8 Jump Rope Tricks That Will Make You Look Like A Ninja
We’re just gonna come out and say that jump rope is the most awesome workout. It looks cool, it’s fun to do, and it’s effective for weight loss.
Part of what makes jump rope so much fun is getting to do cool tricks! And tricks make jump rope workouts more effective because you enjoy doing it more and you don’t get bored.
Who knows? You might even become a jump rope professional!
Practice makes professionals
One thing you’ll notice about professionals in any sport is they make it look easy.
Throwing a touchdown pass, hitting a homerun, and scoring on a penalty kick looks easy when you’re watching a professional do it on TV.
But there are at least 2 things you might miss:
Professionals put in thousands of hours of practice over long periods of time
Professionals are getting paid to practice their passion and play the game
Now, you can’t really control whether or not you’ll ever make money jumping rope. But the only thing standing between you and a jump rope pro is some practice.
Mastering the basics
Professionals don’t just practice anything, they practice the basic techniques and proper form over and over so that they have a strong foundation to build up to more advanced skills.
When it comes to jumping rope, the basics look simple, but they are a little more technical than people think. However, once you master the basics, you’re better equipped to start doing cool tricks.
Jump Rope Fundamentals
Form. You can’t jump rope without rhythm, but you can learn. Begin by jumping without a rope and count “1, 2, 3, 4” repeatedly.
Function. If your jump rope is too long or too short you can trip or get frustrated. Make sure it’s the right length.
Feedback. As you skip the jump rope gives your body feedback every time it rotates around your body. If you’re struggling with the basics, try a heavier rope.
Footwork. Just because it’s called “jump rope” doesn’t mean you have to jump very high into the air. All you need is a little hop for the basic jump.
Symmetry. If your body is crooked, your jump will be crooked and your rope will get tangled. Keep your elbows pretty tight to your body.
Control. Your wrists and forearms control more of your jump rope than anything else.
The best jump ropes we’ve found are over at CrossRope. You’ll find them featured in all of our videos and we can’t recommend them enough.
Jump Rope Tricks for Beginners
Now that you’ve practiced the basics and understand the fundamentals of jump rope, it’s finally time to learn some tricks!
These beginner tricks will give you the tools and awareness of your body to progress to the more advanced stuff later.
REMEMBER: Practice. Practice. Practice. #DOTHETHING every day and you will get better.
As you get started with these tricks, keep the basics in mind and don’t get mad when you mess up. Because you will mess up. Just like we did. Just like everyone else. :)
All you’re gonna do to start off the Side Straddle jump rope trick is imagine a line on the ground next to your right foot.
As you perform a basic jump, you’re going to hop to the right over the line as your jump rope rotates over your head, staying on the balls of your feet.
On the very next jump, you’ll just hop back to the left over the invisible line.
From there you’ll simply continue hopping left and right until your set is done. You can add some variety to this trick by increasing the speed or height of the jump.
You can even use a real line by drawing one with chalk, or jumping rope in a parking lot or basketball court where there are permanent lines on the ground.
If you’re having trouble, try hopping back and forth over the line (real or imaginary) without a rope to get used to how it feels.
You’ll want to be careful not to jump too far side to side because you don’t want to lose your balance or get tangled up in your rope. This is just a little hop.
The Front Straddle version of this trick involves jumping forward and backward over the invisible line with a little hop just like the Side Straddle.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of these, you can combine them to create different variations where you’re jumping right, left, front, back or right, front, left, back or whatever you think is fun!
This is very similar to the regular bounce, but the difference is your alternating weight from one foot to the other.
Instead of hopping up and down, you’re jumping left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot or more simply, just running in place.
To get used to the motion, you can begin without a jump rope and gently run in place, remembering to stay on the balls of your feet and alternating left to right, left to right.
The biggest key for this trick is to get the rhythm down so we recommend counting in your head as you start using the jump rope “1, 2, 3, 4” (or “left, right, left, right”) and repeating that sequence on the same beat.
The great thing about this particular trick is that if you mess up, you can keep running in place while you swing your rope side to side to get back into the trick.
This trick is a natural progression from the Run-in-Place, you’re just doing a double tap on one foot while the other foot is swinging.
