Easy Jump Rope Workouts for Beginners


If you’re new to jumping rope and looking for some good beginner workouts, you’ve come to the right place. Depending on how new you are, you might take a look at my step-by-step guide on how to jump rope (How to Jump Rope) for a technique refresher and some tips for getting started.

Once you’ve got the basics down it’s time to apply your newfound skills. There are a variety of different workouts and routines, I’ll take you through a few of my favorites. Additionally, I’ve included some basic jump rope fundamentals, some cool tricks for beginners to try, and my suggestion on a great jump rope for new jumpers.

1. A Simple Jump Rope Workout for Beginners (3×3)

This is a bare bones workout, one that is great for a beginner. There really isn’t anything fancy here, just three 3-minute rounds, with 30 seconds of rest between each round. This is just enough to get your heart rate up and start to sweat.

As you get more proficient with your jump rope you’ll find the rounds get a lot easier. You can then gradually add minutes to each round and reduce your rest time. Sometimes, if I have the time, I’ll jump rope for 30 minutes straight, with no breaks.

This workout is great for building up your stamina!

2. An Easy Jump Rope HIIT workout for Beginners

HIIT, otherwise known as High Intensity Interval Training, is great for getting your cardio up and burning major calories. The idea is to increase your heart rate through short bursts of intense exercises, followed by brief periods of rest or low exertion exercises. They’re easy to throw together, even for a beginner, and there are endless variations.

Sample HIIT format:

(insert high intensity exercise) – 30 seconds

(insert low exertion activity or rest) – 15 seconds

x (number of rounds)

For example, you might do 30 seconds of basic jumps, followed by 15 seconds of rest, for a total of 5 rounds. Or, 30 seconds of high knees, followed by 15 seconds of pushups, for a total of 3 rounds. The point is, you can mix it up to ensure your HIIT matches your skill level and fitness goals. Another great jump rope workout for beginners.

Here are some examples of high intensity and low exertion exercises to help get you started:

High intensity exercises:

  • Double Unders
  • High Knees
  • Crossovers

Low exertion exercises:

  • flutter kicks
  • planks
  • wall sits

3. A Basic Jump Rope Leg Workout for Beginners

This Leg Burner is another one of my favorites. Not only does it strengthen your calves, but it works your thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. I guarantee you, your legs will feel the burn. It’s a simple one too, using the HIIT format.

Here are two, easy variations to this workout.

A)

High knees – 30 seconds

Body weight squats – 30 seconds

Repeat for 5 rounds

The high knees crush your calves, while the squats destroy your thighs, hamstrings and glutes. A great alternative to the high knees is double unders. Those are going to be a little more difficult though, especially for beginners.

B)

Double unders – 30 seconds

Body weight squats – 30 seconds

Repeat for 5 rounds

4. A Beginner Calf-Sculpting Jump Rope Workout

One of my favorite things about jumping rope is the effect it has on my calf muscles and the overall aesthetics of my legs. There are several jump rope routines to isolate different parts of your calves too. All of which are beginner-friendly.

Here are four, easy variations to this workout.

A)

The Side Straddle is a great jump to isolate your calves, and easy even for a beginner. Your lower body should move as if you’re doing a jumping jack. Out, and then in…out, then in.

You can use this jump in a variety of different workouts. Here is one I put together that’s great for beginners. It’s actually a Tabata style workout, a format similar to HIIT and one I also utilize frequently. The difference is the rounds are only 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds between rounds, for a total of 8 rounds.

Side Straddle – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat for 8 rounds

B)

Another great one to isolate your calves is the Front to Back jump. It’s very simple. With both feet, you literally jump forward, in front of you, then back, behind you. This is a great jump for both the gastrocnemius and the soleus (the two major muscles in the calf). Make sure to stay on the balls of your feet though, keep off your heels to prevent injury.

Here is an example Calf Isolator using the Front to Back jump. This one also utilizes the Tabata format.

