Jumping rope is a fantastic and fun portable fitness option anyone can incorporate into their training. Beginners will especially benefit from this cardio workout, which will improve heart health and bone density and make exercise feel like play.
Check out our guide to jump rope for beginners, where you'll learn its many health benefits, how to select a rope, and crucial tips for getting started safely.
Introduction to Jump Rope Training for Beginners
You may remember jump rope games from recess like double dutch but jump roping rope is actually a challenging workout for adults, too.
From professional fighters to CrossFit athletes and military members, serious exercisers worldwide are discovering just how challenging a workout jump ropes provide. Crossrope is a new fitness brand that has added weighted jump ropes to the mix, providing an even bigger challenge to help you build cardiovascular health and endurance from anywhere.
Benefits of Jump Rope
It can be hard to believe that a child's game could offer any real health and fitness benefits, but the studies show that jump rope fitness packs a punch in more ways than one.
Better Sports Performance
From long-distance runners to boxers and team sport athletes, numerous studies have shown the sports performance benefits of incorporating jump rope fitness into your training routine.
One study published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology compared the effectiveness of jump rope to traditional plyometric training for developing the leg power needed to propel a boxer's punch. Both effectively developed their strength, power, rate of force development, and reaction time.
Another study found that 10 minutes of jumping rope yielded similar metabolic and cardiovascular demands as 30 minutes of jogging at the same pace.
Even more impressively, an additional study compared the use of jump rope as a warm-up modality to a traditional distance runner warm-up and found the jump rope group had a statistically significant improvement in their 3-km run time, jumping ability, and reactive strength index (RSI).
Better Bone Density
Jump rope training is a plyometric exercise that builds power and coordination through quick and explosive movements. While the tiny hops utilized while jumping rope may not seem explosive, they effectively strengthen the musculature of the foot and lower leg and build bone density throughout the body.
In fact, one study found that 12 weeks of jumping rope effectively built bone mass throughout the body and spine of men with low bone density. This is great news for adults over 40 who should participate in plyometric exercise and strength training to counter age-related bone loss.
Improved Heart Health & Endurance
If you've ever jumped rope, you know–it is way more complicated than it looks! It's an activity that requires coordination, heart health, and endurance–plus a good amount of skill.
A study published in 2019 looked at the effectiveness of jump rope fitness to improve cardiovascular health and overall physical fitness in college-aged men. After 12 weeks of jumping for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day, they found that the jump rope group had significantly improved their physical fitness and VO2 max.
Because it's so easy to dial up the intensity when jumping rope, it's a fantastic tool to improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Fun Fitness Anywhere
Most importantly, jumping rope is one of the most portable, affordable, and versatile forms of exercise available to beginners. You can spend just a few bucks on a rope and start getting fitter today.
Whether you work out at home, at the gym, or while traveling–you can take a jump rope anywhere and get a quick workout in. It also scorches calories, more so than less intense forms of cardio such as jogging.
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Selecting the Right Jump Rope
If you're ready to try jump rope, you need to find a suitable jump rope for your height and ability.
We spoke to Jennika Landon ACE-CPT, one of Crossrope's lead trainers and experienced jump rope fitness athletes, who shared her expert tips for selecting the best rope for a beginner.
Landon says that not all ropes are created equal for learning how to jump. "I don't recommend speed ropes for beginners as they're very easy to get tangled up in. Believe it or not, a weighted jump rope is the best option to learn with."
Crossrope offers a variety of weighted rope options that are optimal for beginners as the rope's weight gives you more feedback to time the swing when you're learning the timing of the movement.
If you're new to jumping rope and not ready to invest, she recommends opting for a beaded rope (like the ones from gym class). After the rope's weight, the most important consideration is its length.
"Too short, and you'll hit your legs. Too short and you won't find a rhythm. If you're sizing the rope yourself, I recommend standing with one foot in the middle and holding it up. It should hit around your underarms," Landon shares.
Everyone is built differently, so the best way to find the perfect fit is by purchasing from a company that sizes the ropes for you based on height, like Crossrope, or trying to size it yourself as Landon instructed using trial and error.
Mastering the Basics: Everything You Need to Know
Jennika Landon, Crossrope coach, and jump rope pro, urges beginners to start slow and try to enjoy the process.
"Be patient, it is a new skill, and it has a learning curve. Remember that you will trip. We all do. Give yourself time to learn and have fun,” said Landon.
When starting out, you should first focus on learning the movements' components separately. Landon stresses the importance of the 'light, low bounce: "
It's easy to get excited because you're having fun, but it's easy to overdo it in the beginning and risk an overuse injury," Landon cautions. "You're using tiny muscles in your feet you may not have trained before, so your body needs time to adapt."
Jump Rope Duration and Frequency for Beginners
Coach Landon recommends beginners start slow and keep it simple.
"A good starting place for most people is 30-seconds jumping, 30-seconds rest, for 5 to 10 minutes every other day," said Landon. "This gives your body time to adapt and start building the skill without overdoing it."
When that feels easy, you can slowly add to your jump time and eventually add days. Five minutes may not sound like much, but you'll quickly learn that jumping rope is more intense than a leisurely elliptical stroll, so start slow and progress slowly.
