Coming into the new year, many are looking to exercise more. Whether for health reasons or simply to get yourself moving after what has been a sedentary year for many, choosing the right exercise is a difficult task.
You’ll remember jumping rope from your childhood out on the playground, but did you know it can work well as a way to lose weight and tone your muscles as an adult?
Jumping rope is excellent for agility, speed, balance, and coordination. It works to burn fat, and so is good for weight loss. Research even suggests that jumping rope helps increase bone density.
How does jumping rope lead to weight loss?
We all know that you need a balance of a healthy diet and exercise to achieve weight loss.
Sticking to a healthy diet is up to you - but you can manage exercise by jumping rope.
Jumping rope leads to a high level of calories burned because it is a full-body workout utilizing arms, shoulders, back muscles as well as your legs. Due to this, you can burn a large number of calories in a short period of time.
When you jump, your core muscles are pulled tight. This repeated contraction should lead to a loss of belly fat and the sculpting of your abs.
As a cardio exercise, it will strengthen your heart and improve your respiratory system that leads to better health overall. In particular, jumping rope will lead to:
- toned calves
- better stamina
- stronger lungs
- a tighter core
However, it is important to consider the health of your body when looking to start jumping rope. If you have issues with your joints or recovering from injury you should take precautions and only jump on a padded surface. And only jump if it is pain free.
Benefits of jumping rope for weight loss
So you know jumping rope will lead to weight loss. But why choose it over other exercises, like running or climbing?
It’s easy to do: Jumping rope is very convenient. All you need is a bit of space and a quality jump rope. Plus, the space you need can be as small as a corner of your bedroom. Jump ropes are very compact and easy to carry in your purse or gym bag. Plus, there are so many great options you can purchase from fitness ropes to speed ropes, heavy ropes and even slow ropes. You can customize your rope to fit your size as well as your personality.
You are in control: Jumping rope, as a simple repeated action, can be made as difficult or easy as you want. You can start easy, then build it up as your health grows. There are a variety of exercises you can do with jumping rope, but the extent to which you push yourself is solely down to you.
It’s fun: Compared to running or walking, jumping rope is entertaining. Maybe it’s because you have to use your arms and get to develop coordination between upper and lower body. , But you’d be surprised how fun jumping rope still is. Because jumping rope is a skill, and your improvement is measurable. The sense of accomplishment you feel after learning a new trick or sequence is addicting.
It works: People who jump rope do lose weight. The full-body workout it provides by incorporating your legs, arms, and core makes it an easy calorie burner. It is estimated that, for a 150-pound person, 20 minutes of jumping rope can cause 180 calories to burn.
Where to start when beginning to jump rope
People who jump rope for weight loss all have to start somewhere. But the task can seem a bit daunting. Back on the playground, you simply stepped over the rope: is it still like this?
When it comes to achieving weight loss through jumping rope, combining different exercises with jumping rope can help.
People who jump rope lose weight due to the exercise’s ability to be a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. This means you shouldn’t just jump rope for a block of time but to do short bursts of high intensity separated by blocks of rest.
When you’re just starting, focusing your routine around building stamina is key.
An initial workout might look something like this:
- Jump rope (30 seconds). Rest (60 seconds). Jump rope again (30 seconds). Repeat this pattern at least ten times. This section may seem simple, but likely will be difficult for a beginner. Try to push through the difficulty. Remind yourself that the majority of success in exercise in HIIT workouts is due to mindset.
- Jump rope while alternating feet (30 seconds). Rest (90 seconds). Repeat at least five times. By switching feet, this section will help with balance and coordination. If you trip or make a mistake, keep going, don’t restart the clock. You don’t want to overwork yourself.
- Jump rope with high knees (30 seconds). Rest (120 seconds). Repeat at least five times. At this point in the workout, you are likely to be tired. But by using high knees whilst skipping, your core will be tightened even more, and your legs exerted.
But remember! The benefit of jumping rope is that it can be easily moulded to your capabilities. If this seems like too much for you, you can edit it to suit you. If you feel like you could do more, add on some extra bits, or make the intense sections continue for longer.
Other exercises you can work into your jumping rope routine
As you progress in your jumping rope exercise routine, you may want to add different exercises.
While you have the option to use heavy jump ropes to increase weight resistance or Drag ropes to increase air resistance there are a multitude of skills and movements you can try to increase complexity and challenge yourself. Here are some options;
Double unders: make the rope circle your body twice for each jump in the air. This is a more explosive exercise and increases your heart rate tremendously. It requires precise timing and coordination but is not difficult to learn with guided practice.
The Rx Complex is a sequence of 5 single under hops, 5 right leg hops, 5 left leg hops then 5 alternating steps. Then increase to 10 reps of each movement, then increase to 15 reps and so on. The goal is to keep moving up without stopping. This sequence will improve your coordination and agility while giving you a fantastic work out.
Crossover: This exercise begins with a regular single jump rotation. However, at the next rotation, you must cross your arms in front of your body and jump through the loop. Then uncross on the next rotation and jump through the loop and so on. This alternation is super fun to practice and works to tone your arms and legs.
Boxer Step: is when you hop from side to side alternating to each foot and tapping the toe of your up foot upon landing. You must stay light on your feet and make soft bounces from side to side. This drill improves your footwork and balance.
Slalom Hops: When you jump from side to side on both feet with each jump. This movement mimics a snow skier and will strengthen your quads and will improve your lateral movement.
The relationship between jumping rope and weight loss
Weight loss will come to people who jump rope as long as they pair their exercise with proper nutrition.
In order to lose weight, your calorie intake must be low. Studies have shown that to lose roughly a pound a week, you need a calorie deficit of between 500 and 1,000 calories a day. This means you need to be burning more calories than you are putting in. This is where the jump rope comes in - but these numbers should show you that, without a proper nutrition plan, jumping rope can’t solely lead to weight loss.
Weight loss is a long term game, so making sure you do simple workouts at the beginning that focus less on weight loss and more on building strength is essential. By building a solid foundation, your weight loss goals can become more sustainable in the long run, rather than losing a lot quickly but putting it all back on when the exercise appears too difficult.
Besides slowly increasing your workouts’ difficulty, the way to make jumping rope sustainable is to work on your mindset. Half of all exercise is a mental game. If you don’t believe you can do it, then you’ll fail. In contrast, if you keep telling yourself that you can do 30 seconds more - then 30 more seconds - you will feel success in accomplishing mini goals. Ultimately reaching your bigger goals.
Jumping rope is an excellent exercise for weight loss, but it should also be fun. When jumping rope for weight loss, make sure not to lose sight of the entertainment it should be bringing you.
Then, once you’ve achieved your goals, spread the difference jumping rope can bring to all your friends looking to lose weight.