Think back to long days spent outside during childhood, and you might remember skipping rope. The popular recess activity that you could do alone or with others is something worth making a comeback. Some gyms might even have jump ropes lying around, but it’s an investment work making at home because you can bust it out for some quick cardio any time, and any place. Okay, maybe avoid a room with ceiling fans and take it outside…
This form of cardio is quite underrated if you ask us. Here’s why skipping is a great exercise for weight loss.
1. Jumping rope raises heart rate
Anything we can do to get our blood pumping is good news. You can do it in short and intense spurts for a sprint-style cardio workout, or go at a sustained and steady pace for awhile. Either way, the same benefits are there as if you were going on a run or hiking uphill. Getting in some heart-pumping cardio each day – or most days – is great for heart health, fat loss, increasing blood flow, reduced blood pressure over time, and reduce risk of artery disease development. If running isn’t your jam, perhaps skipping rope for 30 minutes a day could be a routine you stick to. No gym membership required!
2. Brainy benefits
Exercise is good for the brain on all fronts. It relieves stress and releases happy chemicals, resulting in that awesome ‘runner’s high.’ It can also improve focus and other neurological functions. One way to step it up is to choose an exercise that’s both physically and mentally challenging. Considering skipping rope requires you to perform a calculated jump each time the rope hits the ground, your brain is working a little harder than it is running in a straight line. This is also true for exercises like slack lining, climbing, and dancing which involve a bit of strategy and balance. Keeping the mind strong is a big part of any wellness or weight loss journey!
3. It’s a calorie-scorcher
It’s worth noting that high-intensity intervals are a great way to burn a larger amount of calories in a shorter period of time. The amount of calories you burn during any given exercise truly depends on your weight and how high your heart rate increases, but for most people, getting in those skipping sprints will give you a good leg up on torching a little extra energy. Even at a slow pace, the average 150 lb. individual will burn around 550 calories per hour of skipping rope. At a moderate pace, that number goes up to around 704, and at a high pace (can’t hold conversation), it spikes to 844 calories! While you might not skip for an hour at a time, even a slow pace for 15 minutes will burn 100+ calories.
4. It’s budget-friendly
Getting fit and in shape can be an expensive journey if you’re dishing out for a gym membership or paying for fitness classes. On top of buying real food and cooking from scratch, it can be a real burden on the wallet. First, it’s an important investment in you – and it’s an investment that lasts a lifetime. Fortunately, there are ways to make exercising for weight loss much more economical, and a jump rope is a great way to do so. That way, you can easily work out at home without dishing out money for a treadmill or a full set of weights. We like this adjustable jump rope for just $10!
5. It can calm you down
Stress is a huge part of weight loss. Elevated cortisol – the stress hormone – can deter your body from shedding pounds, so good stress management and incorporating calming activities into the day can really cut back on that. Exercise is one way to do it, and jump roping actually has convincing evidence for why it’s so soothing. From a biomechanical perspective, we can see skipping rope as a movement that blends both circular motion and angular momentum, thus creating a synchronous and harmonious movement pattern which can actually reduce stress. The more you know!
Skipping workout ideas
It’s easy to get started. Just break out the rope and give it a go. You might find your coordination skills to be a little sub-par, but practice makes perfect. Just keep jumping! Once you get the hang of it, you can experiment with different types of jump roping workouts.
- Endurance. Set a timer for five minutes and jump at a pace you can keep up for that long.
- Speed. Set the timer for two minutes and do double jumps as quickly as you can. You can choose to do intervals by taking a one-minute break in between sets, and aim for 3-5 sets of these for a true scorcher.
- Single-leg jumps. Want a challenge? Set the time for two minutes and jump on one leg. Take a rest, then repeat with the other leg.
- Add in some variety. Do a two-minute jump rope set, then choose another exercise to do in between. Planks, burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, or body weight squats are a great choice. Add some rest time in and go for a 20-minute set. You’ll feel that one!
- High-knee jumps. Basically, set a timer for yourself and jump like you’re pulling your knees to your chest each time.
- Add some sprints in between. Want to step up your running game? Do 30 seconds of skipping rope, then run 100 metres and repeat as necessary. You’ll see your speed and endurance increase.
Now, go dig up that old jump rope and get your cardio on! For nostalgia’s sake and for health’s sake, the jump rope is a fantastic fitness tool that is cheap, easy to learn, and easy to use at home.