Almost anyone can learn how to jump rope, and in a fairly short period of time. However, jumping rope like a professional Boxer, for example, requires the implementation of several advanced techniques.
It also requires a solid foundation of the basics.
I’ve been jumping rope for years and I’m passionate about helping others become proficient with their jump rope. With the implementation of the following 21 tips, you should see huge improvement in your jump rope routines and a great deal of satisfaction.
21 Tips for Jumping Rope
Aside from #11 and #16, majority of these tips you’re probably already aware of. Most of them are more “best practices” than requirements. Just because you’re not adhering to each and every one, doesn’t mean you’re not doing it right.
That said, it’s important to read through each of these carefully as many of these tips can help prevent injury. Additionally, it’s always best to consult your doctor prior to beginning a new workout. Jumping rope is not for everyone.
Good luck, family!
1. Knees slightly bent
The first tip to jumping rope like a pro, and more importantly not injuring yourself, is to make sure you have a slight bend in your knees.
The last thing you want to do is load all the weight from each jump onto your joints. This can do irreparable damage to your knees, tendons and ligaments.
This is easily avoidable, though.
To protect your knees, make sure you have the slightest bend in your knees. It should be very subtle; you almost shouldn’t be able to tell you’re bending at the knee at all. Try jumping without the rope, first, to get the hang of it.
2. Make sure your rope is sized properly
The second tip I have for you is to make sure your jump rope is sized properly. This is a common mistake amongst newer jumpers and can make it incredibly difficult to get any real momentum.
Depending on the type of jump rope you’re using will determine how you size it.
Here is a jump rope sizing chart for you to reference:
See our Jump Rope Sizing Guide for more detailed instructions on how to size your rope. It covers a variety of different designs and recommends a few of my favorite adjustable jump ropes.
Once it’s sized correctly, you’ll find it makes things a helluva lot easier…
3. On the balls of your feet (not your heels)
This next tip is one that is key for even the most beginner jumpers. You should never, I repeat, never land on your heels when jumping rope.
This is likely common sense, but worth mentioning.
Like keeping your knees bent, staying on the balls of your feet will ensure your joints are protected while you exercise. You can very quickly hurt yourself if you don’t stay on the balls of your feet.
If you’re struggling with this, try jumping without the jump rope. Once you get the hang of it, then introduce the jump rope. It shouldn’t take you long to get the hang of it.
4. Take days off
This one might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s incredibly important.
When mastering any new skill, it can feel like more is always better. Especially when that skill is something new and exciting, like jumping rope.
The truth is, remembering to take days off to rest and recover are equally as important as the days where you’re training hard. For your body to function at its highest level, and continue to grow, it requires rest. By remembering to rest you can come back the next day and give it 110%.
This tip also helps improve longevity.
If you’re in the gym day after day, without rest or other activities, you’re likely to burn-out much quicker. Variety is key in both your life and routines, especially when learning a new skill.
While it may be fun and sexy in the beginning, that won’t always be the case. Give yourself a break every now and then.
5. Remember to breathe
Tip #5 might seem silly, but it’s actually super important for your stamina.
When learning a new exercise, it can be really easy to focus entirely on the mechanics of the exercise and almost forget to breathe. You end up holding your breath, subconsciously, which results in gassing out much quicker than if you remembered to breathe.
Try focusing on your breathing for the first minute or so of each jump rope session.
Finding a good rhythm in your breath is just as important as finding the rhythm in your jumps. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, etc…
You’ll find if you do this you can jump for significantly longer.
6. Wrists pointed outwards
While it may be subtle, making sure your wrists are pointed outwards (from your body) should feel the most normal and fluent. It’s also going to enable you to be more relaxed and jump for longer.
Like some of the other basic techniques, try practicing this without the jump rope.
This will be especially important once you incorporate a speed rope into your routine. It’s imperative you keep your wrists pointed outwards when it comes to freestyle jump rope. The only way to successfully transition from one trick to the next is by keeping your wrists pointed outwards.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it’s more comfortable.
