Welcome back, JRD nation!
We (Dan and Brandon) always try our best to explain tricks and jump rope variations in the most straightforward and simple manner. We recognize that everyone learns these techniques differently. Some prefer video instruction, and some prefer learning through reading.
To make our resources digestible for everyone in our JRD community, we’ve put together a video and text guide to take you through the 29 top jump rope exercises (categorized by skill level). Short of one-on-one coaching, this is the next best “learning resource” we can provide you with.
Also, if you’re just beginning your jump rope journey, we have a section at the end called “New to Jumping Rope? Here Are Some Resources to Get Started.” This section will provide you with additional resources that you may find helpful as you learn and progress. Feel free to jump straight to it.
Why We Love Jumping Rope
We have many reasons why we love jumping rope, but our #1 reason has never changed – because it’s fun!
One of our favorite mottos is: if it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable. This is especially true when it comes to exercise. We get how hard it can be to stay committed and consistent with a workout routine. There will be days that you just won’t feel like working out. So, you’ve got to find something you enjoy doing enough to push through those hard days when motivation is low.
Jumping rope is so much more than just a fun way to exercise. It’s also highly efficient, easy to get started, and you can do it anywhere.
A few more reasons why we love jumping rope:
- It’s the best fat-burning tool for weight loss, burning more calories per hour than running.
- It’s fantastic for motor coordination and sustaining mobility. Repeatedly rotating the rope around your body while timing it with your movements requires syncing your motor senses.
- It helps you to maintain a healthy heart in just a few minutes a day.
- It reduces your overall risk of injury. Jumping rope is especially beneficial for your body’s coordination and spacial awareness. This makes you far less injury-prone when exercising and while doing daily physical activities.
- It improves posture (no more smartphone hunch!).
Are you ready to get into the 29 best jump rope exercises? Let’s go!
Best Jump Rope Exercises: Beginner
1. Regular Bounce
The Regular Bounce is the first jumping style you learn when you get your first rope in grade school. It is the fundamental jump rope exercise on which you will develop the necessary muscle memory for the height of your jumps, timing, and proper form.
Starting with the rope behind your feet and keeping your wrists glued to your sides at hip height the whole time, rotate the rope over your head. When it gets to your feet, hop over it. You shouldn’t jump explosively or get massive amounts of air in a Regular Bounce. We want to maximize the efficiency of effort when jumping rope. If it feels comfortable, continue this regular bounce, staying light on your feet by bouncing in between the balls of your feet and your toes.
2. Side Swipe
Now that you’ve mastered jumping over the rope let’s make it fun! This movement is a way to jazz up your workouts and ease into trick moves. Take both ends of the rope together in one uniform fist, one hand on top of the other, and swing the rope like a figure eight, crossing in front of your body.
Make sure that when you’re swinging the rope around to your right, your left hand is on top of your right hand, and when you cross the rope over your body, you will switch to your right hand being on top. Focus on each rope rotation being at about the same pace as your regular bounce rhythm. Try incorporating a Regular Bounce and then Side Swipe to start creating your own combinations.
3. Feet Side to Side
Let’s start practicing footwork! Starting with your Regular Bounce, land with your feet a couple of feet apart. Rotate the rope around you again, just like a Regular Bounce, and pull your feet back in, landing together. Continue to alternate landing with your feet together and apart with each jump.
4. Feet Front to Back
This move is great for agility training. Staying on the balls of your feet and your toes, place one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t matter which foot because with each jump, you will alternate feet, one in front and one in back – quickly switching them as you’re jumping in the air.
5. Run in Place
This one is exactly as the name suggests. While jumping up and swinging the rope overhead, alternating the foot you land on with each jump. It looks like a skipping motion or running in place, alternating from left foot to right with each rope rotation. This is an excellent skill drill for footwork and balance by only supporting your weight on one leg at a time.
