3 Great Jump Rope Exercise Routines

By Kyera Giannini , last updated December 15, 2011

Jumping rope provides a better cardio workout than running or biking for the same amount of time. It engages the leg, core, shoulder and arm muscles, resulting in a toned, fit body when the pounds start melting away. These three great jump rope exercise routines are simple enough to perform at home but powerful enough to improve your aerobic fitness and overall health in days. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned jumper, these workouts will have you sweating off the pounds.

135 Calories in 10 Minutes

This quick, efficient workout is a beginner’s routine and appropriate for all skill levels. Begin standing with your legs shoulder width apart and holding the rope handles with both hands in front of you. Trace out a figure eight with your hands, moving from the right shoulder to the left hip and back again. Continue for one minute to loosen up the body and stretch the muscles.

For the next minute, jump over the rope one jump per turn. Then hold the handles in both hands and bring to the left, swinging twice in a circular motion as you tap your right foot by the left heel. Repeat to the left.

For the next minute jump rope, but jump six inches forward on the first turn and then six inches back on the next. Repeat the figure eight motion for 30 seconds. Repeat the alternating six inch jump for one minute. Repeat the toe tapping motion for 30 seconds.

Then jump rope for 30 seconds, but pass the rope under your feet twice for each jump. These are called double unders. Repeat the figure eight for 30 seconds. Jump rope in the Jumping Jack position for 30 seconds. Begin with feet together, jump, and land with your feet apart. Jump and land with your feet together on the next pass. Then for one minute run in place as you pass the rope toe-tapping to cool down.

Interval and Combination Workout

Incorporate this workout into your routine once you have increased your cardio abilities and want a challenge. Used by boxers, this workout strives to improve your aerobic fitness by jumping rope at a high intensity spaced out with low intensity intervals and resting. Low intensity activities include running and jogging in place while double unders and knee-highs are high intensity.

At its most basic, the routine consists of one minute intervals of jumping rope at high intensity or two to three minute intervals of alternating intensities. You rest for 20 to 60 seconds between intervals. Work your way up to six one minute intervals or three two minute intervals.

You can also combine the above workout with other exercises that do not use the rope. For example, you could jump rope 100 times and then perform ten burpees, ten pushups and ten squats as fast as possible. Repeat up to ten times without stopping.

Or, for a timing challenge, complete 50 double unders and five burpees as many times as possible in a two or three minute interval. You can also use the rope as the cool down to a workout. Jump for five to ten minutes at a medium to high intensity.

Low Intensity Routines

Unlike the high intensity workout, this one utilizes easier moves but for a longer period of time. Simply jumping rope for 30 to 60 minutes straight burns off hundreds of calories. To work on your balance, try “Ali Shuffling”, which is the method that the famous boxer used when jumping rope. He jumped forward, backward and side to side while staying within the same small area. The movements are very small, but they force your core to stabilize the body and enhance coordination. Ali Shuffle for 30 to 45 minutes to work up an intense sweat.

If, however, you want to add in a high intensity workout in the middle, that will help burn off even more fat. A sample high intensity workout can include alternate single leg jumps for 30 seconds, double unders for the next 15 seconds, and double leg high knee jumps for the last 15. Repeat this cycle for three minutes, rest for one minute, and then repeat or continue your low intensity workout.

For the best results in any workout, vary the routine so that your muscles do not adapt to the same motions repeated again and again. If they do, the workout loses its effectiveness. Switch out the double unders for more high knees or work in a crisscross to keep the muscles guessing.

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