7. Make sure to hydrate
I don’t want to come off sounding like your mom, but make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids.
Its easy to forget to drink water when you’re working out, but it’s incredibly important, especially when you’re doing a cardiovascular exercise like jumping rope.
You’re going to deplete your water much quicker jumping rope than you would lifting weights or stretching. Fill up your water bottle before you get started and remember to take water breaks throughout your routine.
Okay… that’s all I’ll say on that.
8. Swing with your wrists (not your arms)
Tip #8 is something I see newer jumpers doing all the time!
It can be easy to want to rotate the rope around your body using your arms. You’ll find, hopefully very quickly, that it feels clunky and is not nearly as efficient.
The proper way to swing the jump rope is by using your wrists. You want to make small, controlled circles with your wrists. The jump rope should almost rotate itself once you find some momentum.
If you can master this, you’ll be able to jump rope for longer and have a much easier time performing more complex movements like side swipes and crossovers.
9. Ease into it
This is one tip that can be challenging to follow. It’s an important one, though.
Easing into any new workout or exercise is always a good idea. The probability that you will injure yourself while exercising is greatly increased when that exercise is foreign to you. This goes double for anyone that’s out of shape or hasn’t been to the gym in a while.
I know it’s tempting go all out when learning a new skill. Trust me, I’ve been there. But risking potential injury to accelerate results is never a good idea. Injuring yourself will only set you back in the long-term.
Take your time learning your jump rope, don’t rush things.
10. Small, controlled jumps
One tip you should implement immediately is #10.
This is a quite common mistake amongst beginners. In the beginning, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be jumping higher than you need to. You should try to reign this in as soon as possible.
You’ll see with any experienced jumper, especially a professional Boxer, they keep their jumps very small, controlled, and close to the ground.
They typically only jump an inch or two off the ground. The rope just barely passes underneath their feet. This is where you want to be at.
It’s more efficient, and honestly just sexier…
11. Be patient with yourself
This is probably the most important tip on this list, if you ever want to jump rope like a pro. And while it may sound easy, while it may sound simple, its actually one of the more difficult things in practice.
Growing your skills, in any discipline, takes a great deal of time and patience.
You’ve probably heard the saying made popular by Malcolm Gladwell; it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field. While research has shown otherwise, it definitely takes hours and hours of repetition and practice.
You’re not going to become a professional jumper overnight. It’s important to come to terms with that upfront. And once you understand that, be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
12. Keep your head up (literally)
Keeping your head up in the beginning can be challenging. Naturally, you’re going to want to look down at the ground, watching where the jump rope meets the floor and making sure you’re clearing the rope.
If you struggle with this, try jumping rope in a mirror.
Once you become more proficient with your jump rope, you’ll find that you don’t need to look at your feet or at the ground. In fact, you’ll find you can jump rope in the dark or with your eyes closed.
This is key to jumping rope like a pro.
The sooner you’re able to focus less on the mechanics and just be in the moment, the sooner you’re going to be able to master the more advanced moves and tricks. It takes time, be patient.
13. Push yourself (try new tricks)
The key to jumping rope like a pro is making sure you to continue to push yourself and try new tricks or techniques. This is an important tip for mastering the jump rope.
Never tried a double-under? Give it a shot! Never tried a crossover, or a side swipe? Give it a shot! The only way you’re going to grow as an athlete, in any sport, is by pushing yourself.
I like to dedicate an entire session, or even a few sessions, to learning one new trick.
For example, the crossover. For weeks I practiced, trying to master this trick. It wasn’t until I spent a few days, solely focused on learning the crossover, that I was able to perform it successfully.
14. Choose the right jump rope
I have several articles on this topic, for a good reason.
The type of jump rope you choose will have a huge impact on your ability to be successful. Depending on what you plan to do with your jump rope (conditioning, learning how to jump rope, freestyle jump rope, etc.) will determine which jump rope you should work with.
For example, there are some very real Benefits to Using A Weighted Jump Rope. For less experienced jumpers, this is probably your best bet.
