Jump Rope Forward Shuffle Tutorial: How to Shuffle in 4 Steps

Detailing the nitty-gritty on how to land the jump rope forward shuffle

What’s up, JRD Nation?! Today we’re teaching you a fun, challenging jump rope trick for intermediate JRD Athletes— the forward shuffle!

Jump Rope Dude, Dan Witmer, will demonstrate each step in photos, so you can see it broken down into teachable parts. 

We’ll cover why it’s smart to challenge yourself with jump rope tricks and give you the best tips to help you nail the skills, timing, and coordination needed for this tricky move.

First, if you’re a beginner, start here and learn the fundamentals of the basic bounce and proper form before you try any jump rope tricks. We want to ensure you’ve established a solid skipping technique and form to prevent injury and stay safe. 

Why should you learn jump rope tricks? 

Benefits of Jump Rope Tricks

  • Prevents boredom: We put this at the top on purpose! One of the main reasons people give up on their fitness goals is boredom. We’re obsessed with the ENDLESS combinations of jump rope moves, speeds, and styles with which to create interesting, new, never-boring workouts!
  • Break-through plateaus: Weight loss plateaus occur when your body becomes complacent with your current fitness routine, and it can be discouraging and frustrating. The only way to bust through plateaus is with consistent workouts, good nutrition, and challenging yourself with more variety to shock your muscles. 
  • Prevents injury: Jumping rope is the ideal low-impact exercise to build bone density, healthier joints and prevent injury in all your daily activities. Your feet, ankles, and joints become stronger and more adept at absorbing the impact and rebounding, decreasing your risk of injury.
  • Increases strength: challenging your muscles in different ways is how you sculpt a well-rounded physique. Tricks challenge your muscles to take on more or less of the impact to perform moves, building more strength and coordination. 
  • Great for your brain: Intense physical activity is great for your cognitive capabilities. Research shows that performing challenging physical activities, especially those that require balance, like jumping rope, skating, surfing, and yoga, have been linked to increased neuroplasticity in adults as they age. 
  • Encourages socialization and community: You’re far more likely to enjoy and stick to your workout plan when you have an accountability buddy. We have the largest and most incredible jump rope fitness community in the world, and we encourage people to complete challenges together, post their tricks, and ask for advice! This helps people learn and overcome obstacles and builds a fellowship of like-minded Athletes to share their jump rope journies with. 
  • Gets you excited to Do The Thing: Watching Dan pull off a killer forward shuffle has got you pumped up and motivated to try something new—before you know it, it’s been 30+ minutes, and you’re drenched in sweat! This is the benefit of getting excited and also distracted by learning something challenging. It can trick your brain into not focusing on the hard and uncomfortable part of the workout. 

TIP: If you struggle with motivation and often find yourself checking out of workouts early, incorporating tricks can be an excellent strategy to keep you engaged. Also, check out how to train and fuel your recovery here: the ONLY 10 things that matter for weight loss

Now that you understand why we urge you to incorporate jump rope tricks into your workouts, here’s one that’s a TON of fun! And we’re going to break it down in 4 simple steps!

How to do the Jump Rope Forward Shuffle

This move can be frustrating in the beginning—be prepared to mess up a lot and laugh it off! You’ll have to learn some pretty complex muscle memory synchronicities in order to pull off the shuffle and time it with the rotations of your rope. It’s going to feel weird at first.

Be patient with yourself!

Step 1: Two Alternating Hops

To start, we’ll focus on footwork—leave the rope for now. You’re going to drill a double hop move that goes as such: hop with feet together hip-width apart (like your basic bounce). On the next hop, lift your left knee high, sort of like like you’re doing a skip, and land on your right leg. Repeat, hoping and landing with both your feet together, then on the next skip, lift the right knee high in the air and land on your left foot. Check out the images of Dan demonstrating below.

Remember, you’re not shuffling forward yet; work on getting the double hop and alternating your feets. This is a drill; you might want to work on this part until it feels comfortable. Take as much time as you need; we recommend at least 5-10 minutes of drilling these hops before you move on to step 2.

Step 2: Two Hops + Slide

Now we’re working on the shuffle part, which is actually an illusion. You’re not sliding on your foot (or shifting your body weight). You’re pretending by pushing one foot forward while keeping your weight back. Once your front leg is extended, imagine drawing a large “air triangle” with your front foot by pulling your knee to your chest and then placing it down with your feet side by side again, completing the triangle shape. The idea is to mimic the double hop drill in step 1 with your high knee foot kicking forward first.

Step 3: Twist Your Hips

The last piece of the puzzle, and then you’ll get to grab your rope. To make the shuffle easier and more stylish, you’ll need to twist your hips with the motion of your shuffle kicks. 

If you watch Dan in the Youtube demonstration, he leads his right front leg by twisting the right side of his hips forward first. Once the right foot is in front, he pulls his right knee high, making the top of the triangle shape, and places that foot back down to finish the move. This makes it easier to swing the alternating foot forward each time, plus it adds a fun dance element to how it looks. 

Again, it’s a great idea to drill this movement into your memory. Even when you’ve landed the exercise, it’s always wise to warm up your muscles and timing with a couple of drills first for tricky moves like this one. 

Step 4: Put it All Together

Now practice putting it all together. Grab your rope and try timing your rotations with just the two hops, then start pushing one foot out and working on making a better-defined “air triangle” with each skip.

Don’t get down on yourself if you mess up! The beauty of learning trick moves is you’re still getting the strength and cardio benefits, even if you can’t land ’em yet. It can take different people months or years to learn tricks; the most important part is to listen to your body and keep trying. 

Watch Dan demonstrate the shuffle on YouTube here.

Learn More Tricks in the JRD App

Did you like Dan’s jump rope forward shuffle tutorial? Then you’ll LOVE the JRD App! We’ve got endless workouts to keep you busy and smashing through plateaus, plus demos for jump rope tricks, our fantastic Community, individualized coaching, and the Nutrition System!

Best of all, you can TRY IT FREE! With the JRD 2-Week Free Trial, you’ll get access to ALL of our best-selling workout programs, with new daily workouts added every Mon—Fri for a full 14 days before you decide if you want to stick around!

That’s all for today, JRD Nation. Make sure and tag us in your jump rope videos, and remember—DO THE THING! 💪⚡