Our favorite form of cardio here at exercise equipment fanatic is jumping rope. Jumping rope burns more calories per minute than just about any other form of cardio exercise. If you’ve never tried it before you are really missing out. It does, however, take some time to get your rhythm down as well as to build up enough stamina to be able to do it for more than a few minutes at a time. But they are definitely are a great way to get in a fun, challenging, and intense workout.
By the way, if you don’t already own one you can pick one up online for less than 8 bucks!
To get started, you’ll want to make sure you are using the proper jump rope length, otherwise if the rope is too long or too short, you’ll constantly be tripping yourself up and get frustrated quickly. It’s easy to determine the proper rope length. Simply step into the middle of the rope with either foot and pull the handles up towards your armpits. You want the rope ends to stop right at your armpits, if they do not reach your armpits the rope is too short, likewise if they extend past your armpits the rope is too long.
There are also a number of different kinds of ropes as well, speed ropes, beaded ropes, leather ropes and ropes with weighted handles. We recommend you just start with a basic cloth or leather rope and then move on to a speed rope or weighted rope. Beaded ropes are good if you plan on jumping outside, since they take longer to wear out. Weighted handle ropes typically have a pound or so each in the handles. While this doesn’t sound like much, those little weights give your shoulders a great workout, and until you are used to them you’ll probably have to take them out after just a couple minutes. Speed ropes are made of a thin vinyl cord and are really the best kind to get for cardio fitness. This is the same kind that boxers typically use.
Once you choose your rope you’ll want to start performing some jump rope workouts. We recommend starting slow and overtime building up your endurance and skill so that you can really get in the zone. Before we get started with the jump rope moves you should learn first, we want to briefly remind you of the benefits you get from jumping rope.
As mentioned before, you can burn a LOT of calories jumping rope. Of course, you will have to master the movement first, but once you get it down, you can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour! You don’t need a ton of space either, just make sure to have the proper overhead clearance. Jump ropes are also very inexpensive and portable, so you can easily pack them in your suitcase on a business trip or take them to your local park and get a nice workout in.
Basic Jump Rope Moves
Once you get good at it, jump rope workouts become really fun. And that, to us, is the biggest benefit of all because the more fun an exercise is, the more you’ll want to do it! So let’s go over some of the more basic jump rope moves to start off with:
Basic Hop – This is the old fashioned one hop where you just use both feet at the same time to jump over the rope
Alternating Jumps – This is where you hope back and forth from one foot to another
Single Foot Jump– Just as the name implies, jumping over the rope while standing on just one foot.
Front and Side Straddles – You perform this jump by splitting your feet in the air and landing on them either wide apart or with one foot in front of the other
Running In Place – This jump can be a little tricky. You have to spin the rope a little faster until you are essentially running in place while the jump rope passes underneath you
Remember, it’s a good idea to mix in all the different jumps mentioned above and will probably take some practice for you to be able to do so. Once you can perform the above jumps with ease you can move onto some of the more advanced moves such as double and even triple unders, criss-crosses, heel jumps, backwards and a bunch of others. The point here is that there is always more you can learn.
Some final tips to remember when you are doing your jump rope workouts and learning the different jump rope moves:
Jump on the balls of your feet
Try to use only your wrists when swinging the rope
Find your rhythm
and practice, practice, practice!