There are so many different workouts you can do with a jump rope. While the versatility is great, it can make it challenging to find the “right” jump rope workout. That’s why we’ve created a tailored workout for every scenario and skill level.
The most important thing to master, initially, regardless of which workout you’re performing, is the jump rope basics. Without mastering these fundamentals, you’re unable to get the most out of your workouts. You could also injure yourself.
Before we jump into these workouts, let’s recap on what the basics and proper jump rope form look like.
Jump Rope Basics for a Better Workout
Like any exercise, form is key to making progress and avoiding injury. Fortunately, when it comes to jumping rope the these fundamentals are pretty simple.
That said, learning the basics are critical to optimizing your workouts and producing the best results possible.
1. Stay on the balls of your feet
The first jump rope fundamental, and probably the most important, is making sure to stay on the balls of your feet while you jump.
The main reason you want to keep off your heels is to prevent injury during your workouts. By jumping on the balls of your feet you’re keeping the weight and impact from your jumps off your bones and joints.
Performing this correctly will allow you to jump for longer and it will be significantly easier on your body. This basic skill is what makes jumping rope a low-impact exercise.
2. Keep your knees slightly bent
Another really important fundamental to master is making sure your knees are slightly bent while jumping.
Similar to how staying on the balls of your feet prevents your heels from absorbing any impact, keeping your knees bent prevents your knees from absorbing any impact from your jumps.
Done improperly, you could seriously injure the ligaments and joints in your knees. Injuries like this can keep you out of the gym and set your workouts back tremendously.
Its easy though, just keep a slight bend to your knees while jumping and you’ll feel your weight transfer to your muscles.
3. Maintain good posture
When I say maintain good posture, I’m really talking about making sure you’re standing tall and keeping your shoulders back. Last thing you want to do while working out is slouch. This could very easily cause some frustrating back issues.
This fundamental may take a little more time to master, but very important nonetheless.
Think about proper posture when you’re standing still. You want to keep your head up, shoulders back, and ensure your weight is evenly balanced over your hips. It’s the same thing when you’re jumping rope.
4. Keep your elbows in
This is a super common mistake many newer, more inexperienced jumpers make. They tend to want to flail their arms, keeping their elbows out and their rotations wide.
This is a crucial mistake and you should do everything you can to fix it.
By keeping your elbows tight to your side your jumps are going to be significantly more efficient. This will allow you to workout for much longer and see better results.
In addition to keeping your elbows tucked in, you also want to keep your wrists pointing outwards. This will actually help you keep your arms from flailing and ensure your jumps are smooth and efficient.
When you’re new to jumping rope and you’re trying to maintain good posture, your elbows in, keep your knees bent, but on the balls of your feet, it’s easy to get tense. Whatever you can do to stay relaxed though, will greatly improve your workouts.
One of the best ways to stay relaxed while you’re jumping rope is to remember to breathe. I find that focusing on my breaths, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, etc., allows me to remain calm and relaxed.
This is another fundamental that will enable you to workout longer, burn more calories, and see more results.
1. Jump Rope Workout for Beginner
To kick things off, I figured I’d share a simple jump rope workout meant for beginners. If you’re new to jumping rope, this one is for you. For everyone else, go ahead and skip down to #2.
This jump rope workout is about as basic as it gets. Nothing flashy, no elaborate tricks or transitions, just a straightforward workout. It’s a great way to get familiar with your jump rope while breaking a sweat.
The most important thing to focus on here is maintaining good form. Establishing good form early on will make learning the more advanced routines so much easier. It’ll also keep you from injuring yourself.
This workout is broken up into three rounds. Each round includes 3 minutes of jump rope followed by two body-weight exercises. Make sure there is minimal downtime when transitioning from the jump rope to the body-weight exercises.
Between rounds is when you’ll have a chance to rest. I try and shoot for a work to rest ratio of 2:1. So, for this workout, a 2-minute break between each round should be sufficient.
For the jump rope part of this workout, you’ll want to jump at a moderate pace and stay on both feet…the most basic jump.
We’ll stick to some pretty basic body-weight exercises as well. For the first exercise, perform 10 push-ups. And for the second, perform 15 squats.
Repeat this for a total of 3 rounds.
By the way, if you struggle with any of the body-weight exercises in these workouts, just swap them out for exercises you’re more comfortable with. Alternatively, if you find any of these workouts to be too easy, add additional rounds or increase the number of reps for each exercise.
2. Jump Rope Workout for Abs
The next workout is an ab focused jump rope workout. For this one we’ll go a total of 5 rounds. Each round includes 3 minutes of jump rope followed by 3 body-weight abdominal exercises.
Kick off the first round by jumping rope for 3 minutes. And try to keep a steady pace throughout the entire round. If you can, shoot for about 80% of your max exertion.