Again, starting off with no jump rope helps you get a natural feel for the rhythm.
Right right, left left, right right, left left.
Tap tap, tap tap, tap tap, tap tap.
Once you get a hang of this rhythm you can begin swinging one leg back and forward while the alternate leg is double tapping.
It might feel award at first, but if you begin practicing without a rope, you’ll pick it up within a few minutes.
After you’ve got this form down, you can grab your jump rope and start incorporating it into the trick.
With a firm grasp on your new footwork skills, nothing changes with your upper body. Your elbows are still tight to your hips, your wrists are held out sideways and controlling the rotation of your jump rope as it provides feedback with each jump.
To help you put these beginning tricks into practice and connect with our amazing jump rope community, check out our monthly challenge group. We have new, 4-week programs each month plus you’ll get daily encouragement and additional tips.
Advanced Jump Rope Tricks
With the basics mastered and a few basic tricks under your belt, you’re ready to tackle some of our favorite tricks.
Not only will you feel awesome once you nail each trick, but you’ll also look cool doing it. :)
The boxer skip is one of the most popular jump rope tricks you’ll see.
Just like the regular bounce, both feet are touching the ground but with the boxer skip, you’re shifting the weight from one foot to the other. 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 elbows in with your hands jutting out to the side of your hips as you maintain control of the jump rope.
You can do Double Boxer Skip variation where you’re tapping the same foot twice whenever you shift weight to a different side.
Watch the full Boxer Skip tutorial right here:
Double Side Swipe
We’ve done a Side Swipe trick video before, but our friend Jeremy showed us a cool new way to do them!
We’re gonna break down this trick into the different components and explain each part.
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.
For the standard Side Swipe, you'll notice that your dominant hand tends to stay on top of each rotation. This is similar to the criss cross that we'll learn later.
During the rotation to either side, keep in mind that you are sort of "pushing" the rope with your opposing hand. So when your rope is moving across your body to rotate on the left side, you're pushing it with your right hand. And when your rope is moving across your body to rotate on right side, you're pushing it with your left hand.
For the Double Side Swipe, the hand motion is very similar with one key difference. The biggest thing to understand is you're completing two swipes on either side by crossing your hands over each other on both sides of your body. (Make sure to check out the slow motion in the video below).
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. Dan likes to have whichever foot is on the side the rope is crossing to move forward. If the rope is crossing to the right, Dan will move his right foot slightly forward in a modified Boxer Skip.
While executing the Double Side Swipe, you'll find it natural to pause for a beat on either side of the Boxer Skip to get the full 4-count of the trick.
Now, 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.
Rope. Make sure your rope stays tight while practicing this trick. You might even want to use a heavier 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.
Watch the full Side Swipe tutorial right here (Standard AND Double):
The Criss Cross is one of the most popular jump rope tricks and it looks super cool!
As with most tricks, the Regular Bounce is the foundational element of the Criss Cross. You've gotta practice good form at all times, keep your back straight, head up, knees slightly bent, and a consistent "1, 2, 3, 4" rhythm.
Once you've got the Regular Bounce form down, you're ready to move onto the key part of this jump rope trick, crossing the hands. Hence the name Criss Cross.
The first step is to pick a hand that you want to come over the top. 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.
The second step is to visualize the movement in your mind. Try to picture putting your "guns in the holsters" like in an old Western cowboy movie (John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, etc). As you begin the Criss Cross your hands are in a wide position from doing a Regular Bounce, and you'll rotate your hands in and over one another (right over left or left over right) as they cross your body and bring your hands close to the opposing hip.
Sort of like your right hand is putting a gun away in a holster on your left hip, and your left hand is putting a gun away on your right hip.
Another way to look at it is to think of your wrists making a Figure-8 in the air as the cross in front of your body. With one arm going over and the other arm under on each Criss Cross.
Watch the full Criss Cross tutorial right here:
Double Criss Cross
The most difficult part of this the Double Criss Cross is your mind. It definitely takes focus and good form, but if you think too hard you're gonna mess up more often.
