Cardio Fat Loss

Jump Rope For Great Cardio

Fitness Hall of Fame’s Bobby Hinds brought the jump rope into the fitness forefront in the 1970s with his Jump for Heart program and frequent appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He later founded Lifeline USA, which his son, John Hinds, eventually took over and was operating when I found them near the beginning of my fitness journey in 2010. Their resistance bands, jump ropes, and some bodyweight movements effectively fueled my routines for a couple of years. I loved that I didn’t need a gym membership, and I could take them anywhere. I still remember taking my rope on vacation with me and heading out at dawn to do 10x 2 minutes of jump rope and 20 pushups at the end of a lake dock. Surreal.

Speed Ropes

If you’re coming from the CrossFit world, you’re no doubt familiar with the whizzing of speed ropes during a WOD with double-unders. Over the years, I’ve tried a number of speed ropes, and my favorite has been the Bear KompleX Speed Jump Rope for a couple years. I like how quickly adjustable it is, and that you don’t risk sending screws flying all over the gym if you have a hard trip, rendering your jump rope useless or out of commission while you wait for screw replacements. The RPM jump rope line is also very popular amongst elite and recreational CrossFitters.

Weighted Ropes

If you’re looking for the Caddilac of jump ropes, check out Crossrope. Its interchangeable ropes and handles come with an app and other resources to make you the best jumpin’ jumper you can be.

Common Questions

How long should a jump rope be?

This is really a personal preference, but to find the best length for myself, I stand with one foot on the rope and bring the handles up to my armpit.

Is a jump rope mat worth it?

I started jumping barefoot on my concrete garage floor, and while I think there’s a lot of merit to doing things like this barefoot (and much safer than barefoot trail running), I did find my achilles tendon flaring up. At the time, jump rope mats specifically weren’t a thing, so I bought four of those foam puzzle tiles, and the flare-ups quickly subsided. Those still work great for an at-home station, but if you need something more on-the-go, I recommend a mat you can roll up.

What muscles does jumping rope work?

Calves, calves and more calves. But really, you’ll start noticing more people asking what you do, specifically for your calves. You’ll also quickly notice it working your shoulders, quads, forearms, and glutes…jumping correctly will also require good posture – bracing your core with your chest up and shoulders back. Here’s a good article by Crossrope with a couple fancy diagrams on more mental and physical benefits of the jump rope.

Can a jump rope make you taller?


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