Cardio is arguably the most important type of workout for your health. That’s because things like jogging, group exercise classes, swimming, and cycling increase your heart and breathing rate, strengthening your cardiovascular system.
Your heart, lungs, and blood vessels are responsible for keeping your body supplied with life-giving oxygen. Try holding your breath to see just how important this function is!
Cardiovascular fitness is inextricably linked to cardiovascular health. Regular cardio workouts can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, ward off type 2 diabetes, and boost immunity. In short, doing cardio could help you live longer.
There are lots of different cardio workouts to choose from, and they’re all similarly beneficial. So long as whatever you do increases your heart and breathing rate, you’ll improve your fitness and your health.
That said, for a workout to be beneficial, you need to do it regularly and consistently, which means convenience matters. Walking and jogging are good choices, as you can do them almost anywhere and anytime. You could also go to the gym and join something like a Zumba or Spinning class.
Another good option is jump rope, also known as skipping. As boxers and MMA fighters can attest, jumping rope is a superb form of exercise that is accessible and easy to do.
In this article, we explain how to jump rope for beginners and provide you with a few jump rope workouts to try.
Jump Rope Workouts for Beginners
How to Jump Rope
Jump rope is a skill, and it gets easier with practice. But, before you start, you need to make sure your rope is the correct length.
If it’s too long or short, you’ll make your workout much harder than it needs to be.
Check to see if your rope is the right length by standing on the middle with your feet together.
The handles should just reach your armpits. If your rope is too short, discard it and get another; you’ll just end up tripping all the time if you try and use it.
If the rope is too long, tie a few knots in it to shorten it.
Once your rope is the correct length, you should find it easier to use.
To Start Jumping Rope
Only jump an inch or so. A big jump is unnecessary, will make it harder to establish a smooth rhythm, and increases the impact of your workout, putting more stress on your feet and ankles.
Try to keep the rope spinning, but don’t worry if it catches on your feet. Just reset and start over.
With practice, you should find that you can go longer without tripping. Make things easier by keeping your hands down by your hips rather than raising them out to the side. The further apart your arms are, the more likely you are to clip your feet.
Once you have perfected double-footed jumps, you can experiment with jogging on the spot, a heel-toe action, lifting your knees, and moving forward and backward.
The Benefits and Advantages of Jump Rope
Jumping rope has several advantages and benefits compared to other types of workout, including:
Cost – you can get a PVC speed rope for less than $20. There are more expensive ropes, but they don’t work any better or produce better results.
If you are looking for a low-cost workout, you can’t beat jumping rope.
Portable – take your jump rope with you so that you can maintain your workout routine wherever you go, even on vacation.
Versatile – you can jump rope as a standalone workout or combine it with other types of training, such as bodyweight exercises.
You can go fast and short, or slow and long to work different aspects of your fitness.
You can also jump rope indoors or out. Jumping rope is a very versatile workout.
Low-Impact – compared to running, jump rope is a lower impact activity, which means it’s easier on your joints than pounding the pavement mile after mile.
Providing you wear cushioned shoes, you should find jump rope causes very few aches, pains, and injuries.
High Caloric Expenditure – jumping rope involves many different muscle groups, both upper body and lower. As such, it burns a lot of calories. Jumping rope could help you lose weight or prevent weight gain.
Good For Agility And Coordination – jumping rope makes you more agile. It will teach you how to move on your toes and coordinate your arms with your feet. Jump rope is a good exercise for athletes and anyone who wants to move better.
How Long Should You Jump Rope For a Beginner?
This can be broken down into as many workouts as needed, such as five 30-minute workouts. The minutes can also be accumulated over a day, such as ten minutes before breakfast, 20 minutes at lunchtime, and another ten minutes before bed.
Regarding jump rope, even a few minutes can be beneficial and will contribute to your 150 minutes per week total. However, for best results, you should try and build up to at least ten minutes of jump rope to enjoy all the benefits that this type of workout has to offer.
3 Easy Beginner Jump Rope Workouts
Simply jumping rope for a few minutes can be very beneficial, and there is nothing to stop you just grabbing your rope and using it any time you feel the urge. However, you’ll probably get better results with a more structured approach.
Here are three easy beginner jump rope workouts to try:
1. Boxer Rounds
This workout replicates the fitness demands faced by boxers.
Set a timer for three minutes’ work and one-minute recovery. Jump rope at a comfortable pace for three minutes, rest a minute and repeat. Do three to five “rounds” to total 12-20 minutes.
If three minutes is too long for you right now, feel free to do two or even one minute. Increase the length of the work intervals as you get fitter.
2. Jump Rope Descending Pyramid
This workout gets easier as you near the end, but you’ll also feel more tired, so this benefit may go unnoticed! Just storm through the following sequence as fast as possible to clock up just over 500 rope turns.
3. 30-Second Jump Rope and Bodyweight Intervals
Set your timer, so it sounds every 30 seconds. Do 30 seconds of each of the following:
Each lap takes five minutes, so do as many as required, i.e., four to total 20 minutes.
Jumping rope is a very low-tech workout, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. In fact, some of the fittest athletes on the planet jump rope, including most CrossFitters, boxers, and MMA fighters.
Despite its simplicity, jumping rope is not easy to master. A lot of people find it very frustrating and constantly trip over the rope or their own feet. The good news is that most jump rope problems can be avoided by using a rope that is the correct length. Make sure you adjust your jump rope before using it; things will go a whole lot more smoothly if you do.
Also, remember the rope is a fraction of an inch thick; there is no need to jump much higher. Large jumps make timing your turns much harder. Stay light on your feet and low to the ground for a smoother workout. Keep your arms down by your sides and stay on your toes, too, and your workout should go much more smoothly.
Whether you are exercising for fitness, fat loss, or health, jumping rope can help. It’s a cost-effective workout that you can do almost anywhere and anytime. Just make sure you have plenty of space around you, as that fast-spinning rope can cause a whole lot of damage, especially to low-hanging light fixtures.
Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.