However, for someone more experienced, you might opt for a speed rope. A speed rope is going to allow you the flexibility to perform more advanced movements and tricks.
Take some time upfront to explore your options and ensure your success.
15. Elbows tucked to your side
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #8. By keeping your elbows tucked to your side, you’ll have to rely on your wrists to turn the rope as opposed to your arms.
Again, this is a common mistake beginner’s make. You’ll often see less experienced jumpers flailing their arms trying to rotate the rope around their body. This is extremely inefficient and will cause you to tire much quicker than if you keep your elbows in.
This is something that will take some practice, but once you get it down it will be like second nature.
Try practicing this without the rope, first. Elbows in, wrists out…
16. Master the basics, first
Another important tip for mastering the jump rope, is to first, master the basics.
A solid foundation is critical to becoming proficient in literally any skill. Making sure you’re utilizing good form and proper posture, in the beginning, will ensure your success when attempting more complex and advanced movements later on.
Many of the basics are included in this list. I went ahead and highlighted the 7 most important tips to creating a good foundation in orange. Memorize them, practice them, they should become second nature to you.
Once you’re able to skip rope with your eyes closed (literally), while following all 7 of these basic fundamentals, you’ll be ready to start practicing more advanced tricks and transitions.
This is one step you truly cannot skip (pun intended)…
17. Wear the right clothing
I hesitated whether to include this tip in the list.
While the clothing you wear will not make a huge difference, there are certain pieces of clothing that will make jumping rope like a pro much easier.
For example, avoiding baggy clothing or heavy clothing is probably your best bet. I typically opt for a pair of shorts and a t-shirt or a tank top. This will provide for the least amount of resistance and weight.
It might not make a big difference when jumping for 5 minutes, but if you’re going for 20- or 30-minutes lighter clothing is optimal.
Additionally, you might consider jumping without shoes. I am a big fan of Jumping Rope Barefoot, there are many benefits associated with losing your shoes.
Do what works best for you, though.
18. Choose the right surface to jump on
Tip #18 isn’t one I always follow myself, but it’s a good one to keep in mind.
There are certain surfaces which are significantly more forgiving on your body. Surfaces like hardwood floor, carpet, or foam will be much easier on your knees and feet than, say, concrete.
It’s important to be aware of where you’re jumping to prevent yourself from getting injured. Especially for longer jump rope sessions.
You might consider picking up a Jump Rope Mat, which makes jumping pretty much anywhere a breeze.
19. Switch things up (weighted jump rope?)
If you ask any professional jump roper, they’ll tell you the same thing. Don’t allow yourself to become stagnant.
What I mean by this is, don’t get too comfortable. Try out new routines, new jump ropes, new tricks and movements. Your growth depends on exploring different ways of doing things, different techniques.
If you’re used to using a speed rope, switch things up with a heavy jump rope. If you’re typically jumping for 3, 5-minute sessions, try 2, 15-minute sessions. Used to jumping with your shoes on, try taking them off.
You’ll not only keep yourself engaged with the variety, but you’ll find new and better ways of doing things.
20. Track your progress
When it comes to growing your skills in any field, it’s always a good idea to track your progress.
When you can see your day-to-day growth, on paper, it becomes more real. You’re able to see those small, incremental changes that you might not see otherwise. It’s also a great way to set goals and reach new personal bests.
I’ll typically track my progress using a Jump Rope App. But, you can just as easily track your progress with a journal.
21. Keep learning (YouTube)
Last, but definitely not least, keep learning.
There are so many great resources out there (Jump Rope Hub, for example… wink, wink).
But seriously, with YouTube, Instagram, and Google, there are endless sources of new information. And, with new information, you’re able to look at things and experience things from a different viewpoint.
One of my favorite places to learn new jump rope techniques and tricks is YouTube.
A few of my favorite jump rope YouTuber’s are Jump Rope Dudes and Rush Athletics TV. Both of these channels have a wealth of information. Their content is top of the line, too. I’ve always been a big fan of both of them.
Either way, don’t stop seeking new information. It’s out there…