How to Jump Rope Like a Boxer – Explained by a Boxer


In this comprehensive guide, I’ve included everything you need to start jumping rope like a boxer. I’ve also included some of the best Boxing jump ropes, a variety of great Boxing workouts, and more. First, let me explain how to jump rope like a boxer.

To jump rope like a boxer, start by mastering the jump rope basics. Once you’ve got a handle on the basics, build on your foundation by developing strong footwork and conditioning. Finally, incorporate more advanced moves into your routine, like the boxer step and double-under. It requires practice.

Here is a step-by-step guide to provide more detail around each of these steps.

Step-by-Step Guide: Jumping Rope Like a Boxer

1. Master the basics (fine-tune jump rope fundamentals)

When learning any new skill, the basics or the fundamentals is what sets you up for success. Jumping rope is no different, especially if you want to jump rope like a boxer. Mastering the basics is a crucial first step.

There are a handful of core fundamentals when it comes to jumping rope, and they’re fairly simple. The main areas you want to focus on are your posture, your elbows, your knees, and your feet.

  • Posture: Focusing on good posture will ensure you’re utilizing the right muscles and prevent yourself from getting injured. Stand tall, keep your head up, chest out, and your shoulders back.
  • Elbows: Flaring your elbows while jumping rope is a common mistake that inexperienced jumpers make. Keep your elbows in and tight to your side. This will ensure you’re maximizing your efficiency.
  • Knees: One of the easiest ways to injure yourself is locking out your knees. The proper way to jump rope is by keeping your knees slightly bent. This will ensure your weight is loaded onto your muscles and not your joints.
  • Feet: Another common mistake that new jumpers make is landing on their heels when they jump. While jumping, stay on the balls of your feet. This will give you greater control over your jumps and prevent you from injuring yourself.

Outside of mastering these core fundamentals, make sure you’re keeping your jumps small and controlled. It’s easy to jump higher than you need to, wasting energy. You only need to jump an inch or two off the ground, no more than that. For those of you new to jumping rope, you might check out my guide on Learning How to Jump Rope.

2. Establish your footwork (hone your balance, agility, etc.)

If you’re a fan of Boxing, chances are you’ve heard the term “footwork” more than a few times. This is because footwork is an essential skill to be a successful boxer. It’s also why boxers jump rope so often. Jumping rope is a great way to improve your footwork.

That said, to jump rope like a boxer you need to establish some decent footwork first. You need to be light on your feet, quick, and agile. There are a variety of drills you can do to improve in this area.

Some of my favorite footwork drills are:

3. Develop your conditioning (mature your co-ordination, stamina, etc.)

When I talk about conditioning, as it relates to jumping rope, I’m talking about physical conditioning. Specifically, conditioning your body for greater endurance and co-ordination. These two elements are key to jumping rope like a boxer.

It’s not uncommon for a boxer to jump rope for 30-40 minutes straight. And, they rarely make mistakes, especially professional boxers. As you can probably imagine, this requires a high level of co-ordination and endurance or stamina.

Developing these skills can take a lot of time and commitment. Fortunately, there are some great workouts you can do to grow in these areas.

Here are some of my favorite exercises for developing my conditioning:

You might also check out this article on 7 Great Alternatives to Jumping Rope. These will help you develop your conditioning as well.

4. Incorporate advanced moves (boxer step, double-under, crossover, etc.)

Once you’ve got a handle on the basics, you’ve established some decent footwork, and you’ve developed a fair amount of endurance and co-ordination, it’s time to incorporate some advanced moves into your jump rope routine.

I provide more detail on these moves later in this article. For the purpose of this guide, lets take a look at a few of the more common advanced moves. Some of my favorite moves include the boxer step, crossover, and double-under.

