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

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Are you a beginner who wants to learn how to jump rope? 

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 type of rope is best for your specific goals
  3. Why weighted jump ropes are the secret to learning quickly
  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

    Why should you learn how to jump rope? You might be wondering, “is jump rope good for fat loss?” or “is jumping rope good cardio?” 

    The answer to both of those questions is yes. 

    So, before we jump into the fundamentals of the exercise, 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 jumping 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.)

     

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

     

    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.

    Lately, 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 exercise 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 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.

    How to Choose a Jump Rope

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

    There’s a lot of different jump ropes available today, and it can be a tad overwhelming when you’re just starting out. 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 Crossrope Get Lean set is the perfect rope combination for weight loss.

     

     

    The Get Lean set comes with a ¼ LB and ½ LB jump rope designed for HIIT and cardio workouts that will definitely leave you sweating. 

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

     

     

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

    If you really want to activate more muscles, the Crossrope Heavy LE set is also perfect for strength training.

     

     

    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 totally new to jump rope training?

    What is the Best Jump Rope for Beginners?

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

    Those are great questions, but the answers are slightly counterintuitive. 

    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 physical feedback when you’re jumping. 

    In other words, you can’t feel the rope rotating around your body making it challenging to time your jumps properly. Light jump ropes are generally the culprit for common jump rope mistakes. Cue trip-ups and frustration.

    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 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.

    How to Size a Jump Rope

    Another common roadblock we see beginners struggling with is they choose a rope that’s not the ideal length for their body. 

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

    While the rope size you choose will depend largely on your jumping style and ability, 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:

     

    jump rope sizing guide

     

    And if you're trying to size your Crossrope just right, we've made it easy for you. Check out our guide on how to size a jump rope.

    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, there are a few simple, yet important things you must be aware of. 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. 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 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.

    Can You Jump Without a Rope? 

    Absolutely. One of the best ways to learn how to jump rope properly is to start by practicing some beginner techniques without a rope. 

    So, before we end this section on jump rope fundamentals, we want to show you three simple drills that you should practice to help you get the hang of the basics. 

    You don’t need a rope for these drills. Watch the video below for instructions.

     

    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 (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 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 a variety of beginner jump rope workouts that you can follow along with (and take anywhere), is from the free 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. 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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