Jump Rope for Endurance or Fat Loss
If your primary fitness goal is to build up your endurance, jumping rope is an excellent tool. You don't need any special equipment, though you can certainly use a heart rate monitor or other wearable activity tracker.
Start by slowly building a cardiorespiratory base of fitness. Once you get to a point where you can comfortably jump for 10 minutes straight while being able to hold a conversation, you can start adding time.
If you want to lose weight or body fat, Landon recommends going for higher-intensity, shorter bouts of jump rope.
"Jump rope is great for HIIT-style training, so opt for short bursts of hard work, with a short interval of rest for the best fat loss results," recommends Coach Landon.
Beginner-Friendly Jump Rope Programs
If you're ready to start your jump rope journey and want educational tutorials and classes led by jump rope experts, plus a ton of other workout content made especially for beginners, you can't go wrong with the Crossrope app.
If you'd rather learn independently, Crossrope also has loads of free instructional videos with beginner-friendly workouts you can complete alongside their two trainers, Jennika and Chad.
Different Ways to Track Your Jump Rope Fitness Progress
Whenever you set out on a new fitness journey, tracking your progress as you go is helpful. This gives you feedback on what is working, what isn't, and which aspects you enjoy most.
Landon shared her favorite ways to track your jump rope fitness progress:
- Count the number of consecutive jumps you can achieve.
- Count the number of minutes you can jump consecutively.
- Learn new skills and tricks for variety and difficulty.
- Try to jump for the entirety of your favorite song.
Keeping track of these numbers over time will show you how much your fitness and stamina have improved, which is a great motivator to keep going.
Tips to Incorporate Jump Rope Into Your Fitness Routine
Jump rope is one of the most straightforward exercises to add to your workout routine because it's portable, provides great cardio, and is much quicker than other cardio options.
You can use jump rope as a primary cardio workout, tack it on to the end of a strength session, or spread it out throughout your day. Jennika Landon, ACE-CPT and jump rope fitness coach, shares her favorite tips for incorporating jump rope training safely and enjoyably.
Start Slow, Seriously
Because many people associate jumping rope with children, it's easy to underestimate the difficulty of this workout. Landon urges caution, especially in the beginning, to prevent injury and excessive soreness, which can be discouraging.
Stick with 5 to 10 minutes of jumping, alternating between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest, every other day for the first few weeks so you can master the basics and build a foundation of fitness.
Always Warm Up and Cool Down
"We all skip the warm-up sometimes. I'm guilty of it, too. But it's so crucial to prevent injuries, maximize your workout performance, and work on your flexibility and mobility," Coach Landon shared. She recommends spending at least 5 minutes on a warm-up and cool-down before and after each session.
Use Visual Form Feedback
"When we're learning a new physical skill, seeing what your body is doing is very helpful to build body awareness and eventually muscle memory," coach Landon said. "Use mirrors or set up your phone and record your workout to see where your hands are in relation to your body. That visual feedback will help you master the form faster."
Invest in Good Footwear
Coach Landon says there is no such thing as the perfect shoe, so the best option for you will largely depend on what kind of shoe you've been training in most of your life. Most people prefer sneakers with some cushion for jumping, but some people train in minimalist shoes or even go barefoot. Find what's comfortable for you and stick with that.
Starting a fitness journey can be a rewarding and thrilling adventure, and it's even better when you can connect with like-minded people on that same path. Try to connect with other people who are interested in similar workouts and are pursuing their own fitness goals so you can commiserate when things are tough and keep each other accountable.
Jumping rope is an excellent workout for beginners as it provides killer cardio, blasts calories, builds bone density, and improves sports performance.
If you're a beginner, you should start with 5 to 10 minutes of jumping, alternating between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest every other day for the first few weeks. Wear supportive shoes, warm up before each session, and progress slowly.
Check out Crossrope’s offerings to get started with beginner jump rope.
Jump Rope for Beginners FAQS
Is Jump rope a good workout for beginners?
Absolutely! Jump rope is a very accessible form of fitness that can be modified for any fitness or experience level.
How can jump rope training be modified for individuals with joint issues or past injuries?
A jump rope workout can be modified for those with joint issues or who aren't fit enough to jump continuously by eliminating the hopping step and swinging the rope with one hand off to the side.
You should also avoid harsh surfaces like cement, asphalt, or concrete as they are much harder on your joints and will damage your rope. Opt for a softer but supportive surface like a firm mat (but avoid too-soft surfaces like grass and thick yoga mats, which can be unstable and may increase the chance of a sprain).
How can I make jump rope training fun and avoid monotony in my workouts?
When you master the basic pace and coordination required for continuous jumping, you can learn many fun tricks and drills to bring your jump rope fitness to the next level. Check out these 61 Jump Rope Tricks to bust boredom and keep training interesting.
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. A Comparison of Plyometric and Jump Rope Training Programs for Improving Punching Performance in Junior Amateur Boxers.
The Physician and Sports Medicine. Metabolic and Cardiorespiratory Responses of Young Women to Skipping and Jogging.
The International Journal of Sport Physiology and Performance. Jump-Rope Training: Improved 3-km Time-Trial Performance in Endurance Runners via Enhanced Lower-Limb Reactivity and Foot-Arch Stiffness.
Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. The Effect of Skipping Rope Exercise on Physical and Cardiovascular Fitness among Collegiate Males.