High knees and crossovers are great way to up the intensity.
For the body-weight exercises, we’re doing mountain climbers, flutter kicks, and starfish crunches. Aim for 20 reps on the mountain climbers, 30 reps on the flutter kicks, and finish the round with 10 starfish crunches.
Repeat this for a total of 5 rounds.
A break of about 2 minutes between each round should get you pretty close to that work to rest ratio of 2:1.
Again, feel free to add more reps if it’s too easy for you.
3. Boxing Jump Rope Workout
Jump rope workouts that include various boxing drills, like shadow boxing or bag work, are some of my favorite. I always seem to get the best workout when incorporating some of these movements.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll keep it simple with a fairly basic Boxing Jump Rope Workout.
For anyone looking for additional info on jumping rope as it relates to Boxing, check out our article on How to Jump Rope Like a Boxer: Explained by a Boxer. We cover in more detail various boxer jumps and how to incorporate them into your routine.
For this workout, we’re going to shoot for 5 rounds. Each round will include 3 minutes of freestyle jump rope, 3 body weight exercises, and 1-2 minutes of shadow boxing.
For the jump rope portion of each round, we’ll be performing what’s referred to as “freestyle jump rope”. The main idea with freestyle jump rope is to “flow” through different movements and jumps, ideally with very seamless transitions.
For example, transitioning from a basic jump to a boxer step, then from a boxer step to crossovers, from crossovers to high knees, etc., etc… this will take a fair amount of practice, so be patient with yourself.
You’ll do this for 3 minutes, each round.
After jumping rope, then we’ll perform 3 body weight exercises. The goal here is to be explosive in your movements. These exercises will target both your fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers.
The three exercises in this workout are burpees, dumbbell snatches, and bicycle crunches. Each round, perform 12 burpees, 8 dumbbell snatches (each side), and 30 bicycle crunches.
If you’ve never done dumbbell snatches, see the video above.
Finally, between each round, shadow box for 2 minutes. This is meant to be more of a cool-down than anything, so be loose, make sure to breathe, and practice form as opposed to power or speed.
If you’ve never shadow boxed before, it can feel unusual… which is fine, it doesn’t need to be perfect. You might look up some info on how to shadow box properly before trying this workout.
I guarantee you’ll get a great workout though, give it a shot!
4. Jump Rope Workout for Legs
Making time to train legs is super duper important! I have pretty skinny legs too, which is why I make a point of training legs, at a minimum, twice a week.
This workout is a killer leg workout though, especially for the calves. I’m confident if you introduce this into your routine a couple times per week you’ll see results.
Here, we’re going to do another 5 rounds. We’ll be doing 3 minutes of jump rope each round, followed by 4 exercises. I’ve included dumbbells in this workout, but feel free to swap those out for body-weight exercises if you don’t have access to weights.
For this workout we’ll be performing a couple different calf-focused jump rope movements. These are a burner!
I go into more detail on these movements in the video above, but we’re essentially combining two different jumps. We’re alternating between jumping jacks and jumping scissors.
Our feet go out, then back in (as if you were performing a jumping jack), then one foot forward and one foot back (as if your legs were scissors), then out again and back in, then jumping scissors again, this time with the opposite feet. We’ll continue this for 3 minutes.
The video does a better job explaining. It’s one helluva calf workout though!
For the exercises we’ll be doing jumping lunges, jumping squats, weighted step ups, and goblet squats. We’ll do 10 reps for the jumping squats and goblets squats, and 8 reps (each leg) for the other two exercises.
I outline all of these in the video above.
Finally, make sure to take 120 seconds between each round to rest. This is important for this workout as each round should really tax your legs… repeat this for 5 rounds!
5. Tabata Jump Rope Workout
Tabata is a form of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s a great way to get your heart pumping and break a sweat. Tabata is unique in that the workout lasts exactly 4 minutes.
Tabata has an interesting history, one worth checking out. I won’t be covering that in this article, but for those of you that are curious here is a great article from Women’s Health Magazine with more detail.
The basic structure of a Tabata workout is pretty simple. Take one exercise or movement and perform it for eight rounds (20 seconds per round) with 10 seconds of rest between each round.
For example, perform jump rope double-unders for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds, then double-unders again for 20 seconds, then rest 10, etc., etc… continue this for 8 rounds, totaling 4 minutes.
It helps to have a timer, specifically a Tabata timer. There are loads of free apps that can do this for you.
What’s cool about this workout format is you can swap out the jump rope double-unders for literally any exercise. Crossovers, high-knees, jumping jacks, push ups, the list goes on…
This workout is also great for its’ convenience. If you’re struggling to find time to make it to the gym, bust out a couple of these at home instead.
