When you first begin learning a new skill, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and skip over the fundamentals to stuff you’re not ready for. The trouble is that you’re more likely to trip up, get frustrated, and quit.
Jump rope is no exception.
There’s no fun without the fundamentals.
In this video, we’re gonna walk you through the jump rope fundamentals for beginners as well as mistakes to avoid so that you have a strong foundation to build on.
Jump Rope Fundamental #1: Form
Rhythm is key to jumping rope. A consistent jump (or “bound” as our Crossrope friends call it) will minimize your chances of tripping up, and establish a strong foundation for increasing speed and adding tricks later.
In order to get your rhythm down, start jumping without a rope.
A proficient rhythm will make the jump rope learning curve much easier to climb.
The next building block to mastering your rhythm is by counting.
Count 1, 2, 3, 4 in your head (or out loud if your shameless like us) to get your pattern down.
This counting is important because when you start jumping with a rope, the spinning of the rope over your head and around your body should sync up with your feet.
Remember: the counts should all be evenly spaced. Not 1…2.3…4.
Jump Rope Fundamental #2: Function
If you treat your body like a machine to #dothething, you need the right tools for the job.
That’s why we love jump rope so much, it’s just your body and the rope. Nothing fancy.
However, because your jump rope is the only thing in your toolbox (besides your shoes), it’s important to have the right size.
If your jump rope is too long, it’ll hit the ground too far in front of you, creating extra drag and increasing the likelihood of getting tangled up.
If your jump rope is too short, you run the risk if hitting yourself in the ankles or the back of the head. Neither of which we recommend.
How to Measure Your Rope
Hold your rope by the handles in front of you at chest level
Step on the middle of the rope with one foot
Pull the handles up to remove the slack
If the handles are now around the middle of your chest, you’re all set!
If you need additional help measuring your rope, check out this video where we walk through how to pick the right jump rope size for you in more detail.
Jump Rope Fundamental #3: Feedback
One of the biggest reasons why we love us some Crossrope is because the ropes are weighted.
Not only does this allow for more intense muscle building and fat burning workout routines, but there is a secret benefit for beginners.
Heavier Rope = More Feedback
The specific jump rope we’re using in the video for this post is 1/2 pounds. The additional weight over the 1/4 pound rope allows for more resistance which provides more feedback as you’re starting out.
It’s easier to tell when you’re going to fast/slow or if your rhythm is inconsistent.
Also, the added weight creates more momentum so it feels easier to maintain a steady pace as you get in the groove.
Jump Rope Fundamental #4: Footwork
If you ever jumped on your bed as a kid, or on a trampoline at any age (because you’re never too old for a trampoline), you understand that your legs are like springs.
If you were to straighten your legs instead of bending them, you’d bob up and down a few times before gravity took over and you’d be left standing still on a trampoline evaluating your life choices.
Or, for a higher stakes analogy, if you were to jump off the trampoline, you definitely want to bend you’re legs when you land to avoid serious injury.
Now, jumping rope is far less impactful on your bones and joints than jumping on (or off) a trampoline, but it’s still important to keep your knees slightly bent.
Additionally, to complete the mental image of a spring, you want to make sure you’re jumping up on your toes. Combined with keeping your knees slightly bent will help you avoid injury while jumping rope.
Jump Rope Fundamental #5: Symmetry
While the length and weight of your rope are important, the position and posture of your body are critical to moving from jump rope beginner to jump rope master.
We just talked about your knees and toes, the next element is your hand placement.
Ideally, you want your hands jutting out from each side of your hips in a line so that the handle of your ropes are mostly parallel with the ground.
If you were to take a video or photo of yourself jumping rope, you’d want to be able to draw a straight line from head to toe and have each side of your body aligned.
Jump Rope Fundamental #6: Control
Despite their seemingly insignificant size and relative strength, your wrists and forearms are the most important key to controlling everything about jumping rope.
Yes, even more important than your feet. Do not focus on your feet.
We cover wrist position and forearm extension briefly in the video above, but you can get more details here.
Control requires a few more elements:
Hand placement. Make sure your hands aren’t too far forward or backward. This ties in with the side-to-side symmetry and keeps you from tripping up on your rope.
Jump height. Your jump should stay between 2-4 cm off the ground (or .78-1.57 inches for our US fans). Maintaining a low jump height helps avoid injury and lets you jump longer.
Posture. Be careful not to lean forward or backward while jumping, and keep your eyes on the horizon. You want your body tall and aligned not only to avoid injury, but to maximize the results of your workout.
Jump Rope Beginner Mistakes
When you first get your jump rope you’re all excited to start jumping. You tear open the packaging, grab your ropes, and just start whipping it around.
If you’re like us, you will make a lot of mistakes at the beginning and, if you don’t want to quit after the first week and throw your ropes under your bed in disgust, here’s what to avoid.
The Double Jump. Do not sneak in a little extra “hop” for each rotation of the rope. This makes it more difficult to master a steady rhythm and will hinder your progress.
Misalignment. Maintain a healthy posture and be mindful of the different control elements. If you’re off balance or have one arm too high, it’s hard to find a consistent rhythm.
Kicking Heels Back. Just don’t. This increases stress on your knees and shins, and you’re more likely to trip on your rope or stumble.
Flailing Arms. You’re trying to jump rope, not fly to the moon. Be aware of your hand placement, wrist position, and forearm extension to stay in control of arms.
Holding Rope Too High. If your hand are raised too far above your waste, you eliminate the slack necessary for the rope to make a full rotation, and it’s probably going to get tangled.
Using a Crappy Rope. Trying to learn how to jump rope with a cheap, flimsy rope is difficult because it’s too light and doesn’t offer a lot of feedback as you jump.
What Jump Rope to Buy
Hold on a moment, before we go any further please hear us:
Any jump rope is better than none.
While we are HUGE fans of Crossrope and we believe they are the best jump ropes in the world, any jump rope is better than none.
If you’re just starting out with jump rope and you’re not even sure if you like it or not, check out this little video we made about a few cheap jump rope options.
That said, if you’re jumping rope to burn fat and build muscle, Crossrope is your best option because it’s not just a jump rope, it’s a weight loss system.
The different weighted ropes give you multiple options for providing variety in your workout routine, and allowing you to custom your own jump rope experience to meet your fitness goals.
Lastly, cheap jump ropes wear out pretty quickly when you’re using them on a regular basis like us, and you’ll likely end up paying a lot to replace them every month or so.
Crossrope has the most durable products on the market, and their made from high quality materials so they last a long time.
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