Jumping rope – is it simply child’s play? Or are the benefits worth purchasing a rope and getting a skip in your step?

With the high demand for workouts created to show results fast, it is easy to get discouraged when searching for the dream workout. You want something challenging but doable, something that will make you sweat but that won’t leave you collapsed on the floor. Jump rope may be just your ticket. Skipping rope burns more calories per minute than even jogging and, if good form is used, it can also be easier on the joints.

To understand why jump rope is so beneficial, let us review the benefits of exercise in general. Typically exercise canbe broken down into two very basic categories. The first is toning or strength training. The second is cardio. The benefits of cardio are that it greatly strengthens your heart and assists with circulation and body functions. But cardio, by itself, doesn’t burn as many calories as strength training or toning. These force your muscles to work beyond what they are normally comfortable doing and use your muscles to burn a lot more energy than just getting your heart pumping. Because of the advantages and necessity for both types of exercise, many people schedule their workouts to accommodate both. These are two distinct workouts, however. This is where jump rope comes in. Jump rope actually is definitely a cardio activity but it is ALSO a toning activity. Not only are your arms and legs being toned, your abs are working hard as you hold your body in good form. And better still, you probably don’t notice the soreness in your muscles until later because jumping rope keeps your mind so focused and busy that you don’t notice the muscle working as you would if you did 50 pushups.

With cardio and toning, you’re burning more calories than a mostly cardio workout (such as jogging) without losing the benefits of the cardio. As a result, you have a healthy heart workout and an effective way to lose the extra fat. And because of the portability of a good rope, you can literally take this activity anywhere without it being obvious or embarrassing. And since a good rope isn’t expensive but lasts a long time, you’re looking at a good investment  at double under jump rope you will not fail to improve your fitness and skills, with far more benefits than drawbacks…as long as you’re up for a good sweat anyway!

So how does it work? And how can you get started? First of all, let us be clear that, while jumping rope can cause less impact than jogging on your joints, it is important to guard your joints in the process of skipping rope. Take the time and invest the money to set yourself up right. You will only need two things: 1) a good jump rope. Take the time to consider buying a good quality one. A heavier cord made out of wire or a beaded cord is recommended due to the fact that it will be much easier to use. Also finding a rope with handles that have a swivel feature can be priceless once you get going. 2) You also need a good pair of athletic shoes. Don’t take this lightly. Good running shoes may be a runner’s best friend, but they are likely to be yours as well. Since you will be jumping…a lot…it is worth getting shoes that will support your feet and absorb as much impact as possible. This will assist all of your joints as you get skipping.

Now that you have your equipment, adjust your rope so that when you step on it, the top of the handles come to the top of your shoulders. As you progress, you may be able to shorten your rope a bit to come to the armpits. To begin jumping rope, find an area to jump that allows 10 to 12 inches above your head, enough clearance around for the rope, and an absorbent surface for jumping (pretty much anything besides concrete is ok). Start by putting both handles in one hand and swinging it around while jumping, just on the balls of your feet, to get a feel for it. Remember, you do not need to jump high, just a small jump with the balls of your feet, like a little hop. When swinging the rope, swing it mostly with the wrist rather than the whole arm, keeping your arms down by your sides instead of spread eagle. For more information on getting started, visit Zuzka’s video on “How to Jump Rope, by double under jump rope

Now that you know the techniques and benefits of jumping rope and have the equipment in hand, it’s time to get started on your path to weight loss and fitness. So put on your shoes, grab your rope, and let’s get started.

Before you begin, make sure you stretch out your body. Next, set up your rope and do a single hop over it. Get to a point where you can do a single hop without tripping yourself up in the rope. When you’ve mastered one, go on to two in a row, then three, slowly working your way up to ten. Once you’ve got to ten, you’re doing great. Keep going to twenty. Now you are ready to incorporate more steps. You can do the basic jump rope step or 1 leg hops, a slow jog in place, or many others. See this video produced by BuiltLean to learn various steps.

To pass the time more quickly, you can do a minute of one step followed by 15 pushups, then a minute of another step followed by 15 sit ups, then a minute of another jump step followed by 15 squats, and so on. To make your workout more enjoyable, turn on your favorite music and compete with yourself to see how many of a jump step you can do without getting out of breathe. The next day do a little more and so on.

So there you have it. Jump roping is so beneficial and fun. For more workout ideas, check out these jump rope workouts: XHIT Daily’s Fat Burning Jump Rope Workout

 POPSUGAR’s 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout,

and FitnessBlender’s Jumping Rope Workout.

There are many more jump rope workouts to help you with fitness and weight loss available both online and for purchase.

Have fun jumping your way to fitness. If you are unsure about which double under jump rope is suitable for me, check out the best crossfit jump ropes.