6. Jump Rope Workout to Burn Fat
Let’s be honest, for most of us (Americans, anyway) we’re always looking for the best way to “burn fat”. And, it seems as though every fitness blog has ALL the answers, usually in the form of some short cut or “trick”.
The truth is, burning fat is a process that takes time, and not just in the gym either, but in the kitchen as well.
“The only way you get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more.”
– Jack LaLanne (The Godfather of Fitness)
That being said, there are definitely some things you can do in the gym to accelerate fat loss. For me, I’m a big fan of both High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weight lifting as a way of supporting my fat loss goals.
There are a variety of workouts that can accommodate both HIIT and weight lifting. Here is an example of one my favorites that focus on building your chest and triceps.
For this workout, we’ll perform 5 rounds of 5 exercises. The goal with this workout is to move between each exercise quickly, making sure you don’t allow your body too much downtime to recover. Keep your heart rate up!
The exercises we’ll be performing in this workout are dumbbell bench press, jump rope high knees, dips, jump rope high knees again, and skull crushers. I’ve linked to instructions for each of those exercises.
Start by performing 12 reps on the bench press using dumbbells. Follow that up with 60 seconds of jump rope high knees, with high intensity. Then, dips for 15 reps, followed by another 60 seconds of jump rope high knees. Wrap up the round by performing 12 reps of skull crushers.
You’ll repeat this for 5 rounds, with 1 minute of rest between each round.
I like to utilize HIIT workouts because it’s a great way to get my heart rate up and burn more calories. A jump rope is one of my favorite tools to help me accomplish this.
By increasing the intensity of your workouts you force your body to take in more oxygen, taking in more oxygen requires your lungs and heart to work harder, which in return causes the body to burn more calories.
In regards to weight lifting, there’s a lot of science that suggests adding more muscle will, in return, cause your body to burn more calories. These calories are burned not only while working out but also while resting, just sitting at your desk or lying in your bed.
Regardless of the type of exercise you’re performing, the amount of calories you’re taking in will ultimately make or break your fat loss goals. Make sure to be conscious about how much food you’re eating.
Get after it!
7. Jump Rope Workout for Kids
If you’re looking for ways to encourage your child to be more active, look no further than the jump rope! Jumping rope for kids can be a fun activity that also promotes a healthy and happy lifestyle.
In addition to jumping rope, strength training can also be incredibly effective for children depending on their age. That said, it’s absolutely critical to consult a doctor before having your child perform any exercise.
If you’ve got the green light from their doctor to have them exercise, I’d start with a simple jump rope workout. It’s best to start slow, making sure there’s a big emphasis on proper form.
3 rounds, jumping rope for 60 seconds each round, is a great beginner jump rope workout for kids. Make sure they take a minute to rest between each round.
You’ll be able to tell, pretty quickly, how difficult it is for them. You can adjust accordingly.
If you’re looking for a good jump rope for kids, check out our article outlining the 5 Best Jump Ropes for Kids.
8. 1000 Calorie Jump Rope Workout
This is more of challenge than a practical workout. It’s likely something you’ll need to work up to and probably not something you should be doing on a regular basis. Nonetheless, figured I’d include it as it’s a killer workout.
To burn 1000 calories in a single jump rope workout it’s going to take you some time. To put it in perspective… an average American male in their 20’s weighs 197 lbs (and has a 40 inch waist – woaah!), therefore it would take him just under 55 minutes to burn 1000 calories.
For someone smaller, it would take over an hour!
So, you can see why this isn’t something you’d want to do on a regular basis. Jumping rope for an hour, something I’ve done only a few times in my life, is not an easy feat. However, burning 1000 calories feels amazing!
I’d highly recommend mastering the jump rope basics before trying something like this. And, make sure to consult your doctor as the intensity of this workout could injure you.
Definitely something to work towards though.
If you’re curious about how many calories you’re burning with your jump rope workouts, take a look at our Jump Rope Calories Calculator. It’s pretty cool to see how effective your workouts are in exact calories.
How Long Should My Jump Rope Be?
Figuring out the proper length for your jump rope is actually a pretty important step, especially if you’re a beginner. Don’t worry though, it’s pretty easy to do.
For majority of you, the following jump rope length chart will outline the ideal length for you jump rope depending on your height.
It’s important to mention, there are some caveats to this sizing chart. Depending on what you’re using the jump rope for might require you to size it differently.
For example, jump ropes used for freestyle jump rope will likely be sized a little differently. They will likely have more slack in the rope which allows the jumper to perform more advanced movements and transitions.
Alternatively, speed jumpers or competitive jumpers will keep a slightly shorter rope to allow for quicker rotations.
Unless you’re doing something along those lines, I’d just stick with the chart above. And, for more detailed instructions on the proper length and how to size your jump rope, check out our illustrated guide Jump Rope Length.