If you are on the hunt for a safe, effective, and FUN high-intensity workout, look no further than jumping rope!
Let’s be honest – logging miles outside or cycling the same course over and over again can quickly become boring. One of the reasons that we (Dan and Brandon) fell in love with jumping rope is that you can continuously learn new tricks and movements to keep your workouts exciting. For that reason, in today’s article, we are going to take a look at our top 10 jump rope tricks, from beginner to advanced.
We know what you’re thinking:
“But Dudes! I’m just getting my head wrapped around the jump rope fundamentals…”
Here’s the thing, you don’t need to be a jump rope expert to start incorporating new tricks into your routine!
Even if you have only just recently mastered the jump rope basics, you already have everything you need to begin practicing more advanced movements like double unders, running in place, and the criss cross. We don’t expect you to completely nail these tricks the first couple of times you practice them. However, with a little bit of practice and patience, you will have them down in no time.
Finally, we want to point out that today’s list is not exhaustive! We are simply going to review the tricks that we think you can (and should) begin incorporating into your jump rope routines as you move beyond the jump rope fundamentals.
OK – let’s dive in!
First Things First: Master the Jump Rope Basics
Before we get into today’s list of tricks, we want to highlight one important point: jump rope fundamentals are crucial to learning any new trick or movement.
Why? Because proper form will:
- Help you avoid common beginner mistakes (arms too wide, jumping too high, improper grip, etc.)
- Provide you with a solid foundation from which to learn the movements we will discuss today.
- Reduce the risk of some common injuries (looking at you shin splints).
- Result is a less frustrating, more enjoyable jump rope experience.
If you still need some work with the fundamentals, no problem!
We have a couple of great resources that can help you get over any “basics” roadblocks. First, we recently updated our beginner’s guide to jumping rope: How to Jump Rope: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide. Here, you will find everything you need to get started (including video tutorials). We cover a variety of topics, from basic technique to measuring your jump rope to our favorite equipment.
Next, if you continue to struggle after reading through the guide, we recommend checking our Jump Rope Dudes TV.
JRDTV is our premium on-demand jump rope fitness platform. Accessible from any “smart” device (no TV needed!), members receive access to a library of jump rope and bodyweight workouts tailored for all skill levels and any fitness goal. Our aim is to offer dudes and dudettes a unique jump rope experience that focuses on community, accountability, and support. We have received a lot of positive feedback from members, especially with respect to the quality and depth of the workout library and the great vibes in the community forum.
Check both resources out and see which works best for you!
Jump Rope Tricks for Beginners
In this section, we will cover what we consider “pure” beginner movements. That is to say, these are tricks that will flow naturally out of your “regular bounce” jump rope progression. They shouldn’t be too difficult to learn. Our recommendation is to focus on mastering the three tricks we will cover here before moving on to our list of more advanced movements. Get ready to beat boredom and nail some cool @$$ tricks!
1. Front and Side Straddle
If you’ve ever participated in a sport like basketball or a group exercise class that incorporated plyometrics, then you might be familiar with lateral hops. The front and side straddle is very similar (in fact almost identical) to this movement, the only difference being that you will be performing it with your jump rope in hand.
- To begin, draw a chalk line on the ground, or use a line from a basketball court or the space in between two tiles on the floor. Stand to one side of the line, with the outside of your foot parallel with the line on the floor.
- As you begin to jump rope with regular bounce, jump with both feet to the right of the line, then hop back over so both feet are to the left of the line. This is the side straddle.
- This shouldn’t be an overly exaggerated movement; focus on tiny, quick hops back and forth over the line while keeping the weight on the balls of your feet.
- The front straddle is similar to the side version, except now you’ll be perpendicular to a line in front of you. Once you begin jumping, hop forward and backward over this line until your set is complete.
For those visual learners, please see Dan’s video tutorial embedded above. Keep in mind that it is a bit older, back from the Zen Dude Fitness Days!
This trick is very similar to the regular bounce. The major difference is that instead of hopping up and down, you’re shifting your weight from one foot to the other (aka, running-in-place). To get used to the motion, you can begin without a jump rope and gently practice the movement, remembering to stay on the balls of your feet. Check out the video tutorial embedded above (also from the Zen Fitness Days).
- Once you feel comfortable running-in-place sans rope, begin doing the basic jump.
