Benefits of Jump Rope Workouts

A 150-pound person can burn more than 100 calories every 10 minutes doing moderate rope jumping – the same number of calories the same person would burn running a 10-minute mile. But the health benefits of jumping rope don’t stop with the exercise’s calorie-torching abilities. Jumping rope is an affordable and fun way to boost cardiovascular health, improve lower body strength, enhance lower body bone density, and get those killer calves you’ve always dreamed of.

That said, jumping rope isn’t appropriate for everyone. Individuals with ankle, knee, hip, or back problems may find that the high impact activity exacerbates pain. It may also be uncomfortable for those who are very overweight or who have a low level of cardiovascular endurance. Talk to a doctor or trainer to see if the exercise is right for you, or just grab a $10 rope and start off slow to see how you feel.

Two Leg Hops

Two leg hops are the standard jump rope exercise. Simply swing the rope and hop over it with both feet as it turns. If you can, avoid adding the “extra” hop in between rope spins. You want to perform one hop for every rope swing. Ultimately this means you’ll swing the rope faster to maintain a steady and comfortable hopping pace.

Aim to perform 200 two leg hops in a row. If you mess up or drop the rope, simply pause, and start again, accumulating the total number of jumps.

Single Leg Hops

Single leg hops are exactly like two leg hops, but you’re balancing on one foot while performing the hops. They’re significantly more difficult because one of your legs is responsible for supporting and lifting the weight of your whole body.

Simply lift one foot from the ground and begin spinning the rope, hopping on the opposite leg. Try to perform 50 hops on one leg before switching to the opposite side. Aim to accumulate 200 total hops, 100 per leg in sets of 50.

Tuck Jumps

Tuck jumps are a great way to work on explosive power and lower body strength. You’ll actually spin the rope slower than usual to account for the greater amount of time you’ll spend in the air during each jump.

Spin the rope and begin jumping, just like you would when doing two leg hops, but instead of small hops that keep your feet close to the ground, you’ll explode up into the air as high as you can, drawing your knees up to your chest. Aim to accumulate 50 total tuck jumps – split them into sets of 10 if needed.


You probably remember skips from your elementary school days. Skips can be performed in a stationary location, or you can do them while running forward. Simply turn the rope as usual, alternating your hops from one leg to the other, as if you were jogging in place. Aim to accumulate 200 total skips per leg, or a total of 400 skips.

Skips tend to be easier than some of the other jump rope exercises, so they’re a great exercise to perform between sets of other exercises during your jump rope routine.

Criss Cross Jumps

Criss cross jumps require coordination and finesse, so don’t be surprised if it takes a little while to get the hang of them. Start jumping as usual, but after performing a standard hop, cross your arms quickly in front of your body before jumping over the rope again, then quickly uncross your arms before jumping over the rope yet again. Continue crossing your arms back and forth in front of your body for every hop over the rope. Aim to accumulate a total of 100 hops, or 50 total arm crosses.

Backward Hops

Backward hops are exactly the same as two leg hops, but instead of spinning the rope forward, jumping over it as it crosses your feet from front to back, you spin the rope backward, jumping over it as it crosses your feet from back to front. It’s actually tricky to get the hang of, enhancing coordination and proprioception as you catch on. Aim to perform two sets of 50 hops.

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