Before attempting this new jump rope trick, we strongly suggest you master the Criss Cross first and be able to perform it multiple times in a row. This practice will give you the muscle memory to avoid smacking your hands together and help you keep the rope tight throughout each rotation.
The Double Criss Cross is tricky to master, but the execution is fairly simple. You're basically interrupting the Criss Cross by adding a Regular Bounce while your hands are crossed on either side of your body.
After your wrists cross in front of you, you'll hold them close to the opposing hip for a beat and perform a backswing (kind of like a "flick") to carry the rope through another rotation before uncrossing your arms back to a normal Regular Bounce position.
Watch the full Double Criss Cross tutorial right here:
Mindset is the most important thing when it comes to the Double Under. Most people think this trick is really hard, but just like a Regular Bounce and you're spinning the rope around you really fast one time and letting it rotate a second time with the momentum you've spun into it.
Did you catch that? You're not spinning the rope around your body twice. You're spinning it once really fast and let it come around twice.
The truth is the Double Under can be learned quickly if you practice it the right way.
When it comes to getting that fast spin, there are a couple key pieces to note:
Feet. At the beginning of each bounce, you're kind of coiled up to explode. You're still only jumping 4-6 inches off the ground, but the jump is a significant source of power. You can practice without a rope at first to get the rhythm down for this slightly higher jump (versus the Regular Bounce which is 2-3 inches)
Wrists. To prepare to transfer the momentum from the jump to the rope, you'll move your wrists back as the first stage of the fast spin. As you jump, that's when your wrists come forward for the big, explosive first rotation.
As the rope continues spinning around your body, your wrists gently guide the rope around the second rotation of the Double Under.
Posture. Form is always critical to avoid injury and properly perform a trick. Make sure your body stays straight up and down and don't kick your feet forward or backward. Strict form keeps you healthy and improves your results.
Watch the full Double Under tutorial right here:
Double Under Criss Cross
Don't let this trick intimidate you. It took us a little while to master it and we're excited to help you learn it (hopefully quicker than we did).
For starters, you'll need to master both the Criss Cross and the Double Under before attempting this jump rope trick.
The Double Under Criss Cross is simple in theory, but the execution requires focus and the muscle memory from practicing the two tricks separately. A lot.
Mentally, you'll want to think of this move as a Double Under because you need that first explosive rotation to carry the rope around a second time so that you can do the Criss Cross with it.
Work your way up slowly. Do the Regular Bounce a few times and then add one Double Under Criss Cross before doing the Regular Bounce a few more times. Repeat that cadence until you feel comfortable adding the Double Under Criss Cross in more frequently.
Be patient. This trick is really cool and it's worth the time it'll take you to practice it.
Watch the full Double Under Criss Cross tutorial right here:
As you work on these tricks, you’ll notice that the quality of the rope you’re using matters a lot. If your rope is cheap or breaks, it makes jumping rope more difficult. CrossRopes makes the best gear available and you’ll see us using them in all the tutorials above. Check out their sets here.
Jump Rope Trick Workout
Now that you’re learning all these cool jump rope tricks, how do you incorporate them into your workout?
We’re glad you asked. :)
Here’s a sample workout routine that uses some of the tricks above, plus a couple more (don’t worry, we demonstrate each trick in the video below):
1 Minute - Jump Rope Run in Place
1 Minute - Jump Rope Double Unders
1 Minute - Jump Rope Fast Skip
1 Minute - Jump Rope Boxer Skip
1 Minute - Jump Rope Heel Taps
1 Minute - Jump Rope Toe Taps
1 Minute - Jump Rope Criss Cross
1 Minute - Jump Rope Run in Place + Criss Cross
1 Minute - Jump Rope Side Swipe
1 Minute - Jump Rope 3 Step Twist
Complete this circuit 2x
Rest 10 seconds between each set
Rest 1 minute in between each circuit
Your Next Step
Jump rope is a fun, effective workout method and tricks make it even better. Jump rope tricks look cool and are challenging to learn. Plus they provide variety for your workouts so you don’t get bored.
Which means you’re more likely to #DOTHETHING each day and that’s what really matters when it comes to fitness.
Whether you’re brand new to jump rope, just starting to learn a few tricks, or already double under ninja master, we want to invite you to workout with us.