Did you know a jump rope workout can be one of the most effective ways to burn off a ton of calories?
This is probably on of the simplest options for anyone who’s goal is to get a leaner physique. Price wise, a jump rope is a helluva lot cheaper than a treadmill or stationary bike. Also, if you can’t find a good place to get in your High-Intensity Interval Training, this little piece of equipment is pretty convenient when space is an issue.
I have to admit that one of my favorite ways to finish off an exercise session is to grab my rope and set the stop watch. I like to have options when I train because I really don’t like doing the same style of workouts over, and over, and over again. So, while I might use sprints as my primary training method, I like to have a fall back option that I know won’t let me down.
Jump Roping: The Hardcore Way
Okay, I want to get this out of the way first…wasn’t skipping rope fun when you were a kid? Well for me it was. For anyone who likes a fitness challenge, a jump rope workout can bring back a little bit of the childhood glee that sometimes gets lost along the way to adulthood.
The main thing I struggled with when I first started adding in a jump rope element to my training was my coordination fell a bit on the rusty side. But like with anything, after a bit of practice you can pretty much nail it down.
One trick I used to get better command of my ability was to simply see how long I could stay with a particular rhythm. First I’d go as slow as possible. When I felt confident I could keep a slow enough speed, I’d increase the pace. After the first two jump rope works later, you should be golden.
If your not sure about what kind of footwork patterns and exercises you can do to take your rope routine to the edge then check out this video. I especially like the freestyle at the end…
Srdjan Popovic runs a great fitness blog over at Bloom to Fit. I highly recommend checking out his site. And here’s the link to his jump rope workout.
The Benefits of Jump Ropes and HIIT
If you’re looking for a quick way to burn a heck-load of calories (which, by the way, is the most direct way to burn through stubborn body fat) HIIT is a great way to either finish off a workout routine or save it for a “rest day.” For anyone who’s specifically focused on fat loss adding a quick session to a day when you’re not putting resistance on the muscles can be you pushing towards your goals.
I’ve discussed metabolic training before, which is based on cycling between short bursts of working and resting states. One of the ways get the most calories burned during a workout is to use total body routine. And you definitely get that with a jump rope workout: practically every muscle sees some action.
One of the muscles I was surprised to see the most soreness in, when I first started, were the abs. Knees Highs are basically like mountain climbers, so if you do a 20-minute session that’s going to leave you with a pretty good ab workout too.
A Couple Jump Rope Workout Ideas
Here I’m outline simple routines to get you started with using the jump rope method. This first one is if you’re just starting out, or are new to HIIT:
- Go for a total of one minute at 60%-70% of your max output.
- Walk/stroll for one minute. An active rest isn’t what we want. Going slow is important.
When the one minute of rest is up, this concludes round one. Depending on your endurance, you can either crank out another 3-6 rounds.
For a more advanced program, you’ll be looking at the same kind of format, but with the max output increased and the interval times shortened:
- Go for a total of 30-45 seconds at 90% of your max output.
- Walk/stroll for 30-45 seconds. Again, recovery is very important in interval training.
Just like our first routine, strive to last for 3-6 rounds. If your stamina is strong enough try aiming for 15-20 minutes worth of rounds.
For someone looking to workout only at home, a jump rope just seems to fit in perfect with bodyweight cardio training. It’s easy to blend together your strength and cardio elements in a single go, rather than breaking them up into separate parts.
Finding the Rope That Fits “You”
When you’re looking to purchase a jump rope, the major thing you should be considering is it’s length, and not style. In fact, I still use the same rope I bought about five years ago at around $6, plus tax. It’s just a basic, no frills speed rope. And it works as good as the day I bought it.
The major reason why I consider length important above all else is because not all ropes fit all sizes. Most ropes are sized between 8-10 feet in length. (I use one measuring 9-feet long, which is good someone just over/under 6 feet tall.) But if you’re much taller than 6 feet then the 10 footer is probably the way to go. On the shorter end, the 8 foot size is probably going to be your best bet.
Some ropes are adjustable, but I recommend sizing one to your size than to cut off an inch or two and try to fit it back in place.
A good method for figuring out which rope will accommodate your height is to actually try one out. The thing you should be looking for is if you put your foot in the middle of the rope each handle should reach up to the top of your chest.
When you finally have the right size of rope, then you’ll be ready to tackle one of the two sample interval routines above, or you can opt for your jump rope workout. There are so many options with this nifty little piece of equipment that you never have to repeat the same session twice.