Jumping rope can burn as many calories as running (and build some killer muscles), but perhaps the biggest benefit of double dutch is improving agility. That’s why so many martial artists, boxers, and tennis players incorporate rope jumping into their training. Plus, a jump rope is the ideal size for travel (or a tiny apartment or dorm room).
Whether you’re looking to get an edge in your chosen sport, fit in an effective cardio session on the go, or just want to become more proficient at dodging cars while crossing the street, the workout below is for you. All you’ll need is a properly-sized jump rope, a suitable surface for jumping (a flat, firm surface with a little give is best; avoid grass, artificial turf, dirt, and sand), and a timer.
New to rope jumping? Keep these basic rules in mind:
1. Keep your elbows close to your ribs.
2. Don’t choke up on the handles.
3. Allow your ankles, knees, and hips to flex when you land.
4. Keep your jumps low.
5. Hold your hands waist-high.
6. Turn the rope mainly by rotating your wrist.
7. Turn the rope first, jump second.
Ready to give it a try? This workout was created exclusively for Greatist by the pros at Punk Rope and can be scaled to challenge any fitness level by increasing or decreasing volume and/or speed. For anyone who needs a rope refresher, Punk Rope offers excellent intructional materials! Plus, video demos of each movement are below the workout graphic.
2. Shadow jumping: No rope needed; just jump and rotate wrists as if holding a rope. Do 20 reps each of the following jumps: basic bounce, heel taps, scissors, and ski (how-to videos below).
1. Standing calf stretch, 30 seconds per leg
2. Standing hamstring stretch, 30 seconds per leg
3. Hip flexor stretch, 30 seconds per leg
4. Standing chest stretch, 15 seconds
5. Standing cat stretch, 15 seconds
Movement Demo Videos
This workout was created for Greatist by Tim Haft, founder of New York City-based Punk Rope, the fitness class that would be created "If Peter Pan and the Ramones teamed up." Tim is a certified personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise and a certified Level 1 USA Track & Field Coach.
Thanks to our friends at Lululemon for outfitting our model in the Swiftly Tech Tank.