Published on November 11, 2015
We've already discussed the impressive versatility of the jump rope in the past. It's no doubt that this simple training tool offers numerous ways to structure your training.
But sometimes this can be a blessing in disguise because when presented with too many paths, we often resort to taking none.
So today I want to show you how you can simplify things. I'm going to show you the four elements that will help you build powerful jump rope workouts that can be done anywhere, anytime.Let's dig in.
Before we Begin...
Before you can start building your own powerful jump rope workouts, you need to master the fundamentals of jump rope training. To help you do that, we've created the complete beginner's guide to jump rope training.
We encourage you to check that out first before you read this article.
If you've already mastered the basics, feel free to continue...
The most powerful jump rope workouts are built around these four elements:
Let's break down each individually.
1. Jump Rope Pace
The first element to consider is pace.
The pace with which you turn the rope is tightly correlated to the intensity of your workout.
Simply put, an increase in pace equals an increase in intensity.
What you'll find is that your intensity will ultimately determine the effectiveness of your workout.
This is not to say that higher intensity workouts are always more effective than lower intensity workouts, but studies have shown that mixing up different intensities within the same workout can result in a dramatic boost in fat loss and conditioning.
So if you can change up the pace in your workouts, you can build some really powerful workouts.
The good news is that the jump rope is the ideal tool for changing pace. Just a quick tune in the speed of your wrist rotation or bounding height can help you instantly go from light pace to max effort in a split second.
2. Jump Rope Skill
The second element to consider is the skills you choose to build your workout around.
Fortunately, there's a lot you can play with here. A jump rope workout can be built around a single jump rope skill or multiple skills. There's no right or wrong answer. Both can be extremely effective.
But the skills you choose to build your workout around will ultimately determine the focus of your workout.
Workouts built around one or two simple skills (like sprints or double unders) are great for high-intensity workouts, like max effort single unders in a minute. On the other hand, workouts built around multiple skills are great for building endurance and further improving those skills.
Tip: you can check out all of our jump rope skills videos here.
Here's an example of a workout built around nothing but a simple single under:
Press play to watch the video.
The third element to consider is the timing or duration of your workout.
Many beginner jumpers are under the impression that only workouts that span 30-60 minutes are effective. But research and experimentation over the past decade has proven the effectiveness of short workouts as well.
What you'll find is that your timing will ultimately determine your intensity.
Simply put, shorter workouts should be of higher intensity while longer workouts should be of lower intensity.
If you're striving to build a good endurance workout, it's fine to keep your session longer (15-20 minutes) as long as you keep your intensity on the lower end. Feel free to mix in some quick bursts of intensity here and there, but overall your heart rate should not go over 70% of your max heart rate.
If, on the other hand, you're striving for a good fat-burning, metabolic conditioning workout, keep your session shorter (5-10 minutes) and your intensity higher. Here you should be constantly mixing up max effort bursts of intensity with periods of active rest.
Play around with different timing protocols until you find what works best for you.
The last (and most important) element to consider is resistance.
Now this is a relatively new feature of jump rope training as the quality of heavy jump ropes has drastically improved over the past decade.
Incorporating weighted jump ropes into your workout can dramatically increase the intensity of your workouts. Heavy ropes rotating around the body recruit more muscle engagement and results in greater fat burning and strength building effects.
And here's where it comes full circle.
As you begin to increase your pace (element#1), the intensity of your workout grows exponentially.
If you need proof, take a heavy jump rope (1lb or more) and go max effort sprints for 1 minute. It's the most challenging one-minute workout of your life.
To increase your resistance, simply replace your standard jump rope with a heavy jump rope. If you're in need of a high-quality heavy jump rope, check out Crossrope's Starter Set:
The Crossrope Starter Set contains two durable indoor-outdoor cables, one of them being the 1.0 lb Intensity (orange) cable. This is the ideal weight for getting started with heavy jump rope training.
So there you have it - four elements that make up a powerful jump rope workout.
You don't have to tackle all of them at once, but it's important to be aware of all the knobs and dials you have control over when you're putting together your own workouts.
Once you have the fundamentals down, you're only limited by your creativity.
Which one of the four elements do you often build your workouts around? Which one on this list are you inspired to test out? Share your comments with us below!