Front to Back – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat for 8 rounds

C)

The Scissor Step is like the Front to Back jump, only instead of both feet together one foot should be in front, while the other is behind, and then alternate creating a scissor-like motion. It’s a little more challenging and requires additional coordination. If you’re truly a beginner it will take some practice, but it’s a calf burner for sure!

For the Scissor Step I like to use a HIIT format. I’ll typically alternate between the Scissor Step and another lower body workout, like box jumps. For example:

Scissor Step – 30 seconds

Box Jumps – 15 seconds

Repeat for 5 rounds

D)

Last, but not least, the Single Leg jump. This one is simple. Start on one foot, left or right, and jump only on that foot. With each round you’ll switch to the other foot. So, for example, if you’re using a Tabata format you’ll perform 4 rounds on your left foot and 4 rounds on your right.

You should feel your calves start to burn immediately. If it’s easy for you, try doing the first 4 rounds on one foot, and the last 4 rounds on the other. For example:

Single Leg (right) – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat for the first 4 rounds

Single Leg (left) – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat for the last 4 rounds

Good Jump Rope for Beginners

There are a lot of jump ropes out there! It’s important to choose the right one, especially if you’re a beginner. I learned to jump rope using the Muay Thai Jump Rope by TWINS. It’s slightly weighted which makes it easy for beginners to time their jumps and find their rhythm.

Highly recommend! It’s cheap too…

(current price on Amazon)

Depending on your goals and skill level, you may opt for a different jump rope. For those of you who have some experience, you might try a speed rope. One of my favorite jump ropes, and the rope I use almost every day, is the Speed Rope by Honor Athletics.

This is just an all around solid jump rope! It’s durable, lightweight, and inexpensive. The Speed Rope by Honor Athletics, also known as the Flash Rope, is a must-have for your gym bag.

It’s also one of the most stylish jump ropes out there. It comes in a variety of colors, including Black, Neon Green, Neon Orange, White, Black/White, and Yellow.

Highly recommend!

(current price on Amazon)

Benefits of Jumping Rope: Why You Should Start Today

Over the years I’ve become a huge advocate for jumping rope. There are so many benefits that come from incorporating it into your workout routine. Here are a few of the big ones, for me.

The most convenient workout

For me, convenience has always been the thing that makes or breaks the consistency of my workout routines. Working out, especially as a beginner, can be tough and it’s not always enjoyable. Given that, if your workout isn’t convenient chances are you’re going to fall off at some point. Make it easy on yourself, get a jump rope.

Jumping rope is about as convenient as a workout can get. You can jump rope just about anywhere, travel with it, and you don’t need to commute to it, like you do the gym.

An inexpensive workout

Another benefit of jumping rope is how inexpensive it is. Even the nicest jump ropes shouldn’t cost you more than $50 or $60. For beginners though, cost is an important consideration. It’s so easy to drop a lot of money on different workout programs and supplements and see barely any results, if any.

Save yourself some money and get yourself a jump rope.

A low-impact workout (easy on the body)

When it comes to working out it’s really important to choose your exercises carefully, especially if you’re a beginner. It’s so easy to injure yourself or damage your joints, particularly when lifting weights. One of the great benefits of jumping rope is how low-impact of an exercise it is.

Assuming you’re jumping with proper form, it’s a lot harder to injure yourself than majority of other exercises. Running, for example, is a great workout, however, there are a variety of risks associated with running. Runners, particular long-distance runners, are significantly more prone to muscle strain, sprains, swelling, and inflammation.

A great stressreliever workout

Another huge benefit I get from jumping rope regularly is the effect it has on my stress and overall mental health. After a long or stressful day, I look forward to putting in my headphones and jumping rope for a good 20 minutes.

There is a lot of evidence that suggests working out regularly decreases stress and anxiety, improves sleep, and increases confidence. All of which can be achieved through jumping rope, even as a beginner.

I wrote an entire article speaking to all the incredible benefits associated with jumping rope. Highly recommend checking it out.

10 Amazing Benefits of Jumping Rope

Tips for Jump Rope Beginners

If you’re new to jumping rope, there isn’t a lot you need to get started. That said, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Here is my checklist for beginners looking to start working out with a jump rope.

