The Ultimate Jump Rope Workout Guide

Jump rope is one of the best workouts you can do. You’ll burn fat, lose weight, and improve your cardio, all while gaining lean muscle mass.

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The biggest obstacles to working out are time, knowledge, and boredom. You don’t have time to workout. You don’t know what to do for a workout. You don’t have fun when you workout.

Fortunately, jump rope workouts solve all three of these problems.

  1. Jump rope workouts are extremely effective for weight loss in as little as 5-10 minutes

  2. Jump rope workouts are simple to master.

  3. Jump rope workouts are fun!

Plus there are a bunch more benefits to jump rope:

  • Portable so you can take it anywhere

  • Complete, full-body workout

  • Easy to incorporate into any existing training regimen

  • Keep your body warmed up between other workout sets

  • Low risk of injury with lower impact on knees and ankles than running

  • Fun tricks for beginners and experts

  • Increased weight loss and toned muscle as skill level progresses

  • Boosted metabolism

  • Improved agility, endurance, and vertical leap

  • And amazing calve muscles :)

If you’ve never considered a jump rope workout before, or if you want to know how to add jump rope to your training routine, we’ve got you covered.

If you need a jump rope, the only one we use and recommend is this one (you’ll see it in ALL of our videos).

Jump Rope Fundamentals for Beginners

In order to get the most out of a jump rope workout, you need to know a few basics. These will help you master the fundamental skills more quickly, and avoid injury or frustration.

  1. Form. Rhythm is key to jumping rope. To get this down you start jumping without a rope and count “1, 2, 3, 4”.

  2. Function. Your body is a machine and you need the right tools for the job. Make sure your jump rope isn’t too long or too short.

  3. Feedback. If you’re new to jump rope, try learning with a heavier rope because you’ll get more physical feedback as you jump.

  4. Footwork. Your legs are springs, but you don’t need to jump very high. Stay on your toes and keep your knees slightly bent.

  5. Symmetry. The position and posture of your body are key. Keep your hands near hip level. Here’s more on wrist and forearm position.

These jump rope basics will help you establish a strong foundation for taking your workout to the next level.

How to Jump Rope for Weight Loss

The most effective element of a jump rope workout is intensity

If you’re not getting the results you want from a workout, it’s at least partially due to a lack of intensity.

Just going through the motions and checking a box is always better than nothing, but you’re not going to maximize the benefits of a jump rope workout without intensity.

You can boost the intensity of your jump rope workout by increasing any one of these variables (or all of them):

  1. Speed. Jump faster for the same amount of reps.

  2. Resistance. Use a heavier jump rope to activate muscles.

  3. Duration. Jump rope for a longer period of time.

  4. Reps. Jump rope for more repetitions per set.

While intensity is key, make sure you maintain strict form so that all of the tension you experience during a jump rope workout is felt in your body.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

All of our jump rope workouts feature a HIIT structure with 20-30 seconds of all-out intensity followed by 10 seconds of complete rest.

This interval is then repeated 4 times for a single round. And each round is repeated 3-5 times.

We have a couple HIIT workouts for you below, and here is another 20-minute jump rope workout to help you get fit on the fly.

How to Stay Healthy with Jump Rope

With any fitness program it’s important to know your body, understand your limitations, and take precautions to avoid injury.

Is jump rope dangerous?

Absolutely not. You can throw out your back just tying your shoes if you’re out of shape and don’t practice good posture.

(Or if you’re like Dan and try to learn how to backflip without adequately training your body beforehand)

The keys to staying healthy with jump rope are:

1. Warm-Up

Plenty of people twist an ankle or tear a muscle running if they just lace up their shoes and start sprinting down the block without warming up.

Jump rope is no exception.

Here are some warm-up tips you can use to activate your muscles and loosen up your joints before a jump rope workout.

  • Resistance bands. Use these to do duck walks and bodyweight squats on your toes. 

  • Loaded calf raises. Do 3 sets of 10 reps with the bands or a weight in one hand.

  • Foam roller. Roll out your legs and hips with a foam roller.

  • Lacrosse ball. While standing, place one foot on a lacrosse ball to loosen it up.

Lastly, to get your whole body prepped for your jump rope workout, we recommend our dynamic warm-up routine:

  • 20 Jumping Jacks

  • 10 Squats

  • 10 Push-ups

  • 5 Front Lunges (each leg)

Complete this little mini-circuit 3 times.

