How to Jump Rope: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Jump Rope Training

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How to Jump Rope: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Jump Rope Training

Do you want to learn how to jump rope for fitness?

Jumping rope is one of the most effective exercises for burning calories, building endurance & strength in as little as 20 minutes. You don’t need a lot of space or equipment, and you can do the workouts wherever you go. It’s the best-kept secret in fitness.

Our team at Crossrope has put together a simple and easy-to-follow guide on jumping rope for beginners, complete with how-to videos and quick tips. We’re going to show you everything you need to know to get started with jump rope fitness, no matter your experience level.

At Crossrope, we pride ourselves on ensuring that the benefits of jumping rope are accessible to everyone. In this article, you’ll learn:

  1. Why you should be skipping rope
  2. What jump rope is best for beginners
  3. How to choose a jump rope
  4. How to size your jump rope
  5. How to learn proper form
  6. What footwork techniques to start with for beginners
  7. How to add jumping rope into your workouts

Let’s get started!

Why You Should Learn How to Jump Rope

Before we jump into the fundamentals of jumping rope, let’s talk about the reasons you should be jumping rope in the first place.

1. It’s a highly effective workout.

Jumping rope is one of the most effective exercises around. Most people don't know that (which is why we call it the best-kept secret in fitness)

Research has shown that you can burn over 1000 calories per hour jumping rope. Compared to other activities, it is one of the most effective cardio workouts, and it helps you burn serious calories. (Just ask Tim, who lost over 50 lbs, or Kathy, who lost 100 lbs jumping rope.)

Comparison of calories burned jumping rope vs. other cardio activities from Crossrope

 

Jumping rope also helps you improve your endurance and athleticism, agility, coordination, strength, foot speed, and much more.

Our Crossrope system offers an even more effective workout as our weighted ropes engage more muscle groups with every jump.

2. It's a quick and convenient workout

We know it can be a pain to find time to get a workout in.

A jump rope is easy to store and convenient to take with you wherever you go. You can use it at home, or you can take it outdoors with you in the park while your kids play.

Because of its calorie-burning potential and overall effectiveness, you can get a great full-body workout in under 30 minutes when you add weighted ropes into the mix.

That's why you'll find hundreds of easy-to-follow workouts in our Crossrope app you can do in as little as 20 minutes. Crossrope users have been seen jumping rope at home, at work (during their break), at their kid’s sporting events, on the deck of a cruise ship, and the list goes on.

The jump rope makes it easy to fit exercise into your life.

3. It's a fun workout to do

Let's be honest - treadmill runs and stationary bike sessions can be a little boring. Even the routine run around the block can get monotonous.

The jump rope allows you to change things up. It's a great fitness tool to integrate into your existing routine or use on its own.

Learning how to jump rope is fun in itself. As your skills and coordination improve, you can start learning new jump rope skills and adding new exercises to your routine. As you level up, your confidence improves, your workouts become more effective, and you're excited to take on the next challenge.

Few training tools require both physical and mental presence, like the jump rope. This is no mindless activity. You're constantly engaged all the way through.

"I tried Peloton but actually feel Crossrope offers a faster, more effective workout." - Catherine K.

With the Crossrope app, you're never stuck thinking about what workout to do. We've got hundreds of options for all fitness and skill levels. We've got challenges every month that allows you to shake up your routine and programs for those looking to achieve a specific goal.

And when you have a workout you can take anywhere, even just a simple change of scenery can be all the motivation you need to tackle your next workout.

4. Plenty More

There are many unique benefits of jumping rope. Few training tools require both physical and mental presence, like the jump rope. This is no mindless activity. You're constantly engaged all the way through.

Plus, did you know that jumping rope helps develop the left and right hemispheres of your brain? Jump rope increases spatial awareness and improves your memory, making you more mentally alert.

It's also a self-limiting tool which means it enforces good form. Most training injuries come about from doing exercises with poor form. With the jump rope, if you use a poor technique, sure, you'll end up tripping up more often, but at least you'll be less susceptible to injuries that can happen from the ongoing use of poor form. 

