratory health. But while jumping rope may burn more calories than jogging for the same amount of time, it’s not strictly a cardio activity.

Jumping rope also works your calf, forearm, shoulder, core, and quadriceps muscles.

And it improves coordination, a skill that’s especially important for anyone who participates in rhythmic sports such as boxing and rowing, says Cody Braun, CPT.

Megan Davies jumping rope

How to Get Started with Jump Rope Exercises

Of course, you need to use good form to see any jump rope exercise benefits. When you do jump rope exercises, all the movement should come from your wrists.

The trick to becoming faster is to focus on the time it takes between when the rope hits the floor and when your feet hit the floor.

“Once you become familiar with the timing, you can start to get the speed and rhythm required to complete multiple reps at a time,” Braun says.

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Now that you have the basics, try these jump rope exercises during your next workout. To create a jump rope routine, he recommends the following work/rest format based on your level of fitness:

  • Beginner level: Work for 30 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds. Repeat for 4 to 8 sets.
  • Moderate level: Work for 45 seconds, then rest for 45 seconds. Repeat for 5 to 10 sets.
  • Advanced level: Work for 60 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 6 to 12 sets.

1. Hopscotch

Alternate between hopping on both feet and hopping on one foot, switching feet each time. So every four hops are: both feet, left foot, both feet, right foot.

(To help visualize this, think of the hopscotch game from childhood.)

2. Forward-Backward

Hop both feet forward for one revolution, then backward for one revolution. Keep alternating.

3. Double-Unders

Woman jumping rope outdoors

Each time you hop, swing the rope under your feet twice.

4. High Knees

After each revolution of the jump rope, drive your left knee and then your right knee up to hip height.

5. Single-Leg Hops

Perform continuous reps on one foot for half of the interval, then switch legs and hop on the other leg until time is up.

6. Side to Side

After each revolution of the jump rope, hop both feet side to side. To challenge your brain more, alternate between hopping left then right and hopping right then left.

7. In and Out

After each revolution of the jump rope, hop your feet apart and then back together.

8. Ali Shuffle

With your feet hip-width apart, stand with one foot slightly in front of the other (a.k.a., split stance).

After each revolution of the jump rope, switch your stance so the opposite foot is in front.

9. Twisting Jump Rope

Keeping your torso facing forward, then rotate your hips and legs left to right on each hop so that your lower body makes a quarter turn in each direction.