6. Regular Bounce Clock
This exercise is a great way for beginners to improve their balance and equilibrium by landing in different spaces. Starting with the Regular Bounce, with each landing aim to rotate your feet just slightly, as if your feet were the hands of a clock turning slowly with each jump.
Try to rotate just enough that you complete one circle in about ten to twelve jumps. Exercises like this are perfect for stimulating the vestibular system, an essential part of maintaining balance and mobility as we age.
7. The 3-Step Twist
Again, we’ll play with your sense of balance by landing in different positions. Alternate between twisting your knees to the left, then back to center, and then to the right. Make sure you’re stopping in the middle in between each side.
Think about twisting from your core and wringing out your abdominal muscles as you rotate your knees one way, return to center, and twist the knees in the other direction — and repeat.
8. Front Straddle
The Front Staddle challenges your core strength and balance. With each rope rotation under your feet, you will alternate from jumping slightly forward from the center or slightly back behind your center, feet staying together the whole time. Remember, agility comes from staying on the balls of your feet and straddling the line of your center of gravity.
9. Side Straddle
This is a follow-up to the Front Straddle, except this time, you’ll hop from the left of the center to the right, again keeping your feet together. Staying active on the balls of your feet and toes will have your calves burning fast.
Best Jump Rope Exercises: Intermediate
10. Run Up and Back
This is the intermediate version of the Run in Place exercise. Start as you would with Run in Place but experiment with jogging up a few paces and back. With each jump, land a bit forward, hoping a few paces forward before stopping. Then, pull your momentum back, and jog a few paces back using the same method of hopping back a bit with each jump. Repeat this little jog up and back until it starts to feel easy and natural.
11. Boxer Skip
The Boxer Skip has a lot of little, repetitive movements you’ll need to drill into your muscle memory. Hop from one leg to the other and tap the toe of your free leg (the one not supporting your weight) on the ground before hopping back onto the side and repeating.
Make sure you’re barely lifting your feet off the ground. Just enough to pass the rope under. You want to keep your knees soft, and the free leg must remain bent to tap and hop quickly to the other side, where it becomes the supporting leg and the free leg changes to the other side. Your heels should never touch the ground during this move.
12. Run in Place Clock
Once you’ve mastered the Regular Bounce Clock, you can start incorporating the Run in Place footwork. Alternate kicking one leg behind you while you push off the other foot. As you rotate the rope under you, make sure you land on the opposite leg and rotate clockwise a little bit. Continue for 10-12 rotations until you complete the circle.
13. Butt Kicks
You might remember these from grade school gym class. This exercise is for intermediate jumpers because you want to ensure your knees can take the range of motion you’re putting them through.
Butt kicks are a killer leg burner exercise and a great way to amp up the intensity, and your heart rate, for HIIT. Like the Run in Place exercise, focus on kicking your heels with the goal of tapping your butt (whether you actually can do it or not doesn’t matter) with each kick.
14. Running Man
This exercise is similar to the Run in Place, except you will challenge your balance by alternating between having one foot forward and the other back without alternating them as you jump. With each rotation, keep your front foot in front and wobble back and forth from the front leg to the back a few times – until you’re ready to switch. You’ll find a rhythm of rocking back and forth, switching your foot placement when it feels right to you.
15. High Knees
High knees are another variation of the classic Run in Place. This is the trickiest version, as you will need good endurance and form to keep up with the intensity. The goal is that with every jump, the bent knee will come up as high as your hip. The High Knee leg comes down and becomes the stabilizing leg, and you repeat on the other side. This exercise is fantastic for strengthening the hip flexors, an all too neglected part of core stabilization and balance.
16. Mummy Kicks
Start with all your weight on one foot, like with Run in Place, and kick your free leg straight out in front of you. You don’t need to try to kick super high or far out for this one. As seen in the video, just a little kick is enough. Alternate between your right and left feet, staying light on the balls of your feet and your toes.
