Muscles Targeted: The jump rope exercise is a great overall choice for burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Jumping rope is also great since you don’t have to have a lot of room to perform the exercise and the cost of equipment is minimal. The jump rope really hits many muscle groups and its a true overall body workout. The main muscles targeted are the forearms, calves, biceps and shoulders. Along with these muscles, jumping rope also works the abs, back, legs and butt. If you have never jumped rope before, it might take a little time to get the movement down but it’s really worth it since you can tone up quickly using this great cardio exercise.
Exercise Advice: Choose a vinyl speed jump rope for the best results and adjust the rope to the correct length by standing on the rope and bring the handles up as far as they can go. The correct length will be when the handles are at about armpit level while you’re standing on the rope. Adjust the rope and then do a few test jumps to see how it feels. Keep adjusting the rope if needed until you find a length that feels right. Start the jump rope exercise by using a basic two foot jump. Place both feet together and try to keep your elbows close into your side while your swinging the rope. Also, try to keep your forearms in a fixed position throughout the movement. You don’t want your elbows swinging the rope, you want your wrists to turn the rope. Try to jump rope for 30 seconds straight when you’re just starting out. If you can’t do 30 seconds, don’t worry and just try for 5-10 full reps until you have the exercise technique down. If you can jump rope in front of a mirror, it will help you visually check your form to see how your technique is. A mirror can also be advantageous for getting you excited about working out since you will see the sweat flowing and your muscles working.
Things To Avoid: You want to avoid using too much of your arms when doing the jump rope exercise. This is probably the most common issue when people begin jumping rope. They tend to swing the rope with their arms and move it around their body which doesn’t work so well. The key is to turn the rope with your wrists and use a minimal amount of your arms. Also avoid letting your elbows flare out to the sides when swinging the rope. You want to try to keep your elbows close in towards your sides. The length of the rope is also another issue for a lot of people. If it’s too long, it will have too much slack and it will be tough to get it all the way around your body. If it’s too short, you will hit your shins and get a nice little stinger which will not feel good at all. So take the time and adjust the rope to the correct length so you can enjoy this great exercise.
Reps and Sets: For a great cardio workout, try to jump rope for 1-3 minutes straight without stopping. Do one set and then rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat. Do this for a total of 20-30 minutes for a great fat burning workout. If you can’t jump rope for this long, don’t worry. Just do as many reps as possible and then take a little rest and repeat. With practice, you will soon master the jump rope and get into amazing shape by incorporating it into your cardio routine.
Other Exercises To Use: A few other great exercises to include with jumping rope are running stairs and doing sprints. These exercises are on the higher intensity end and should only be used by experienced people who have been training for a while. These three exercises can also be used in a great HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio workout routine to burn serious calories and fat!