Here’s a few tutorials, to help you get a handle on these techniques:

5. Practice (jumping rope like a boxer requires a lot of practice)

Overall, jumping rope like a boxer is pretty simple. That said, it’s not easy. Like the sport of Boxing itself, becoming a talented rope jumper requires a lot of training. The best thing you can do to become proficient is practice.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get the hang of it right away. It will take some time. Start slow, increasing the length of your routines by a couple minutes each week.

I promise, if you stick with it, you’ll be jumping rope like a boxer in no time.

My Boxing Experience

I am not, whatsoever, a professional boxer. To call me an amateur boxer would even be a stretch. That said, I do have some experience in Boxing, specifically Kickboxing. And, I have extensive experience when it comes to training and conditioning.

A few years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I worked at a mixed martial arts gym. I came onboard as a Sales Associate and later transitioned to General Manager. While working there, I was talked into training with some of the coaches. It wasn’t long before I decided I wanted to compete.

Over the course of my time working at the gym, I trained every day. My training included a variety of workouts and exercises, including countless hours spent jumping rope. I also sparred nearly every weekend, competed in smokers, and had a couple amateur Kickboxing matches.

By now, you should have a pretty good idea what it takes to jump rope like a boxer. And, hopefully, you feel I’m a somewhat credible source for this information. Next, let’s take a look at why boxers spend so much time jumping rope.

Why Do Boxers Jump Rope?

If you’ve ever watched boxers prepare for a fight, you’ve likely seen them jump rope. There’s a good reason for it to. Jumping rope provides some serious benefits when it comes to the sport of Boxing. And, it doesn’t stop at Boxing. Those same benefits apply to all combat sports such as MMA, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, etc.

There are a variety of reasons why boxers jump rope, however, I’d argue there are 4 main reasons. The 4 main reasons why boxers jump rope is to improve their conditioning, footwork, balance, and speed. These are all crucial to becoming a better boxer and jumping rope can help you to improve in all these areas, substantially.

Conditioning

Whether we’re talking about professional Boxing, or amateur Boxing, fighters are in the ring for as few as 3 rounds and as many as 12 rounds. And, each round is typically 3 minutes. As you can probably imagine, this requires incredible conditioning and stamina. This is one of the main reasons why boxers jump rope.

Jumping rope is an excellent tool to condition the muscles, lungs, and heart.

  • There are endless combinations and variations when jumping rope, allowing boxers to create really dynamic workouts to condition their muscles. Obviously, the lower body reap the most benefits when jumping rope, the calves in particular. The quads and hamstrings are also used a great deal. That said, jumping rope also conditions the arms, back, shoulders, and core making it a full-body workout.
  • Jumping rope also provides huge benefits when conditioning the lungs, which is critical for boxers. The stronger their lungs are, the more oxygen they can pump to their bloodstream to produce energy. By jumping rope regularly boxers are able to improve the overall strength of their lungs and their total lung capacity (TLC) allowing them to remain calm in the ring and go the distance.
  • It might come as a surprise, but the heart is actually a muscle too and can be conditioned just like the biceps or abs. A conditioned heart is important for boxers because it’s what allows oxygen to be transported to the bloodstream. Jumping rope is an extremely effective and efficient tool to condition the heart, which is why boxers jump rope

Footwork

Footwork, at its core, is the ability to move your feet quickly, effectively, and efficiently. It’s one of the most important, if not the most important, foundations of a good boxer. The ability to pivot, move in and out of range, and create angles is typically what separates a good boxer from a great boxer. This is why boxers jump rope.

Like Boxing, jumping rope is performed on the balls of your feet. And, when performed regularly, it trains you to keep off your heels allowing you to be agile and move quickly. Additionally, once you start incorporating more advanced techniques into your jump rope routine, you learn how to move your feet in incredibly dynamic ways, making you dangerous both offensively and defensively.

Vasyl Lomachenko is a perfect example of a boxer with flawless footwork.

If you haven’t seen a full Vasyl Lomachenko fight, I highly recommend it. He has some of the best footwork in the sport which is a big reason why he’s one of the best. His footwork also makes him incredibly fun to watch.

