Muscles Targeted: Jumping rope targets the entire body and its one of the best full-body cardio exercises you can do to really burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. When you’re doing a jump rope workout, you’re using your arms, chest, back, legs and calves during the exercise. When you are able to recruit so many major muscle groups into an exercise, you will be able to burn more calories than you would by just using one major muscle group like your legs when riding a stationary bike. The other great thing with the jump rope exercise, is the limited amount of space you need to perform the movement and the low cost of the equipment. You don’t need any big and expensive cardio equipment like a treadmill or elliptical machine. All you need is a basic $10 vinyl speed jump rope and enough room height to make sure the rope can swing without hitting the ceiling.
Exercise Advice: The key to this jump rope workout is the HIIT (high intensity interval training) routine you will incorporate into your cardio workout. HIIT cardio workouts are great because you can burn a very large amount of calories in a short period of time which will allow your body to burn calories not only during the workout but it also gives your body an “afterburn” effect which last the entire day which will help to increase your metabolic rate. This post-workout “afterburn” is called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and the basic theory is that HIIT cardio exercise increases oxygen consumption for up to several hours after a workout and these elevated levels of oxygen consumption equates to a higher metabolic rate, which means you will burn more calories and more calories burned equals more overall body fat burned.
For this specific HIIT jump rope workout, you will begin by warming up for 1-2 minutes with a slow jump rope tempo. Once you are fully warmed up, you will begin the HIIT cardio workout by doing 30 seconds of regular paced jump rope followed up immediately with 30 seconds of high intensity super fast jump rope. This high intensity pace will be about 95 percent of your overall effort and you really want to push yourself hard. After 30 seconds of high intensity, drop back down to a normal pace for another 30 seconds. Do this routine of 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for 2-3 minutes and then rest for 1-2 minutes. Another version of this HIIT cardio workout is to do 1 minute of regular paced jump rope followed by 1 minute of super high intensity jump rope. After 2 total minutes, take a short 30-60 second rest and then repeat. Do anywhere from 10-15 sets of this HIIT routine for a super high calorie burning cardio workout.
Things To Avoid: Since this is a very high intensity routine, you want to make sure you are an advanced individual and you’re healthy enough to do HIIT style workouts where you will be going all out at 95% training intensity. If you’re just beginning, you may want to train for 2-3 months before trying HIIT cardio just to be on the safe side. For advanced individuals, make sure you are fully warmed up before going into a HIIT cardio workout. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle or injure yourself. If you feel short of breath at anytime during the workout, make sure you lower the intensity and take a rest to catch your breath. Although you want to push yourself during this workout, you want to ensure safety at all times. HIIT cardio workouts should be limited to 20-30 minutes max. Since these are very high intensity workouts, you don’t need to be doing 45-60 minutes of cardio. In fact, a good rule of thumb is that you should be absolutely spent at the end of your HIIT workout. If you’re not burned out, then you’re probably not working hard enough. So, kick up the intensity and really push yourself during the 20-30 minutes of HIIT cardio training.
Reps and Sets: As mentioned above, since this cardio workout is super intense, the overall reps will be pretty short with the overall time for the entire workout being only 20-30 minutes. If you’re doing the 1 minute on, 1 minute off HIIT workout, you will do around 7-10 total sets for this jump rope HIIT routine. This will last you anywhere from 21 to 30 minutes since your full cycle will be 3 minutes (1 minute regular paced, 1 minute HIIT and then 1 minute rest to complete 1 full set).
Other Exercises To Use: Even though this HIIT cardio workout is super intense, you can kick it up a notch by adding a few other exercises to the workout mix. Try adding burpees or pushups to add another level of extreme cardio training to your routine. You can do 1 minute of regular jump rope, followed up by 1 minute of HIIT jump rope, then immediately follow that up with 30 seconds of burpees. This is a killer cardio workout that will leave you absolutely burned. If burpees are too much for you, then substitute them with 10-20 pushups and feel your pecs explode with a killer pump!