17. Heel Taps
If you’ve mastered Mummy Kicks, then you’ll easily be able to integrate Heel Taps. Like Mummy Kicks, you will alternate your weight on one standing leg while kicking the other leg out in front of you, tapping your heel to the ground each time you land.
18. Toe Taps
Toe Taps are the same as Heel Taps, except you tap the ground in front of you with your toe instead of your heel.
19. Diagonal Straddle
This one builds on the Feet Side to Side exercise as you’ll alternate between your feet landing apart and then together. However, you’ll also stagger your feet, one foot forward and the other back. With each jump you’ll alternate feet by first landing in the center.
It should look like this: feet together, feet apart (left foot forward, right foot back), feet together, feet apart (right foot forward, left foot back), feet together…
Best Jump Rope Exercises: Advanced
20. Feet X’s
Starting with your feet apart, practice making an “X” with your feet by crossing your left leg in front of your right as you land. On the next rope rotation, jump and land with your feet apart and side by side, as usual. Repeat on the other side on the next jump, crossing your right foot in front of the left to make an “X” on the other side.
21. Single Leg
The Single-Leg is super challenging for your balance and will get your quads and glutes firing. It’s a Regular Bounce continuously on one single leg, with no switching. Set a goal for when to change legs. Maybe it’s every five jumps or 30 seconds – it’s up to you.
22. Fast Skip
Getting into the grittier, more complex exercises now. For the Fast Skip, you will hop twice on each foot before switching to the other leg. Here’s the tricky part, for the first hop, lift your free leg up, swing the rope around, hop again – landing on the same foot – and kick your free leg out in front of you. Essentially, each freestanding leg skips up then out, taking two bounces per side.
23. Double Unders
One of the coolest and most requested trick tutorials is for Double Unders. The key here is that you must jump explosively and rotate the rope around you for two rotations per jump. You will need to flick your wrists hard to propel the rope around you fast enough to accomplish this.
Because you have to jump explosively, at least 4-6 inches off the ground, you might only be able to do one Double Under before moving back into a Regular Bounce. That’s perfectly normal. Double Unders are great to throw in when you want to increase the intensity a little.
24. Criss Cross
This is another popular move involving more use of your arms. While doing a Regular Bounce, cross your arms across your body as you swing the rope around. Jump through as usual and bring your arms back to their respective sides. You can alternate on the side by switching arm positions or go back into a Regular Bounce. Again, these are tools for your toolbelt to throw in whenever it feels right. Have fun with it!
25. Criss Cross Run in Place
Combining the Criss Cross with the Run in Place is a beast move! Start by doing a Run in Place and throw in a Criss-Cross with your arms. When executed correctly, you’ll only have one foot on the ground with each bounce, alternating between each leg.
Start with a Run in Place, throw in a Criss-Cross Run in Place, then back to your Run in Place for a few paces, then Criss Cross again. Find your rhythm. This one has a lot of components and is fun to play around with, and it will get easier as you learn muscle memory.
26. Double Under Criss Cross
This combination move is a Double Under followed immediately by a Criss Cross. Complete your Double Under, then Criss Cross your arms and reset to the previous exercise or do another Double Under and Criss Cross with the arms switched.
27. Side Swipe Criss Cross
This is a fun exercise to incorporate more upper body, particularly shoulders, into your jump rope routine. Here, we combine a Side Swipe with a Criss Cross for a cool variation of arm movements while maintaining an easy Regular Bounce for the footwork throughout.
28. Single-Leg Double Under
Another excellent way to strengthen and challenge your legs is a Single Leg Double Under. As the name suggests, you’re going to hold one foot off the ground while attempting an explosive jump off one leg, a double rope rotation, and land on the same supporting leg.
This one will definitely be difficult to do more than one in a row, and that’s fine. Even doing one of these by themselves is an accomplishment. Set a goal of adding more to each side and then see if you can beat your personal record.