Balance

Balance is key to be an effective boxer. Almost everything you do in the ring stems from your stance and balance. Your power, your ability to counter, to block, it all requires balance. This is another main reason why boxers jump rope.

In order to improve your balance, conditioning your leg muscles must be a priority. Which, as I talked about earlier in this article, is one of the main benefits of jumping rope. In addition to strengthening your legs, when you jump rope, you’re on the balls of your feet forcing you to balance while you jump. With consistency, you’ll see improvements to your balance in a very short period of time.

Another one of my favorite boxers, with impeccable balance, is Canelo Álvarez. Check him out!

Speed

Last, but definitely not least, is speed. Speed isn’t just something that applies to offense, but defense as well. It’s a trait that, when mastered, makes boxers hard to hit and their strikes unpredictable. Being able to land first and then quickly move out of range is what often determines the outcome of a fight. This is why boxers jump rope.

Jumping rope requires you to move your hands and feet fast and with rhythm. And, as your technique becomes more advanced, you’re able to increase the speed to further push your training.

Mayweather, Manny Pacquaio, Roy Jones, Jr., are some of the greats that displayed amazing speed, among other things. I love this video, showing Pacquaio’s incredible speed.

Boxing Jump Rope

There are so many different styles and brands of jump ropes. However, not all of them are suitable for Boxing. In this section, I’ve outlined what I look for when buying a Boxing jump rope. I’ve also included my favorite Boxing jump rope, along with a couple others I’d recommend.

There are three things I’m looking at when buying a Boxing jump rope. The material, the length, and the handle.

Material

The material your jump rope is made of will make a big difference in how easy it is to jump, especially when you start incorporating different variations into your routine. There are a lot of materials to choose from when shopping for a jump rope too.

I typically opt for a PVC or plastic rope, which will allow you to perform things like crossovers or double-unders more efficiently.

Additionally, it’s equally important to stay away from the wrong material as it is to pick the right material. A leather or beaded jump rope might seem like a good idea, but honestly, leather or beads make rotating the jump rope difficult and give you significantly less control.

Keep it simple when selecting a Boxing jump rope, go for a PVC or plastic rope.

Length

Length is another important factor to consider. There isn’t necessarily a hard-set length you need to abide by; find a length that feels right for you. That said, a rope with a little extra length is generally preferred when jumping rope for Boxing.

And, make sure you don’t get a rope that’s too short. A rope that’s too short will make it difficult to clear the rope with your feet. It also makes it difficult to perform more advanced moves like crossovers.

The perfect length for a Boxing jump rope is about 10-12 inches above your head.

Here’s an illustrated guide on how to size your jump rope, take a look.

Handle

Selecting the right handle is going to be a bit more subjective. Depending on your preference, you might opt for a heavier, metal handle with a knurled grip. Or, you might prefer a lighter, longer plastic handle. It ultimately comes down to what works best for you.

When it comes to my training, I typically like to use a rope with a light, plastic handle. I also like to train with a jump rope handle that’s a little longer, like one you’d find on a freestyle jump rope. This will make it easier to perform things like crossovers and double-unders.

Regardless of which handle you go with, it’s important to find one that’s easy to grip. A handle that’s easier to grip will reduce forearm and shoulder fatigue enabling you to train longer and go the distance! Additionally, I try to stay away from handles that are too heavy. A lighter handle will allow you to train longer and focus on your footwork.

Best Boxing Jump Ropes

1. Honor Athletics Speed Rope

Honor Athletics, a family owned, American martial arts company, created one of my favorite speed ropes. Their speed rope, also known as the “Flash Rope”, is a no bullshit speed rope that provides remarkable speed and comfort with a sleek design.

The rope comes with a slightly longer, lightweight handle, 5mm vinyl rope, and an incredibly simple sizing mechanism making it easy to adjust. I’ll use this rope 9 times out of 10, when training for Boxing.

