Learn to Love Cardio: An Effective Jump Rope Workout Routine to Try at Home

When you think of jump roping, the first thing that comes to mind may be playground rhymes about future marriage partners. Jump roping playful presence in childhood games belies its intensity and effectiveness as a cardio workout.

A jump rope workout routine burns calories at the same rate as running at an 8:30/mile pace, and you don't even have to leave your house.

Read on to learn some of the best ways to begin incorporating jumping rope into your fitness regimen.

Benefits of a Jump Rope Workout Routine
Aside from experiencing some childlike joy and burning calories, why should you add jump roping to your fitness regimen?

For starters, there's a reason Rocky spends so much time jump roping in all those training montages. Jump roping improves balance and coordination. These are essential skills in the boxing ring that also come in handy throughout your daily life.

Jump roping also works to strengthen your muscles, so it's a cardio workout that even the most serious strength trainers can get behind. It strengthens the muscles around your ankle joints, preventing injury, and also strengthens your quads and core.

Strengthening these muscle groups will all aid you in powering through those heavy squat reps. In combination with better balance, this will also help you stay in the dancer pose a little longer.

Jump roping also increases bone density by putting healthy stress on your bones. The bones are broken down and rebuilt, making them stronger and denser. Increased bone density helps prevent osteoporosis, bone loss, and fractures.

Equipment You Need to Get Started
The great thing about jump roping as a cardio workout is that the only piece of equipment you truly need is a jump rope. This makes for an easy, on-the-go workout.

For beginners, it's best to start with a weighted jump rope. This will allow you to feel and hear the rope hit the ground more easily and help prevent trip-ups. Jump roping takes a little getting used to if you haven't done it since those playground rhyme days!

The other important thing to consider is cushioning for your feet. Make sure to wear workout shoes, ideally, a pair designed for CrossFit or HIIT, as those will be the most heavily cushioned.

If you have a rubber or foam gym mat, the extra padding that provides is ideal. If not, a wooden surface like a deck or hardwood floor should have the right amount of spring. Avoid concrete and carpet.

If you live in an apartment, be mindful of the noise. Don't workout during hours when your neighbors may be sleeping.

Proper Form
If you haven't jumped rope in a while, there are a surprising number of things to keep in mind to maintain proper form! Once you get them all down it will become second nature though.

You want to keep your elbows in, relax your shoulders, and swing from your wrists rather than your arms and shoulders. This will keep you from getting tired too quickly and help prevent injury.

Keeping your hands in line with your hips will make it easier to balance, keep the rope in place, and prevent tripping. Engaging your core and standing up straight will also help with balance, and it is generally good practice for exercise.

When you start jumping, avoid double bouncing, or jumping in between the rope hitting the ground. Land on your toes rather than your heels, and keep your jumps low: no more than 1-2 inches high. This will make maintaining a rhythm easier and encourage you to jump from your ankles rather than your knees.

Getting Started
Work on getting the hang of the actual movements involved with jumping rope before you dive into a lengthy workout routine. Practice by swinging an imaginary jump rope and jumping along, then swing your rope without jumping, then combine the movements. Start slow and build speed and intensity.

When you're feeling confident with your jump rope, give some of these jump rope cardio workout routines a try. If you're not currently incorporating cardio into your fitness routine, or you want to replace your existing cardio with jumping rope, you should aim for around 30 minutes three times a week.

HIIT Jump Rope Workout Routine
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to burn fat quickly. Jumping rope is easy to do at a high intensity, making it a perfect candidate for a quick and effective workout routine. Keep your water bottle handy for this one!

This workout includes standard rope jumping, where both feet jump once with each rotation, and high knee alternating jumps, where one foot lifts up as the other lands and the knee comes up as high as possible.

Jumping rope (30 seconds), rest (30 seconds)
Burpees (30 seconds), rest (30 seconds)
High knee alternating jumps (30 seconds), rest (30 seconds)
Push-ups (30 seconds), rest (30 seconds)
Slow rope jumps (1-minute active recovery)
Repeat this circuit a total of three times for a 15 minute HIIT workout. Keep up the intensity throughout the 30-second intervals, and bonus points if you can do plyometric push-ups!

30 Minute Jump Rope Workout Routine
If you'd rather build your endurance, you could also try a longer routine focused exclusively on jumping rope. This can be an intense method of getting your cardio in, so you should make sure to give yourself ample rest time.

Jumping rope at an easy pace (4 minutes)
Rest (1 minute)
Jumping rope at a medium pace (2 minutes)
Rest (1 minute)
Jumping rope at a challenging pace (1 minute)
Rest (1 minute)
To make this more difficult, gradually decrease rest times and increase the times spent jumping at a medium or challenging pace. You can also make your rests active by walking in place or staying in a plank position.

Time to Jump
After you've learned the ropes (pardon the pun) of this fun and effective way of getting your cardio in, there are plenty of ways to keep building your skills.

You can do a CrossFit jump rope workout routine like the Annie, which will have you doing double-unders (swinging the rope twice on each jump). You can also check out our jump rope with a counter to keep track of your progress and set goals for yourself. Enjoy your cardio (finally)!