1. Am I using the right jump rope?

As mentioned earlier in this article, using the right jump rope for your goals and skill level is so important. If you’re a beginner I suggest sticking to a rope that’s slightly weighted. The more advanced you become the more flexibility you’ll have in the weight and length of your jump rope.

2. Is my jump rope the right length?

The shorter your jump rope is, the more challenging it will be. For beginners, you’ll want to opt for a longer rope giving you more control and making it easier to time your jumps. Step in the middle of your rope and pull the cables straight up. The end of your jump rope handles should reach your armpit, at minimum.

3. Do I have a good surface to jump on?

I’ll be honest, I jump on concrete all the time. However, I’ve heard you want to stay away from harder surfaces like concrete or pavement. I say you should do what feels right for your body. If you have knee problems, or issues with your joints, you might invest in a jump rope mat.

If you’re thinking about getting a jump rope mat, I’d go with the jump rope mat by EliteSRS. These guys make a solid jump rope too, they know what they’re doing. This is the same mat I have.

(current price on Amazon)

Additionally, you’ll want to avoid jumping in sand or grass which can make it challenging to find any rhythm. Don’t overthink it though, it’s not rocket science.

4. Do I have a good pair of shoes to jump with?

Again, I’m not the best example here given I usually jump rope without shoes. There’s actually a lot of evidence suggesting barefoot workouts is super beneficial. More on that later…

For a beginner, I would suggest starting in a pair of shoes. You’re likely going to smack your toes in the beginning, a lot. No point in beating up your feet. Look for a lightweight pair of trainers, you don’t need anything fancy.

5. Do I have the right clothes to jump rope in?

You wouldn’t think your outfit makes a difference, but the truth is heavy or baggy clothing can make jumping more challenging, especially if you’re a beginner. You don’t need to workout in anything special, a fitted pair of shorts and a t-shirt will do just fine.

6. Do I have a timer or app to track my workout?

When you’re performing these workouts, a timer is critical. There are a ton of free apps online that make it easy to plug in your time/rounds for HIIT and Tabata routines. Some apps even allow you to log your workouts and set goals enabling you to track you progress over time.

Nothing motivates me more than seeing my progress.

Jump Rope Basics, for Beginners

For a beginner, it’s important to train with proper form and technique. It’s a lot more effort to unlearn poor technique, than it is learn proper technique from the beginning. Additionally, training with poor form is likely to get you injured. For those reasons, here are 5 basic fundamentals every beginner should know.

1. Keep your knees slightly bent

When jumping, never lock out your knees. Keep your knees slightly bent to cushion your jump and keep as much weight off your joints as possible. This is an important one if you you’re not a fan of reconstructive knee surgery.

2. Stay on the balls of your feet

Stay on the balls of your feet. For the most part, your heels should never touch the ground when jumping. This is also key for preventing injuries. Be light on your feet!

3. Don’t flare your elbows

Flaring your elbows is going to make your jumps sloppy and inefficient. Avoid wide swings by keeping your elbows close to your body and your wrists outward. You want your rotations to be as tight and smooth as possible.

4. Jump with good posture

Stand tall and keep your shoulders back. Making sure you’re jumping with good posture will ensure you’re utilizing the proper muscles and reduce any chance of injury. There’s also evidence that suggests jumping with good posture can add an inch or two to your height. Here’s an article where I talk more about that…

Can Jumping Rope Make You Taller – How it Works

5. Keep your jumps small and controlled

Keep you jumps small and controlled. You don’t want to jump higher than you need to clear the rope with your feet. The goal when jumping rope is to keep your movements as efficient as possible. The better you can master this, the longer you’ll be able to jump for.

Good Luck, Family!

Will Holmes

Former personal trainer and athlete, currently working full-time as a health and fitness writer. Getting in shape, losing weight, and eating better, isn't always easy. It helps to have a friend... that's me, I'm the friend! Sincerely, Your biggest fan

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