Not Just for Kids, Jumping Rope Offers Many Benefits
When people come to FitCamp and I break out the jump ropes, I always get a few fearful looks from my FitCamp first-timers. It’s been years since many of them have attempted jumping rope; some may have never jumped rope in their life. But, with a little practice, FitCampers can master a few basic jumps and get their metabolism kicked into high gear to burn a lot of calories and begin working on that six-pack abs.
So, how many calories can jumping rope burn? It really depends on your body composition and intensity. But on average, jumping rope burns about 10 calories per minute. Compared to running, you’d have to run a pretty quick 8-minute mile to burn as many calories over the same time period.
If you can really master the jump rope and take the intensity up, you could burn 20 calories per minute. Not only would you burn the calories, you’ll strengthen your abs, back, arms, calves, and large muscles in your legs. So, the benefits of jumping rope can hardly be matched.
Do It Virtually Anywhere
The great thing about jumping rope is that you can do it just about anywhere. I’ve jumped rope in my garage, in the gym, in my hotel room, and outside. Not only is it convenient, but jump ropes are affordable and compact enough to fit into a purse or briefcase. A decent jump rope will cost between $10 and $15 dollars.
Compared to running, jumping rope is easy on your joints. You are jumping on the balls of your feet and with proper form, you can save wear and tear on your knees. There are additional benefits including cardiovascular endurance, coordination, balance, and agility. Some people even use weighted or thicker rope to help build muscle!
Starting a Jump Rope Program
Fitness blogger Josh Vales of LastStopFatLoss.com offers these tips for adding rope jumping into your fitness program.
If you’re just starting a jump rope routine, you’ll probably want to ease yourself into it slowly. Chances are you won’t be able to simply grab a rope and jump continuously for 15 minutes. Instead, try alternating periods of jump roping with periods of lower intensity exercise, like walking.
To start off with, try this routine:
Interval 1: 1 minute of jumping rope
Interval 2: 1 minute of marching on-the-spot
Repeat both steps 5 times.
Every week, add an extra interval of jumping rope and marching onto your routine. Once you’ve reached 20 minutes, go back to 10 minutes. Only this time, instead of doing 1 minute of jump rope and one minute of marching, do 90 seconds of jump rope, and 30 seconds of marching. Once again, increase the duration until you reach 20 minutes. If you’re looking for a real challenge, try to build your stamina up to the point where you can do it for 20 minutes straight.
Don’t just jump rope as your sole form of cardio exercise. Alternate jumping rope with running, biking, rowing, and any other exercising you can. The key here is variety. The more variety, the less bored you’ll get, the more likely you are to stick to your exercise routine.
To your health!