29. Single-Leg Double Under Crossover
Of course, we had to save the best for last. The most challenging move we have for you today is the Single Leg Double Under Crossover. For this sequence of moves, you will need to practice each component separately and drill them into your muscle memory first. Then, you can simply string them together for an intense combo.
The whole sequence is done on one supporting leg. Start with a Single Leg Double Under followed immediately by a Single Leg Criss Cross. If you can master a Single Leg Double Under Crossover, then you are well on your way to becoming a certifiable jump rope ninja! And if you’re not there yet, you’re not alone. It’s a great goal for you to aspire to!
New to Jumping Rope? Here Are Some Resources to Get Started
Jumping rope can be really frustrating at first, but practice makes perfect. We understand the struggle and so do thousands of others in the JRD community. And because we’ve seen it thousands of times, we know that you can absolutely blast through any fitness plateau and level up from beginner to intermediate to advanced.
For those just beginning their jump rope journeys, we offer the following helpful resources for you.
The Jump Rope Dudes Youtube Channel
If you’re truly a beginner at jumping rope, start by checking out our Youtube Channel. First, it’s free! And most importantly, it’s full of great workouts, inspirational transformation stories, and nutrition and training expertise.
The JRD Ultimate Beginner’s Guide (Blog)
We created our Beginners Guide to help people just starting their jump rope journeys. Take it from us; we’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way – and we’re trying to save you from those pitfalls with this guide. It focuses on the fundamentals like proper form, technique, timing, sizing your jump rope to fit you, and how to prevent injury.
Jump Rope Dudes TV
Once you’ve committed to the JRD way of life, take your fitness to the next level with Jump Rope Dudes TV. JRDTV aims to inform our community, provides loads of social support and accountability, and makes jumping rope more fun!
You will find personalized coaching, hundreds of commercial-free workouts, and a community forum. You can even sign up for a daily workout sent straight to your email inbox every Monday-Friday. JRDTV is our highly recommended solution for beginners if you’re short on time or struggle with consistency.
The Crossrope Jump Rope
Typically, a beginner’s first question is “What type of jump rope should I get?”
While you can use any jump rope to get started, we are huge proponents of the Crossrope jump rope because it’s the highest quality rope on the market. The best part is that their jump ropes are sold in sets, and the easy rope connect system allows you to quickly switch between different weighted ropes.
Some of the benefits of weighted jump ropes include:
- Burning more calories in less time.
- Increasing your metabolic rate and having it burn longer following HIIT.
- It incinerates fat (especially belly fat).
- It’s a phenomenal exercise for your heart and lowers your blood pressure.
- It improves lung capacity and oxygen consumption.
- It has been shown to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin resistance.
- It’s a total-body strengthening, anaerobic, and aerobic workout.
- It helps you master the fundamentals like timing and form by providing greater feedback from the weight.
Crossrope’s Get Strong Set comes with their 1 lb. and 2 lb. weighted jump ropes and newly redesigned handles that fit perfectly in your hands. The instant fast clip system allows you to switch out ropes in seconds. We need to mention that for some, the Get Strong Set might not be the most ideal jump rope set to start with. If you’re petite, haven’t worked out consistently, or are most interested in improving your speed, agility, and footwork then we strongly recommend you go with The Get Lean Set.
This set still allows you to switch out your ropes to vary intensities while training, giving you the benefit of HIIT but in more amenable, lighter weights. This set comes with a ¼ lb. and a ½ lb. rope and slim, comfort grip handles.
The Last Word on Leveling Up
Today we’ve shown you some new exercises to incorporate variety into your workouts that will challenge your muscles and help add new variations to your jump rope repertoire. Remember the #1 rule when it comes to leveling up from beginner to advanced – you better have fun with it!
If you have any questions or concerns about the exercises you saw today or anything jump rope related, then we’d love to hear from you. You can reach out to us on Instagram and Facebook, and we will try to get back to you asap!
Until next time, stay healthy. Keep jumping. And remember…
DO THE THING!