By Chris Pregony, BS, CSCS

Searching for a home workout device that won’t break the bank? Look no further than the all mighty jump rope. This simple and effective tool can fit into just about any bag. Furthermore, it can burn more calories than walking, or even running at an 8-minute pace for that matter! Once you learn to jump rope properly, this cardiovascular exercise can have a lower negative impact on your joints than running.

Although you may not have used a jump rope since grade school, it is never too late to start again. Most jump ropes can be purchased for under $20 at your local sporting goods store, but the price depends on the type you get. Some are very basic with a plastic rope and handles, while other more expensive kinds are designed with bearings and foam handles. For an even better workout, you can try a weighted rope. No matter which you choose, your body will be in for a treat!

It is important to make sure that your jump rope fits you. Stand on top of the jump rope with your feet together and pull the handles up — they should just reach your armpits. Any longer and you may have a hard time generating momentum. Shorter and you will end up hitting your head, and that is no picnic with the weighted ones!

The best way to start is to hold both handles with one hand and spin the rope around without jumping. This helps you get a feel for the rope and what the rhythm will be. Next you can start jumping without the rope. This will allow your body to get used to the motion.

The main mistake that people make is jumping too high and swinging their arms in a large circle. The key is to be efficient. You want the smallest jump possible to get the rope underneath your feet. As you jump, focus on just your wrist spinning the rope. The best way to get better is to do it all the time. Before you know it, you will be skipping rope like a champ!

Workout 1

[Repeat 3 Rounds]

Jump rope for 60 seconds

Pushups for 60 seconds

Squats for 60 seconds

Rest for 60 seconds before starting your next round

Workout 2

[Repeat 5 Rounds]

Jump rope – 100 skips

Lunges – 10 on each leg

Mountain climbers – 10 on each leg

Plank for 60 seconds

Rest for 60 seconds before starting your next round