If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of jumping rope, you may think jump ropes are something for little girls and boxers.
Well, we’re here to set matters straight. See, jumping rope can be a solid addition to any workout routine. It’s fun, it offers a great mix of strength and cardio, and it’s very easy to set up. All you need is — you guessed it — a rope.
Now, which rope should you get? In truth, it doesn’t matter that much, though plastic ropes are a bit easier to use when it comes to speedwork. Most ropes are about eight to ten feet long, but you can cut them to adjust the length.
Still not convinced this jumping rope thing is worth the bother? Take a look at the eight main jump rope workout benefits.
1. Weight Loss Gains
As a general rule, humans burn an average of five calories to consume one liter of oxygen. The more muscles you involve in your exercises, the more your demand for oxygen will increase. This, in turn, allows you to burn more calories.
So, how does jumping rope compare to, say, jogging in this regard? Well, this exercise achieves a “burn rate” of about 1,300 calories per hour. This means that ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly equivalent to running a mile in eight minutes.
2. Reduced Injury Risk
Do you enjoy playing other sports such as tennis or basketball? If so, you may know that these sports are often associated with lower leg injuries. Any time you make a sharp turn while running, you’re risking injuring your foot or ankle.
A jump rope workout can lower the risk of these injuries occurring. Regular jumping strengthens the muscles in your calf and around your ankle. On top of that, it improves the elasticity of the surrounding fascia and tendons.
Jumping rope is also a nice way to get used to staying on the balls of your feet. This is much better than getting caught flat-footed or landing on your heels.
3. Increased Bone Density
Studies show that jumping up and down is one of the best exercises for improving bone density. Of course, this is only true if your bones are reasonably strong to begin with. If you have a history of fractures, check with your physician before jumping.
Why is higher bone density a good thing? Simple: bone density is an indicator of bone health. If you think of your body as a building, the bones are like infrastructure. They’re what’s keeping the building from collapsing into rubble.
4. Improved Coordination
As simple as it may look, jumping rope is a very useful cyclic activity. The way it works is you’re rotating the rope while jumping in a regular cadence. Doing so for any sustained period requires your brain to work in sync with your body.
This is a great way to improve the coordination between your eyes, hands, and feet. Even if you’re not paying attention to your brain, it always knows what your body is doing. Once you find your rhythm, you’ll notice the difference.
5. Improved Cognitive Function
This just in: a jump rope cardio workout can also make you smarter! See, jumping rope helps develop both hemispheres of your brain. This improves your reading skills, enhances spatial awareness, and makes you more alert.
The continuous jumping motion also creates certain imbalances in your body. To make up for that, your mind and body make more neural-muscular adjustments. As a result, jumping improves your reflexes, endurance, and dynamic balance.
In other words, this is a lot like the benefits you get from improved coordination. Your brain needs to work overtime to be able to constantly track your rhythm.
6. Better Posture
These days, most people spend the better part of the day poring over social media. In doing so, they tend to hunch over their computers or smartphones. As you can imagine, this isn’t ideal for your discs and lower back in the long run.
The good news: proper jumping rope form does a lot for improving your posture. Every time you jump, you’re pulling your shoulder blades back and aligning your spine. Having proper posture also improves blood flow to the brain.
7. Aerobic Conditioning
One ACSM study suggests that jumping rope does wonders for your aerobic conditioning. For best results, you should do this workout three to five times per week. Each of these exercises should last between 15 and 25 minutes.
You can also add this exercise to some of your existing circuit-training workouts. Three minutes of jumping rope is great for increasing the intensity of the workout. It also increases heart rate by alternating between several muscle groups.
When you’re traveling, you’re unlikely to get much done in the way of workouts. Sure, most modern hotels provide a few pieces of exercise equipment. That said, the quality of that equipment is often questionable or dangerous — or both!
This is why the portability of a jump rope is such a boon. All you have to do is pack it into your suitcase, and it can go anywhere with you. A single jump rope turns even the most sparsely outfitted fitness facility into a workout opportunity.
The portability makes ropes a good option for outdoor workouts as well. If your park has pull-up bars and other facilities, you can bring a rope for a total-body workout.
Other Benefits of Jumping Rope
As you can see, the benefits of jumping rope are plentiful and varied. If you’re looking for new ways to improve your body and mind, you could do much worse.
On top of everything mentioned above, jumping rope is simply a blast. Most people abandon their workout routines because they turn into boring chores. Meanwhile, jumping rope is fun, effective, and can fit into any schedule.
Want to make the most of your jump rope workouts? If so, consider using our fitness app that can time and track your progress. To learn more about the app and its creator or download it for free, check out this page!