Oh, and there's another reason—it's effective. It can get you great fitness results in very little time. Some of our jumpers transform their bodies in only 30 days with our monthly jump rope fitness challenge. You can even mix a jump rope into your regular training routine and use it to achieve a wide variety of fitness goals.

What is the Best Jump Rope for Beginners?

This is a question we often get in our jump rope fitness community — what kind of jump rope should I buy? What’s the best skipping rope for beginners? 

We most commonly see new jumpers start their jump rope journey with an inexpensive, plastic (PVC) rope that can be picked up at any local department store. 

But here’s the problem with light PVC ropes…

Lightweight ropes make learning how to jump rope very difficult because they’re too light and don’t offer any feedback when you’re jumping. 

In other words, you can’t feel the rope rotating around your body which makes it challenging to time your jumps properly. Light jump ropes are generally the culprit for common jump rope mistakes

If you’re an experienced athlete or generally have a high level of coordination, you’ll probably be able to get away with learning how to jump rope with a PVC rope. But if you’re new to jumping or generally feel like you lack coordination, you’ll need to take a different approach. 

Here’s what we suggest — skip the cheap plastic ropes and use a slightly weighted rope instead.

Weighted jump ropes don’t just support weight loss or strength training. They actually help you learn the proper form and rhythm for mastering the exercise.  

Specifically, a weighted jump rope will do two things:

  1. It will allow you to feel the rope turning around your body which will make it easier to time your jumps. 
  2. It will slow down your rotation just enough to allow you to maintain a nice consistent pace with your jumps.

While it sounds counter-intuitive, we’ve seen the story play out countless times at our past workshops: after numerous mistakes with a light rope; we’ll give a new jumper a slightly weighted rope (most often our 1/2 LB rope) and watch the magic happen. They go from trip-up to trip-up to suddenly stringing consistent jumps together almost instantly.

“The weight of the rope is perfect for me and I'm actually finally improving my technique. The lighter ropes were too light and I tripped so much it wasn't as fun I'm having now!” - Linda A. 

So what's the best jump rope for beginners?

Any rope that has some weight to it will work. For new Crossrope customers, we always recommend getting started with the white 1/2 LB rope. This is the perfect weight of rope to start with.

How to Choose a Jump Rope

For starters, you can take this quiz to find out what jump rope is best for you. 

There are many different jump ropes available today, and it can be a tad overwhelming when you’re just starting. Don’t worry. We got you covered. 

If you’re trying to decide how to choose a jump rope, let’s consider your goals. 

Do you want to jump rope for weight loss? If losing weight is your primary goal, you’ll want to add a little weight to your ropes. The Get Lean Set is the perfect rope combination for weight loss. 

The Get Lean set comes with a 1/4 LB and 1/2 LB jump rope designed for HIIT and jump rope cardio workouts that will leave you sweating. 

Are you focused on building muscle? If strength training is what you’re looking for, choosing a heavy jump rope is a great start.

The Get Strong set is an excellent introduction to heavy ropes, and it comes with a 1 LB and 2 LB jump rope.  

If you want the best of both worlds, we highly recommend the Get Fit Bundle, which comes with both the Get Lean + Get Strong Sets.

This is the best option for getting started. You could buy each set separately, but why limit your workout selection from the get-go? Just take it from Anne:

I love these ropes! I made the mistake of only ordering the Get Lean Set to start off with instead of the full bundle. I’ve since bought the Get Strong Set. The ropes and app (that is updated regularly with new workouts) are PERFECT. Anne. 

Now, you might already be objecting to the idea of a weighted jump rope if you’re a beginner, and we get it. Weighted ropes are sort of intimidating. So, what should you choose if you’re new to jump rope training?

How to Size a Jump Rope

Another common question we get asked at Crossrope is what size of jump rope is best for getting started. A jump rope that's not sized correctly for you can make your learning experience a little more challenging.

At Crossrope, we've simplified the process and made choosing a size quick and easy. All of our ropes are sized according to your height. When choosing a rope, you'll see a size chart that will tell you exactly which size you need.