Check availability on Amazon

Honestly, this rope will take your training and conditioning to the next level for a fraction of what most other jump ropes cost.

2. TWINS Muay Thai Jump Rope

The Muay Thai Jump Rope, by TWINS, is the perfect rope for someone who’s never boxed a day in their life, let alone jumped rope. It’s a little heavier which allows for greater control over the rope as it rotates your body. It’s also a killer shoulder workout!

The rope comes in only one size, so depending on your height you might opt for a different rope. That said, I’m 6’2 and this rope works perfectly fine for me.

This is also another jump rope that’s super affordable!

Check availability on Amazon

If you’re just starting your Boxing journey, or new to jumping rope, I highly recommend picking up one of these guys.

3. Crossrope’s Weighted Jump Rope Set

The 3rd and final rope on my list of the best Boxing Jump Ropes is Crossrope’s Weighted Jump Rope set. You honestly can’t go wrong with this one.

With this set, you get both a ½ lb rope and a ¼ lb rope, providing you endless versatility and making this rope great for both beginners and pros. The handles are ergonomically optimized for better grip and more comfort. And, switching out the ropes is made super easy with their patented Fast Clip System.

Seriously though, all specs aside, this rope is durable, versatile, and clean. I highly recommend it!

Check availability on Amazon

The only thing I’m not a huge fan about is the price, which is why I ranked this rope 3rd. I wouldn’t suggest buying this set unless you’re truly committed to your training.

Boxing Jump Rope Workout: Intro

If you’ve ever watched a boxer jump rope, you’ve likely seen them integrate a variety of different movements and jumps into a single routine. This paring of different jumps is called “freestyle jump rope”. Freestyle jump rope trains the body to move in really dynamic ways, like a boxer would in the ring. It’s also a killer cardiovascular workout.

In order to freestyle jump rope like a boxer, first you need to master each individual jump. So, before I outline each workout, let’s look at the individual jumps you should master first.

Basic Jump

This is the first jump that any new jumper will learn. It’s pretty self-explanatory. With your knees slightly bent, on the balls of your feet, with your elbows in, you rotate the rope and jump over it.

Make sure to keep your jumps small and controlled.

Boxer Step

Once you’ve mastered the basic jump, try the Boxer Step. The goal of this jump is to alternate your weight from one foot to the other, with each jump.

It’s called the boxer step because it trains boxers to transition weight from one leg to the other. It’s also a really efficient way of jumping rope. You’ll find once you’re able to master this jump you can jump rope for much longer.

Heel Touch

The Heel Touch is another jump you’ll see boxers do all the time. It’s very similar to the Boxer Step. The goal of this jump, like the Boxer Step, is to alternate your weight from one foot to the other with each jump. However, with this jump, you’ll tap your heel (opposite foot with your weight on it) to the ground with each jump.

This one will take some practice. It’s best to master the Boxer Step first.

Jog in Place / High Knees

Like the Basic Jump, this one is self-explanatory. The goal of this jump is to essentially jog in place, while rotating the rope around your body. This jump is very similar to the Boxer Step, in that you transfer your weight from one foot to the other with each jump. However, with this jump, only one foot is touching the ground at a time.

Crossover

This jump can be tricky to master but is totally worth the effort. The goal of this jump is to cross your arms with each jump, creating an X with the rope. The important thing to focus on here is keeping each rotation wide enough to where you don’t tangle the rope.

Try to keep your arms relaxed with each rotation, tilt your body slightly forward, and find your rhythm. It takes some practice but it’s a key movement to jumping rope like a boxer.

Side Swipe

The Side Swipe is a great movement for transitioning from one jump to another. The goal of this movement is to swing the rope, with both wrists, along the side of your body. An important thing to focus on here is keeping your dominant hand on bottom, preventing the rope from tangling.

You’ll find this movement is actually really simple. Try doing it without jumping first, to get a hang of it.

Boxing Jump Rope Workouts

Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s incorporate these jumps into a single routine or workout!

