How to Jump Rope for Boxing

Boxers are some of the best athletes in the world.

Boxing requires intense mental focus, a keen sense of bodily rhythm, and the toughness to keep standing after getting punched in the head repeatedly.

To succeed in the ring, boxers need to have a lean physique, be light on their feet, and develop fast reflexes.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” –Muhammad Ali

Jump rope is a natural training tool for boxers because it delivers the results a boxer needs to win.

Why Boxers Use Jump Rope to Train

In almost every boxing movie you see at least one person jumping rope or doing the boxer skip. Whether it’s the main character or just someone in the background at their gym

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

But why do boxers use jump rope to train?

Short answer: because it works.

Endurance

A boxer needs endurance to last up to 12 rounds. Jump rope is effective for conditioning so boxers don’t get winded.

Strength

Even heavyweight boxers need lean muscle to stay agile. Jumping with weighted ropes increases your training intensity and promotes lean muscle growth.

Agility

Boxers who aren’t light on their feet are easy targets. Proper jump rope technique keeps you on your toes and helps boxers float like Ali.

Rhythm

If you can’t find your rhythm as a boxer, you won’t complete combos and land more punches. Jump rope helps you develop a simple rhythm so you understand how your body moves.

Focus

A distracted boxer gets knocked out pretty quick. Jump rope teaches you to stay focused because if your mind wanders too far you get whipped.

jrd-brandon-boxer.jpg

Brandon is actually training as a boxer and the only jump ropes he uses for training are from Crossrope.

Learn more about Crossrope and get 10% off your order with the code DOTHETHING.

How Boxers Use Jump Rope to Train

Boxing is a very technical sport, despite the violent nature of trying to punch each other in the head.

It’s a dance between two athletes who have trained for 100s if not 1000s of hours to develop speed, agility, and strength. Not to mention the skills of reading their opponent, blocking punches, and counterattacks.

Boxers use jump rope in a variety of ways to develop and hone these skills.

Feel the Rhythm

A boxer without rhythm is not going to be a boxer for very long. A boxer needs to feel the rhythm in their body as they move around the ring, and in their mind as they react to their opponent to deliver combinations and block attacks.

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Rhythm is a foundational skill to jump rope as well because without it, you’re gonna get whipped or hit yourself in the head.

To get your rhythm down, simply start jumping rope and count your skips by 4s, “1, 2, 3, 4” and repeat that as you continue to jump.

This might sound too simple, but this building block is how you’ll be able to jump rope with fewer and fewer mistakes and eventually do fancy tricks like the boxer skip, criss cross, and double unders.

TIP: If you trip up, don’t quit jumping until you do a full 1, 2, 3, 4 count with no mistakes. You want to end on a good note so you feel motivated to jump rope again next time.

The Right Jump Rope Length for You

After people ask which jump rope to get (we only recommend Crossrope), they always ask how long their jump rope should be.

This is a really important question because if your jump rope is too long, you’re more likely to get tangled up and trip. And if your jump rope is too short, you’ll either hit yourself in the ankles or the back of the head.

You’re already training to be a boxer. You don’t need any extra head injuries.

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Here’s how to measure your jump 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!

When you pick up a set from Crossrope, you can easily grab the right jump rope size for your height.

  • Small - for heights 4'9" - 5'3.5"

  • Medium - for heights 5'4" - 5'8.5"

  • Large - for heights 5'9" - 6'1.5"

  • X-Large - for heights 6'2" - 6'9"

(For metric measurements, Crossrope has a converter on each product page.)

Perfecting Your Form

Boxers with bad form not only look sloppy, but they’re less likely to land punches and more likely to leave openings in their defense which leads to jabs in the face.

While jump rope might look easy, proper form is not only technical but vital to getting the results you want and avoiding injury.

Your body is constantly in motion when you’re boxing. Jump rope helps boxers be light on their feet because proper form requires you stay on your toes and the keep your knees bent.

Other elements of proper jump rope form include:

  • Symmetry. Keep both your arms at the same height as you jump.

  • Hand placement. Make sure your hands aren’t too far forward or backward.

  • Jump height. You only need to jump 2-4 centimeters (less than 2 inches).

