Illustration by Shannon Orcutt

It’s time to take this playground staple to the big leagues. Jumping rope can burn as many calories as running (and build some killer muscles to boot). Plus, a jump rope is the ideal size for travel (and won’t break the bank at $20 or less). Greatist Expert Ilen Bell recommends using Tabata intervals (alternating 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for four minutes) to really maximize calorie burnMetabolic profile of high intensity intermittent exercises. Tabata, I., Irisawa, K., Kouzaki, M., et al. Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kanoya City, Japan. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 1997 Mar;29(3):390-5.. And for this workout, prepare to work: We’re putting 10 minutes on the clock to hit all eight of Bell’s moves — two times through. Need a rope-skipping refresher course? Check out this video of Bell demonstrating each of the moves in order.

Ready to hop to it? Just remember that in addition to these 10 minutes of aerobic activity, it’s also important to warm up, stretch, and cool down correctly. Jumping into an intense activity with cold muscles is a recipe for disaster (think pulled muscles and torn ACLs)Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Woods K, Bishop P, Jones E. Human Performance Laboratory, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Sports Medicine. 2007; 37(12): 1089-99.. Get the blood pumping with a short jog or jumping jacks followed by some dynamic warm-up moves like walking lunges, walking toe touches, and skips. It’s time to stop making excuses and get skipping — you could finish a workout by the time it takes to read this article!

0:00-0:20 — Move #1: Two feet together
0:20-0:30 — Rest
0:30-0:50 — Move #2: Front Straddle
0:50-1:00 — Rest
1:00-1:20 — Move #3: High-knees in place
1:20-1:30 — Rest
1:30-1:50 — Move #4: Side straddle
1:50-2:00 — Rest
2:00-2:20 — Move #5: Heel to toe
2:20-2:30 — Rest
2:30-2:50 — Move #6: Five hops to the left, five hops to the right
2:50-3:00 — Rest
3:00-3:20 — Move #7: Alternate feet
3:20-3:30 — Rest
3:30-3:50 — Move #8: Double hop
3:50-4:00 — Rest
4:00-5:00 — Easy skip for recovery


5:00-5:20 — Move #1: Two feet together
5:20-5:30 — Rest
5:30-5:50 — Move #2: Front Straddle
5:50-6:00 — Rest
6:00-6:20 — Move #3: High-knees in place
6:20-6:30 — Rest
6:30-6:50 — Move #4: Side straddle
6:50-7:00 — Rest
7:00-7:20 — Move #5: Heel to toe
7:20-7:30 — Rest
7:30-7:50 — Move #6: Five hops to the left, five hops to the right
7:50-8:00 — Rest
8:00-8:20 — Move #7: Alternate feet
8:20-8:30 — Rest
8:30-8:50 — Move #8: Double hop
8:50-9:00 — Rest
9:00-10:00 — Cool down

If this series of moves didn’t make you break a sweat, pick a weighted rope for an even tougher challenge (those feet will really have to move!).

Special thanks to Greatist Expert Ilen Bell for creating the workout for this article.

Do you hit the (jump) ropes at the gym? What are your favorite recess-inspired moves? Share in the comments below or tweet the author at @SophBreene.