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Originally Published: Aug 01, 2019

When was the last time you picked up a jump rope?

Contrary to popular belief, they’re not just for kids! Cheap, portable, and convenient, jump ropes are a great tool if you are on-the-go or looking for a quick workout with results. Not convinced? Here are eight reasons to start jumping rope today.

It’s convenient. All you need is a lightweight rope and a flat surface to get started. Traveling? Throw it in your overnight bag and you’re ready to go. You can literally do this exercise anywhere!

It burns calories fast. Just ten minutes of jumping rope can burn 100 calories and is equivalent to running an 8-minute mile.

Jumping rope will improve your coordination. The exercise is a cyclical activity moving from your arms to your legs and back to your arms. Find your rhythm and deepen the connection between your arms, legs, and eyes.

It’s a full body workout. From your wrists to your hands, upper arms and shoulders, calves, ankles, and feet—jumping rope activates a wide range of muscles. Incorporate a 30-minute jump rope workout into your weekly routine and see how your body progresses. 

Jumping rope is a mental exercise. It takes both sides of your brain to learn the mechanics of jumping rope and to incorporate new motor patterns. A regular practice is proven to increase your cognitive function. Bonus: it is also said to improve your mood and aid mental health.

Jumping rope strengthens your lower body. A consistent jump rope practice will strengthen your calves, ankles, and feet muscles. Jumping rope can increase the elasticity of these muscles and decrease your risk for injury.

Anyone can do it. The great thing about jumping rope is that you choose your own pace. Looking for an easy cool down? Incorporate single jumps at a slower pace. In need of a high-intensity exercise? Increase your speed and try double under jumps.

It’s fun! Remember back in elementary school when you would skip rope and learn double dutch with your friends? You were on to something.

. . .

acac West Chester personal trainer Jesse Oliver can often be found jumping rope on the fitness floor.

“I enjoy jumping rope because it’s a skill that not only helps with cardio but also improves your quick feet and total body coordination. Plus, I hate to run!”

Jesse suggests these drills to help you master the mechanics and get a great cardio workout:

  • Single jumps: stand with your feet together and hold the jump rope at your sides. Move your arms to bring the rope above your head and around to your feet, jump above the rope, and bring your arms back to their starting position. Repeat for 60 seconds.
  • Single leg jumps: jump continuously on your dominant leg for 30 seconds. Switch to your other leg and jump for 30 seconds. Repeat on both sides.
  • Tap jumps: complete a single jump but alternate tapping your feet to the front and then to the side. Repeat for 60 seconds.
  • Cross over jumps: complete one single jump; then, on the second jump, cross your arms in front of your body and jump through the loop. Repeat for 60 seonds.
  • Double under jumps (for the more advanced jumper): jump higher and move your arms faster so that the rope passes beneath your feet twice before your feet hit the ground. Repeat exercise for 60 seconds.

If you’re feeling frustrated at first, have no fear. “Jumping rope is not easy but everyone can do it,” says Jesse. “It takes dedication and practice to master the drills and different types of footwork—but most beneficial things do.”