Jumping rope is a legendary playground activity for a reason. Not only was it fun, but it got your heart pumping too. Sure, things may be a little different now, but the fun and physical benefits don’t have to end just because there’s no more recess!

Here’s how you can rope-jump your way to weight loss.

Jumping rope (aka skipping rope) is the perf workout whether you’re at the gym, at home, or on the go. There are many variations to try, but here are some of the more basic and effective approaches.

Classic jump rope

Let’s start with the basics.

  1. Stand with the rope at the back of your heels, holding one end of the rope in each hand.
  2. Swing the rope over your head from back to front.
  3. Jump as the rope comes down in front of you.
  4. Let it swing under your feet and come back over your head. (The timing might take some practice, but you’ll get the hang of it!)
  5. Start slow and gradually pick up the pace.

Pro tip: Spring up from the midsoles of your feet.

Alternate-foot step jump

Ready to switch it up a bit?

  1. Stand with the rope at the back of your heels, holding one end of the rope in each hand.
  2. Lift one foot a couple inches off the ground.
  3. Swing the rope over your head from back to front.
  4. Jump as the rope comes down in front of you.
  5. Let the rope swing under you and back over your head as you land on the foot you had lifted.
  6. Switch feet for the next jump.
  7. Continue to alternate feet as you go. Try to maintain a rhythm without stopping for a few jumps at a time.

Pro tip: Don’t kick your feet backward. It’s hard on your knees, and you might trip on the rope.

Boxer side step jump

Here’s a routine that can help you float like a butterfly 🦋, sting like a bee 🐝:

  1. Stand with the rope at the back of your heels, holding one end of the rope in each hand.
  2. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Keep them close to your sides.
  3. Lift from the midsoles of your feet as you swing the rope over your head.
  4. Instead of jumping straight up, jump from left to right as if you’re jogging. (You should only be getting about 1/2 inch of elevation.)
  5. Make your side-to-side jumps wider as you go.

Pro tip: Don’t swing your arms. Use your wrists to move the rope.

Single-foot jump

This one’s fab for building balance and endurance.

  1. Stand with the rope at the back of your heels, holding one end of the rope in each hand.
  2. Lift one foot an inch or so off the ground.
  3. Start to jump rope using only one foot.
  4. Switch sides every 2–3 jumps.

Pro tip: Be patient with this one! You can get tired pretty quickly, and it can take a while to get into a good groove.

Backward jump

Press rewind on the classic jump rope.

  1. Stand with the rope at the tips of your toes, holding one end of the rope in each hand.
  2. Use your wrists to swing the rope over your head from front to back.
  3. Jump as the rope goes under your feet.
  4. Start slow and gradually pick up the pace.

Pro tip: Try standing in front of a mirror to help you get into the swing of roping in reverse.

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Jumping rope on the reg can come with beaucoup benefits:

  • Healthy weight. A solid sweat sesh via jumping rope — along with a balanced diet — can help with weight management.
  • Heart health. Aerobic exercise can lower your risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association ❤️.
  • Asthma relief. Cardio can reduce your risk of an asthma attack. Just be sure to chat with your doc before starting a new workout routine.
  • Reduced pain. Research from 2011 suggests that a consistent exercise routine can reduce chronic pain in your lower back, neck, and shoulders.
  • Improved mood. Research suggests exercise can pump up the volume on endorphin production. This happy chemical can make you feel less anxious or depressed.

P.S. No matter which exercise you crush, results don’t happen overnight. So keep at it — you got this!

You can totes try keto or the Mediterranean diet, but the best way to lose weight is with a calorie deficit. That’s when you burn more calories than you consume. Jumping rope — and other aerobic exercises — can help you reach your goal.

For the best results, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of hardcore cardio per week (or a combo pack of both).

To tap into the max benefits of the activity, you gotta have the right jump rope.

Here are the ideal rope lengths according to your height:

HeightRope length
4″–4’9″7 ft
4’10″–5’4″8 ft
5’5″–5’11”9 ft
6″–6’4″10 ft
6’5″–6’9″11 ft

FYI: Rope length isn’t the only thing that matters. Also think about:

  • Weight. A medium-weight cable is usually a beginner’s best bet. More advanced jumpers may prefer lightweight ropes since they’re better for speed. You can also choose a weighted rope to help you tone as you go.
  • Thickness. Thicker cables tend to be more durable. But thinner cables are better if you want speed racer status.
  • Material. A plastic-wrapped jump rope might not last as long, especially on tough terrain. But a rope made from vinyl-wrapped steel should stand the test of time.

The “right time” to shed some weight is whenever you decide. Just grab your rope and start skipping! Here are some routines to help you get started.

Timed routine

Set a timer for your desired amount of time. Then… jump! Ten minutes is a good start for beginners. More advanced jumpers can work their way up to 30 minutes.

But TBH, you might get better results with interval training.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

HIIT is when you do short bursts of intense effort followed by short rests. Research shows HIIT benefits can include reduced belly fat, improved balance, and better heart health.

To HIIT-ify your jump rope sesh:

  1. Jump as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
  2. Walk in place for 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat this circuit 5–10 times.

Pro tip: You can make your HIIT sessions more intense by adding other exercises into the mix. Some good options are planks, stability ball push-ups, burpees, or mountain climbers.

Jumping rope is a simple and effective way to get your cardio in. It can also help you shed unwanted pounds.

Just remember: Weight loss takes time. But if you stick to a consistent jump rope routine while maintaining some other helpful habits, you should see the results you want.

Now go out there and jump around!