Ah, the good ol’ jump rope. It is so much more than just the toy you remember from the playground at school! It is one of the best forms of cardio around and, if you do it right, it can also be a KILLER total body workout. Here are a few reasons why I think everyone should start jumping rope.
1-Jumping rope has less of a chance for injury than jogging. If life-fitness is your goal (which it should be) then finding exercises that work, are fun, and have the smallest chance for injury is a must. Jumping rope, when done properly, is just that. When you jump rope with good form, your feet only leave the ground about 1-2 inches. It is very low impact and has been shown to have way less injuries than jogging. Most joggers (80%) that run a few times a week experience at least one injury a year. The chance for injuries while jumping rope are much lower! (unless you go full BEAST mode and attempt some crazy tricks, like a jump rope back-flip)
2-It is one of (if not THE) the best forms of cardio in term of calories burned per hour. Jumping rope is crazy good for calorie burn! Typically, jogging (not sprinting, mind you) burns about 350-500 calories an hour. Moderate jumping-of-the-rope burns 1100-1300 calories per hour! Part of this has to do with the fact that you can’t really “cheat” at jumping rope. You either jump the rope, or you don’t. Now there are better ways to jump rope that are more or less effective at the calorie burn game (I’m talking double-unders or, the opposite, jumping twice between rotations. also know as “beginner hops”) and you can also get heavier ropes or weighted handles to increase the intensity of it. Also, if you do some HIIT work in your routine, the calorie burn is through the roof!
3- You can do it ANYWHERE. Sure, you can also jog anywhere but a lot of people don’t like to go outside if the weather is bad (personally, I find that running in a snowstorm is awesome and makes you feel BA) or if they are in a place where they don’t feel “safe”, like a new city or something. With a jump rope, you only need an area that is slightly less wide than your wing span and only about 1-2 feet taller than you are. You can do it in most garages, hallways, alleys, etc. It is extremely easy to throw your rope in a backpack, and they are easy enough to get on planes. Since jumping rope can also be a great total body workout, it’s like having a gym with you wherever you go! No more excuses when you are traveling!
4- It is never boring! There are many different “tricks” and techniques to learn. Once you master one, there is always another to try so it never gets old. After you get a few techniques down, you can easily create varied routines that will take you 10-15 minutes to do, without doing the same basic jumping for more than 30 seconds at a time.
Those are just a few of the reasons why I think you should start jumping rope. If you want to get started then the first thing you will need (obviously) is a rope. If you aren’t sure if you will like jumping rope, I recommend getting a cheaper rope to start with. But keep in mind that there is a huge difference when it comes to quality of ropes out there! $50 should get you a very good rope that will last years. As a side note, the handles are usually the most expensive part. Once you get a good rope, you can easily replace the rope (or rather, the cable) for just a few bucks and a trip to your local hardware store. I have repaired my rope twice in the last 3 years and it only costs $3.50 for new cable and a plastic casing.
One last thing: The internet is your friend! There are countless videos online that show you new techniques/routines and many beginner guides to get you started. Check out some videos to make sure you get the right size rope and learn the basics of good form. What are you waiting for? Grab a rope, and get jumping!