  • Posture. Don’t lean forward or backward. Keep your body tall and aligned.

Jump Rope for Cardio

In addition to being tough and agile, boxers need the endurance to last multiple rounds of getting punched. Win or lose.

Have you ever seen a boxer at the end of a match?

Often you can’t even tell who won or lost because both boxers are so sweaty and beat up.

Boxers train for endurance by doing cardio workouts like running, rowing, and jump rope. Jumping rope for cardio means you’re using a lighter rope and skipping for longer intervals.

Here’s a sample jump rope cardio workout:

30 Seconds - Jump Rope Boxer Skip
30 Seconds - Jab
30 Seconds - Jump Rope Shuffle Side-to-Side
30 Seconds - One-Two Combination
30 Seconds - Jump Rope Boxer Skip
30 Seconds - Jab
30 Seconds - Jump Rope Shuffle Side-to-Side
30 Seconds - One-Two Combination

  • Rest 10 seconds between exercises

  • Rest 1 minute between rounds

  • Repeat the circuit 2x (or complete 3x total)

Jump Rope for Lean Muscles

Boxer of any size need lean muscle to stay fast and agile while delivering powerful punches to their opponent.

The key to jump rope for muscle growth lies in using weighted ropes and adjusting your routine accordingly.

Heavy ropes are effective for maintaining muscle because the added weight increases the resistance per rotation for every skip. The additional resistance raises the level of intensity of your workout and promotes lean muscle development.

Here’s a sample jump rope muscle workout:

30 seconds - 1LB - Regular, Boxer, Criss Cross
30 seconds - 2LB - Reg, Side/Side, Front/Back
30 seconds - 1LB - Regular, Boxer, Criss Cross
30 seconds - 2LB - Reg, Side/Side, Front/Back
30 seconds - 1LB - Regular, Boxer, Criss Cross
30 seconds - 2LB - Reg, Side/Side, Front/Back
30 seconds - 1LB - Regular, Boxer, Criss Cross
30 seconds - 2LB - Reg, Side/Side, Front/Back

  • Rest 10 seconds between sets

  • Rest 60 seconds between circuits

  • Complete circuit 5x

Jump Rope Tricks for Boxers

Boxers are fun to watch in the ring and at the gym. With a couple jump rope tricks, people will be asking you if you’re a boxer. :)

Trick 1: Boxer Skip

The boxer skip is an obvious place to start when learning tricks to add into your workout routine.

Why do tricks?

  1. Because it’s fun

  2. Because it’s a challenge

If your workout is boring or too easy, you’re less likely to #dothething.

Here’s our newest boxer skip tutorial:

Trick 2: Double Under

The double under is a standard jump rope trick, but it can be difficult to master.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

The key to the double under is try and keep it the same as the basic jump. You’re not adding much at all to the jump. The only differences are:

  • Jumping a little higher off the ground

  • Adding more torque in your wrists as you rotate the rope

These tweaks add greater momentum to the rope and allow enough space under your feet so that the rope will rotate twice while you're in the air.

Here’s our updated double under tutorial to walk you through the trick:

Trick 3: Criss Cross

The simplest trick to learn for some beginners is the criss cross. It’s easy to add to your jump rope routine, and it just might look the coolest.

You need to keep two specific things in mind whenever you do the criss cross:

  1. Maintain your rhythm (1, 2, 3, 4…)

  2. The figure 8 “guns in holsters”

For specifics on how to master the criss cross, checkout this how-to video:

Jump Rope Like a Boxer

Do you know any boxers? Have you followed their workouts?

We went behind-the-scenes with two boxers to show you how they jump rope.

Brian Viloria

Mateo from Cartel

Even if you don’t want to be a boxer and get punched in the face, you can get a boxer’s physique with jump rope.

Boxers of any skill level ALWAYS have a coach. You can watch YouTube videos and buy a punching bag to hang in your garage, but without intentional coaching you can get hurt or fail to reach your potential in the sport.

Boxers are part of a tight community. Even though they face off in the ring and beat each other bloody.

Just like boxing, Jump Rope Dudes has gathered a community of jump rope friends and fans. The DOTHETHING Coaching Group boasts over 900 members and a growing library of exclusive resources. Learn more here.

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