With these workouts, we’re going to incorporate a variety of jump rope movements and some body weight exercises. The goal is to build on our conditioning, footwork, balance, and speed/explosiveness. Add one of these to your daily routine and you’re bound to be jumping rope like a boxer in no time.

Boxing Jump Rope Workout #1 (Beginner)

Warm-up:

3 x 3-minute rounds of jump rope (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Basic Jump
  • Boxer Step

Body Weight Exercises:

3 rounds (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Push-Ups: 10
  • Squats: 20
  • Flutter Kicks: 30

Cooldown:

2 x 3-minute rounds (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Shadow Boxing

Boxing Jump Rope Workout #2 (Intermediate)

Warm-up:

3 x 5-minute rounds of jump rope (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Basic Jump
  • Boxer Step
  • High Knees
  • Heel Touch

Body Weight Exercises:

4 rounds (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Push-Ups: 15
  • Squats: 25
  • Flutter Kicks: 30
  • Lunges: 40

Cooldown:

2 x 5-minute rounds (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Shadow Boxing

Boxing Jump Rope Workout #3 (Advanced)

Warm-up:

2 x 10-minute rounds of jump rope (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Basic Jump
  • Boxer Step
  • High Knees
  • Heel Touch
  • Crossover
  • Side Swipe

Body Weight Exercises:

5 rounds (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Push-Ups: 20
  • Squats: 30
  • Burpees: 20
  • Flutter Kicks: 30
  • Sit-Ups: 30

Cooldown:

3 x 3-minute rounds (30 seconds of rest between rounds):

  • Weighted Shadow Boxing (1lb – 2lb weights)

Bonus: Floyd Mayweather Jump Rope

If you’re at all familiar with professional Boxing, you know the name Floyd Mayweather. And, if you’ve watched him in the ring, you know his footwork is phenomenal. This, among other things, is what makes him one of the best defensive boxers in the world.

“In his 49 fights as a pro, Mayweather has landed about 46% of his punches while his opponents have landed only about 22%, giving him a ranking of plus 24%. No active boxer comes close. Neither does Ali.”

His footwork also plays a key part in his ability to dominate offensively. Being able to move in and out of range, create angles, etc., are in big part due to his footwork. And, a big part of his footwork is due to his training, specifically his jump rope routine.

Floyd, while in training camp, will typically jump rope 5-6 days each week. And, often for up to 30-40 minutes!

So, you might find yourself asking, “how do I jump rope like Floyd Mayweather?” … Well, given he’s been training for 30+ years, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. That said, with a little bit of practice, the right jump rope, and a good teacher, you can be jumping rope like a boxer in no time!

First, let’s take a look at what jump rope Mayweather uses…

What Jump Rope Does Mayweather Use?

There is a lot of conversation online, and confusion, around which jump rope Floyd Mayweather uses.

As you’ll see in many of his training videos, Floyd Mayweather uses a long, neon yellow licorice rope with a yellow handle. The rope is made by Ampro Boxing Equipment, out of London, England.

Ampro Boxing Equipment, established in London, England, has been around since World War II. It’s the “oldest boxing brand still trading in England” and the ‘Original’ British Boxing Brand. Their clothes and equipment have been used by some of the greatest boxers in history, like Muhammed Ali, Henry Cooper, Sammy McCarthy, Nicky Cook, and supposedly Floyd Mayweather.

Unfortunately, the Ampro Adjustable Speed Rope, or Money Rope, is only available in the UK. That said, the Honor Athletics Speed Rope, mentioned above, is almost identical to the jump rope Mayweather uses.

If you’re looking to jump rope like a boxer, you might as well get a jump rope used by a professional boxer!

Buying the right jump rope is only the beginning though. To truly jump rope like a boxer, it takes training and commitment. Remember, master the basics, establish your footwork, develop your conditioning, incorporate some advance moves, and practice!

YOU GOT THIS!

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

Recent Posts