2. Injury prevention

We aggressively advocate that you #dothething each day, but some times that means taking a day off.

(GASP!)

Especially when you’re starting out, we recommend taking 1-2 full days off from jump rope workouts.

It’s easy to get caught up in a fun, new program, but if you overdo it by jumping rope 20-30 minutes a day, every single day, your body can’t recover and you increase your chance of getting hurt.

Rest also means getting enough sleep. Everyone is different, but it’s highly recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that 7-9 hours of sleep is ideal for adults.

Besides getting sufficient rest, here are some additional tips to avoid injury regardless of your workout routine:

  • Eat nutrient dense foods. Your body needs fuel to perform and if you’re filling it up with junk or not enough macronutrients, it won’t function optimally.

  • Stay hydrated. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water per day (if you weigh 200 pounds, you drink 100 ounces of water).

  • Jump on soft surfaces. You can decrease the impact on your joints by jumping rope on a gym floor or a mat.

  • Maintain good form. This is a basic principle of any program. Never sacrifice good form and you’ll drastically decrease the chance of injury.

Lastly, since many of us are prone to back injuries, you can strengthen your core with these movements:

  1. Bird dog

  2. Planks

  3. Side Planks

  4. Hamstring Curls

  5. Overhead Bag Helicopter

  6. Arm Taps

You can see demos of each movement right here.

3. Dealing with Soreness

The most common form of soreness people experience with a jump rope workout is shin splints.

Ouch!

You don’t have to let shin splints stop you from jumping rope and there are a few ways you can recover from (and prevent) them:

  • Anterior Hip Stretch

  • Heel Walks

  • Lacrosse Ball for Feet

  • Foam Roller for Legs

  • Static Stretches (after exercise only)

  • Cold Water (jump in after you workout)

In order to create a full, functional fitness routine, we recommend incorporating body weight exercises into your jump rope workout.

To get our 4 week workout plan click here

Jump Rope Workout for Beginners

Getting started on any new training program can feel a little overwhelming.

This jump rope workout is designed to help you get your rhythm down and nail your footwork so you can build more confidence before trying more advanced stuff later.

Remember: grab the best jump ropes available right here.

Beginner Routine

Complete the following circuit 3 times:

30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec run in place 1/4 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec boxer skip 1/2 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec single leg 1/4 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec run in place 1/2 lb rope 
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec boxer skip 1/4 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec single leg 1/2 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec run in place 1/4 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec boxer skip 1/2 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec single leg 1/4 lb rope
30 seconds - 15 sec regular bounce / 15 sec run in place 1/2 lb rope

  • Rest 10 seconds between each 30-second jump rope set

  • Rest 1 minute between each circuit

Jump Rope Tutorials

Regular Bounce

Run in Place

Boxer Skip

Single Leg

Jump Rope Workout for Beasts

As you master the jump rope basics and are ready for the next level, you’ll want to focus on intensity and endurance to really burn fat and build muscle.

This jump rope workout is from our BURN series and is designed to help you lose weight.

For access to all of our workouts, including 12-week programs, nutrition coaching, and more checkout the DOTHETHING Coaching Group.

Burn Routine:

Complete the following circuit as many times as possible for 15 minutes (resting 30 seconds between each circuit):

  • 1 min jump rope boxer skip - 1/2 lb rope

  • 30 sec pushups

  • 30 sec bodyweight squats

  • 30 sec jump rope sprint - 1/2 lb rope

Advanced only: Rest 1 minute and repeat routine for another 15 minutes.

Jump Rope Coaching and Community

One of the biggest reasons people fail to hit their fitness goals and give up on New Year’s resolutions is they don’t have any support.

Trying to quit a bad habit or start a good habit requires motivation, dedication, and community.

  • Claim the reason why you want to get fit

  • Commit to yourself that you are worth achieving this goal

  • Find a community of people who are doing what you want to do

That’s why we created the DOTHETHING Coaching Group. This enthusiastic tribe is all about fitness being fun, doing the work, and cheering each other on.

We become like who we hang out with.

If you spend time with people who like cars, you’ll learn more about fixing and maintaining cars.

If you spend time with people who are terrible with money, you’ll probably make bad money choices.

If you spend time with people who enjoy jump rope and feeling more fit each day, you’re going to like jump rope and get more fit.

Learn more about the DOTHETHING Coaching Group and grab your free trial now.

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