- From here, you’ll want to alternate jumping from one foot to the other, just like you would be doing if you were running!
- Repeating “left, right, left, right” in your head as you jump can help. This will help you stay on beat and better coordinate your swings and your steps.
3. Fast Skip
With “run-in-place” mastered, the fast skip is the next progression. This trick requires you to do a double-tap on one foot while the other foot is swinging out in front of your body.
- To master this trick, essentially, you’ll be hopping twice on one foot before switching to the opposite side. Think of it as “right, right, left, left, right, right, left, left.”
- Practice this movement without your rope and feel confident with your “taps” before attempting to incorporate the “swing” portion of the trick.
- Once you get a hang of this rhythm you can begin swinging one leg back and forward while the alternate leg is double-tapping.
Confused? Check out the video tutorial embedded above. Dan provides a great “rope-less” walkthrough of the leg swing at the 2:10 mark.
Advanced Jump Rope Tricks
Now that you’ve got some basic movements down, it’s time to move on to some more advanced tricks. As you progress with these movements, remember to focus on maintaining your fundamentals, especially with respect to your upper body. As a general rule, your elbows should still be tight to your hips, your wrists held out sideways, and you should always be in control of the rotation of your jump rope. If you’re feeling frustrated as you move through some of these more advanced exercises, we always recommend first practicing the movement without your rope.
1. Mummy Kicks
Fun and easy to learn, mummy kicks are a great introduction to more advanced jump rope movements. If you’ve nailed the run in place from the beginner trick section, the mummy kicks are an excellent next step. See the video embedded above (starting about the 2:00 minute mark) for a visual tutorial if needed!
- To begin, you are going to want to practice the “left, right, left, right” step pattern from “running-in-place.”
- Alternating back and forth between legs, kick your legs straight out in front of you as you jump. Think of it as a straight leg kick, without jumping very high off the ground.
- Pull your toes back toward your shin as you kick in order to execute this movement correctly!
2. Boxer Skip
One of the most popular jump rope tricks around, mastering this trick will have you feeling like you are training for a 12-round fight for the belt! Although similar to regular bounce in the sense that both of your feet will be touching the ground, with the boxer skip, you will be shifting your weight from one foot to the other.
- Again, start as you would with regular bounce (both feet touching the ground as you jump).
- Next, alternate your weight back and forth between your right and left leg.
- As your weight shifts back and forth, right to left, you’ll tap the alternating foot creating a small “skip” (hence the name!).
Remember, to keep your jump height minimal and stay on your toes. For some inspiration, check out Brandon’s video tutorial embedded above. He does a great job of explaining each step of this trick, and his extensive experience in boxing gyms really shines through.
3. Side Swipe
The jump rope side swipe is great because not only does it make you look like a total boss as you jump, but it is a sneaky technique to take a little rest mid-routine as you transition from movement to movement. We are going to break this trick down by components.
First, your hands. The biggest thing to remember is that your hands are always together. Keep your hands in front of your body, hold the handles so that they’re straight out, and just do an easy swing side to side while almost touching your knuckles together.
Next, your feet. Because of the right-left motion of the rope, you might find it easy to default to a boxer skip style of movement for your feet as your weight shifts side to side. Although this is Dan’s preference, you don’t have to do it this way. In fact, you don’t have to move your feet at all when doing the side swipe. However, it’s a great transition move between tricks and keeping the rhythm by bouncing on the balls of your feet will help.
Finally, your rope. Make sure your rope stays tight to the body as you practice this trick. You might even want to use a weighted jump rope so that you’re getting more feedback on each rotation. This will help you get a better feel for the trick before speeding things up with a lighter rope.
Check out the full video tutorial embedded above to learn how to perform both the standard and double variations of the side swipe.
4. Criss Cross
Although definitely one of the coolest looking tricks, the criss cross is one of our favorites for scorching body fat. As with most tricks, the regular bounce is the foundational element of the criss cross. Essentially, you will be performing the regular bounce before crossing your arms as the rope passes under your body.
- The first step is to pick a hand that you want to come over the top as you cross your arms. Some people alternate and do both right and left. Dan usually crosses over the top with his left hand and his right hand underneath. One way (or hand) isn’t better than the other. It’s just whatever is the most comfortable for you.
