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


Are you a beginner looking to learn how to jump rope?

Our team at Crossrope has put together a simple and comprehensive guide to jumping rope for beginners , complete with videos and quick tips.

We're going to show you everything you need to know to get started with your jump rope training, no matter your experience or fitness level.

At Crossrope, we pride ourselves in ensuring that the benefits of jumping rope are accessible to all fitness levels. You will learn why you should be skipping rope, why heavy ropes are the hidden secret to learning quickly, what exercises you should learn first, and how to get the most out of your jump rope workouts.

Let's jump in.

Learn How to Jump Rope

We've created this complete beginner's guide to help you get started with your jump rope journey. Here's a quick summary of what's covered:

Why You Should Jump Rope

Why jump rope?

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

1. It’s an effective (and efficient) workout.

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

You can burn over 1000 calories per hour jumping rope compared to 800 when you row, 700 when you cycle and 600 when you swim. Jumping rope is the ultimate calorie-burner.

It also helps you improve endurance and athleticism, building your cardio regardless if you’re a beginner or advanced jumper (just ask Claude).

2. You can take your jump rope workouts anywhere.

In today’s day and age, it can be a challenge to find time to work out especially if you need to make the commute to the gym.

With the jump rope (and Crossrope app), you can take your workout anywhere. 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 and fun to fit your workout into your life.

3. It offers plenty of other unique benefits.

There are many unique benefits to 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. Take it from Catharina-

“I tried Peloton but actually feel this is a faster, more effective workout.” - Catharina K.

Plus, did you know that  jumping rope helps with the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain? Jump rope increases spatial awareness and increases 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 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 ongoing use of poor form.

Oh and there's a fourth 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 fun and engaging Crossrope app challenges. 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 get often in our jump rope community. What jump rope should you get? What's the best skipping rope for beginners?

This is a great question and one that requires a bit of a counter-intuitive answer.

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

But here’s the problem with light ropes…

Light plastic ropes are very difficult to learn how to jump with because they’re too light and they don’t provide any feedback when you’re jumping.

This means you can't feel the rope rotating around your body which makes it challenging to time your jumps properly. This is what causes trip-ups and frustration.

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

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

A weighted 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 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 rope should you use?

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

Get Lean Set

Shop Get Lean Set

What About Jump Rope Sizing?

Another common mistake we see beginners make is they choose a rope that is not of the ideal length for their body.

Using a jump rope that is not properly sized for you will make your learning experience frustrating.

While your rope size will depend largely on your jumping style, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to find that sweet spot.

This chart will help guide you through selecting the right jump rope size:

Crossrope jump rope size guide

And if you're trying to size your Crossrope just right, we've made it easy for you. Check out our sizing guidelines here.

Jump Rope Techniques for Beginners

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

Now how do you get started?

We’re going to show you a few fundamental jump rope beginner techniques that you need to practice in order to learn the skill of jumping rope.

And yes - you're learning a new skill here. Don't forget that! That’s part of what makes jumping rope so much fun.

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

Hand Positioning

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 away from the center line of your body and that your hands are positioned.

2. Movement: you want to make sure there is minimal movement of the elbows and shoulders. The jump rope rotation should be generated by your wrists.

Watch this quick video on hand positioning:

Proper Bounding

Jumping rope is all about consistent bounding.

You want to minimize the space you create between yourself and the ground. Your bounds 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 bound. 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.

Simple Jump Rope Drills to Practice (No Rope Needed)

Before we end this section on jump rope fundamentals, we want to show you three simple drills that you should use regularly to help you master the basics.

You won't need a rope for these. Watch this video for instructions:

Your First Jump Rope Exercise

Once you feel comfortable with the fundamentals, you're ready for your first jump rope exercise.

The first exercise you want 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 (along that string)
  • 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 Exercises

Once you feel comfortable with your basic jump, you will have established the necessary platform to develop other jump rope exercises and variations.

The five primary jump rope fitness exercises we suggest learning after the basic jump as you will get the most benefit from these:

  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.

A Jump Rope Workout for Beginners

You've made it to the end.

You've got your (weighted) rope. You've got it sized properly. You've got your fundamental techniques dialed in. And you've learned how to do the basic jump.

Now it's time to try your very first jump rope workout.

If you want a quick one to start with, we've got the perfect one here.

But if you want access to a variety of beginner workouts that you can follow along (and take anywhere), make sure to download our free jump rope app. It’s available both on iOS and Android.

How To Jump Rope Summary

Thanks for taking the time to read through our complete beginner guide to jump rope training. Our hope is that you got some value from it and that it has 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 a number 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.

With the right rope in hand, we discussed the importance of sizing 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!

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