Check out the Get Fit Bundle, and you'll see what size options are available.

How to Learn Proper Jump Rope Form

Alright. You have your jump rope. It’s weighted. It’s the right size. Good. 

How do you get started? 

We’re going to go over a few essential jump rope techniques for beginners that you need to practice to learn how to jump rope. 

When it comes to jump rope technique, you must be aware of a few simple yet important things. Let’s break them down one by one.

How to Hold a Jump Rope

Where you position your hands while jumping rope is very important, you want to focus on two things in particular: 

  1. Symmetry: you want to make sure both hands are roughly the same distance apart from the centerline of your body. 
  2. Movement: you want to make sure there is minimal movement of the elbows and shoulders. Your wrists should generate the jump rope rotation. 

Proper Bounding

Jumping rope is all about consistent bounding.

You want to minimize the space you create between yourself and the ground. Your jumps should be roughly 1-2 inches off the ground.

You also don't want to pull your feet back or tuck your knees in. You want to keep your toes pointed down slightly on every jump.

Another important note - make sure there is always a slight bend in your knees and that you are landing softly on the balls of your feet every jump. This will ensure the stresses from jumping are nicely dissipated through your body.

And one more thing...

If you're still struggling with the "double hop," we've got a quick fix for you here.

Your First Jump Rope Exercise

Once you feel comfortable with the fundamentals, you’re ready to learn your first jump rope exercise. 

The first exercise you need to learn is the basic jump. Here’s what the basic jump looks like:

As you’re practicing the basic jump, here is a reminder of some important guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Keep your feet close together when jumping
  • Jump on the midsoles of your feet and land softly
  • Keep your jumping height low (½” - 1” off the ground)
  • Keep your knees slightly bent at all times
  • Maintain a tall, neutral spine
  • Keep your head up, chest up, and head looking forward
  • Keep your shoulders pulled back and your elbows held down and back
  • Keep your hands along the midline of your body
  • Use your wrists to turn the rope (not your elbows or shoulders)

The basic jump requires a bit of practice until you get the rhythm and timing down. Again, a weighted rope will help you speed up your learning. Using a mirror will also help you pinpoint any symmetry issues you might be having.

Jump Rope Footwork for Beginners

Once you’re feeling good about your basic jump, you will have built the necessary platform to start learning other jump rope exercises and footwork patterns. 

The five primary jump rope fitness exercises we suggest learning after the basic jump are: 

  1. The alternate foot step
  2. The boxer step
  3. The side swing
  4. The cross-over
  5. The double under

You can find a full tutorial breakdown of these (and many other) exercises in our jump rope exercises guide.

Your First Jump Rope Workout

You made it to the end! 

You’ve got your (weighted) jump rope. You’ve sized it properly. You’ve got your fundamental techniques dialed in. And you’ve learned some basic footwork. 

Now it’s time to try a beginner jump rope workout

Try the workout linked above, but the best place to find various beginner jump rope workouts that you can follow along with (and take anywhere) is from the Crossrope jump rope app. The app is available on App Store and Google Play.

How To Jump Rope Summary

Thanks for taking the time to read through our complete beginner guide to jump rope training. We hope you got some value from it and inspired you to give jump rope training a try.

Here is a quick recap of what we've learned. We started by looking at the reasons for jumping rope. There are many of them, but convenience, versatility, effectiveness, and portability were some of the top ones.

We talked about the importance of choosing the right rope. Although counter-intuitive, a slightly weighted rope (like our 1/2 LB rope from our Get Fit Bundle) will make it a lot easier to learn how to jump.

We discussed the importance of sizing with the right rope in hand and explored the fundamental jump rope techniques you must learn - primarily hand positioning and proper bounding. We also covered the first jump rope exercise you need to master: the basic jump.

We finally finished things off by digging into your first jump rope workout. Make sure to download the app to get the full jump rope workout experience.

Got questions?

We would love to answer them. Leave them in the comments below!

Want to help others learn how to jump rope? Check out our How To Jump Rope Story + share with your friends!

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