- As you begin the criss cross, your hands should be in a wide position. Performing regular bounce, rotate your hands in and over one another (right over left or left over right), crossing your midline and bringing your hands to each opposite hip.
- As you cross, keep your thumbs pointed down towards the ground (this will help with rope clearance). Once your rope is back above your head, uncross your arms, bringing them back to your sides, and repeat.
Another way to look at this movement is to think of your wrists making a figure-8 in the air as they cross in front of your body, with one arm going over and the other arm under with each rotation of the rope.
5. Double Criss Cross
A more advanced version of the trick we just covered, we highly recommend mastering the regular criss cross before progressing to the double criss cross. We also strongly suggest you reach a point where you can perform the regular criss cross multiple times. This will provide you with the muscle memory needed to avoid smacking your hands together and help you keep the rope tight throughout each rotation.
- The difference between the regular criss cross and the double is that you’ll be adding in another bounce while your hands are criss crossed in front of your body.
- Once your dominant hand is picked and you’ve crossed your wrists over to the opposing hips, you’ll then take the rope through another rotation around your body before returning to the original start position.
Again, check out the embedded video above to see Dan’s detailed breakdown of the trick.
6. Double Unders
Double unders tend to be one of the more challenging tricks to master for JRD community members. For this reason we put together a comprehensive blog post detailing each step of the trick. Check it out here. This is one of our favorite tricks because not only is it the mother of all HIIT exercises, but research shows that double unders can help improve explosive performance in functional movement patterns such as sprinting. Again, rather than a trick sequence, we are going to break this down by component.
First, your feet. At the beginning of each bounce, you should be coiled up and ready to explode. Rather than the 1-2 inches you would typically jump for regular bounce, you are going to jump around 4-6 inches off the ground. We suggest practicing rope-less power jumps (see the blog linked above). You should explode off of the ground, reach optimal jump height, and return softly to the ground with a slight bend in your knees before exploding again off the rebound.
Next, your wrists. As you jump, your wrists will come forward for a big, explosive first rotation. As the rope continues spinning around your body, your wrists should gently guide the rope around your body for a second rotation.
Finally, your posture. Form is always critical to avoid injury and properly perform this trick. Make sure your body stays straight up and down and don’t kick your feet forward or backward.
7. Double Under Criss Cross
Our final trick is for those dudes and dudettes looking for ninja status. The double under criss cross is the combination of the criss cross + double unders. Mentally, you’ll want to think of this move as a double under first as you will need that initial explosive jump/rotation to help carry the rope around a second time so that you can perform a criss cross with it.
- Begin with regular bounce.
- Once in rhythm, perform a double under (aka explosive power jump with a quick wrist rotation).
- As the rope comes around for its second rotation, cross your wrists as you normally would for the criss cross, allowing the momentum of the rope to carry under your body.
- Finally, uncross your wrists as you complete your second rotation.
Again, we recommend learning this trick with a weighted rope to keep you balanced through the second rotation.
The Crossrope: Jump Rope Tricks Made Easy
When it comes to mastering the tricks outlined in today’s article, a weighted rope is a huge asset. Not only do weighted ropes leverage resistance to burn a ton of calories, but this added resistance actually makes it easier to learn more advanced jump rope tricks. Our favorite weighted jump rope is the Crossrope jump rope. There are two different Crossrope sets that we typically recommend to the JRD community: the Get Strong jump rope set and the Get Lean jump rope set.
While both are weighted ropes, the ropes contained in the Get Strong set are heavier, coming in at 1 and 2 LBs. This set is ideal for those dudes and dudettes who have already mastered the jump rope basics and are looking to increase muscle endurance and while engaging in a true full body workout. The ropes in the Get Lean set are lighter, coming in at 1/4 and 1/2 LBs. This set is for those individuals new to jumping rope and the tricks we covered in today’s article.
Bottom Line: Practice Makes Perfect
With a jump rope in hand, you can kiss exercise boredom goodbye! Remember, to master the tricks detailed above, practice is key. Trust us when we say that the more consistent you are in practicing these moves, the easier they will become. If you want a more comprehensive list of tricks to take a crack at, check out our 20-trick video tutorial here.
For more inspiration, workouts, and trick tutorials, check us out on our YouTube channel. You can also catch us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for stopping by fam. It’s an honor to accompany you on your jump rope journeys! Have fun and don’t forget to DO THE THING!