Top 5 Beginner Jump Rope Mistakes

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What’s up, JRD Nation?! With the start of the new year, many people are taking a greater interest in upping their fitness game. Our social media and YouTube comments are talking a lot about beginners and the fundamentals of jumping rope — and we’re here to help!

Today we’re going to review proper form and the top 5 jump rope mistakes beginners often make.  

The Top Jump Rope Mistakes Beginners Make

These tips will help if you’re new to jumping rope, new to the Jump Rope Dudes, or just want to see if you’re guilty of committing any of these mistakes that can seriously derail your jump rope journey.

1. Arms and elbows too wide

Think of it this way, a figure skater spinning in a circle brings their arms and legs in tighter to spin faster, right? This is the same theory with your jump rope, keeping your wrists and forearms pulled in close to your sides ensures that you’re building tension and have the momentum to spin your rope faster, too. 

Keep your elbows and wrists pulled in by your sides, your hands jutting out from your hips at about a 45-degree angle.

2. Improper rope length

We get asked this question all the time! How do I measure my jump rope for my height?

It’s pretty simple…

How to Measure Your Jump Rope

Step directly in the middle of your rope and pull the handles up. The base of the handles should land right at your armpits (or the midline of your chest.) 

3. Using arms too much

In the middle of your body, your core muscles are the source of tension and power for your jump rope rotations. The tighter and faster your wrists flick the rope, the more momentum your spins will have. This means more vigorous, dynamic rope spins – which come in handy for moves like double under

Many people are surprised to learn that they don’t have to do much with their arms to jump rope. In fact, using your arms too much will likely throw you off rhythm and trip you up.

4. Jumping too high, using legs too much

People tend to overestimate how high they have to jump to get over the rope and often clear 5-6 inches (or waste a lot of time double jumping with each rotation.) Don’t make these rookie mistakes! 

Your regular bounce should give just enough space for the rope to pass under you – about 1-2 inches off the ground is all you need. 

5. Doing too much too soon

We know you want to have fun, lose weight, do awesome tricks, and DO THE THING!

However, you must cross the injury barrier to see results and ensure you can stick with it long-term. 

If you do too much too soon, you can easily get injured, requiring you to rest, recover and start again. If you try to play catch up and overdo it again, you’ll re-injure yourself. This can create a vicious cycle that prevents you from ever getting to that sweet spot where you can jump rope regularly with comfort and ease.

Start with just 5 minutes every other day if you’re new to jumping rope for the first month, at least. If you feel good and strong after a month, go ahead and work towards a full 20-minute jump rope workout!

TIP: Record yourself jumping rope! It’s an excellent way to check your form for jump height, keeping your arms at your sides, and also rope length!

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