How to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Jumping Rope

There are a lot of misconceptions when its comes to jumping rope as a form of cardio. The first, is that it’s easy, and the second, is that it’s dull. In reality most professional athletes incorporate some form of rope jumping in their routines and respect it as one of the most efficient and versatile pieces of gym equipment.

“Jumping rope can be used lots of ways,” says Keith McNiven, owner of personal training company Right Path Fitness, “as a warm-up, as an intense 20-minute HIIT workout for those who are looking to burn fat, or by mixing skipping with weights for those who are focused on strength gain.”

If you jump rope the right way you’ll burn serious calories and gain a more toned body in the process. Here at Sportstylez, we show you how.

What are the Benefits of Jumping Rope?

You’d be forgiven (and generally half right) for thinking that rope jumping is basically cardio for people who don't like doing cardio. It’s certainly useful for burning excess fat; jumping rope for an hour can burn upwards of 800/1000 calories – roughly what you’d find in a burger and chips.

“When you jump that rope, you're working your calves, thighs, hip flexors and glutes,” explains McNiven. “As you spin the rope, your shoulders wrists, forearms, and upper arms feel the burn.” You can even take it a step further and engage your core to help coax out your abs.

Jumping for Weight Loss

What is it about jumping rope that blasts body fat? "Jumping rope raises your heart rate," says McNiven," which is necessary to torch fat. It also ups your metabolic rate, meaning a higher calorie burn."

10 minutes of rope jumping burns roughly 125 calories, which is equal to an extremely fast run,” says McNiven. "Skipping is also far kinder on your joints, since your feet land at the same time."

The Best Techniques 

As you've probably seen, theres more than one way to jump rope. But there's also more than one type of rope to jump. Let's "jump" into it.

The Basic Jump

With the rope in each outstretched hand,  jump on each revolution. Focus on keeping your knees soft with good core engagement. When starting out you'll come to understand this basic move can be quite difficult – "You only have to try and skip consistently for two minutes to know how tough it can be," says McNiven.

Alternating legs

"Instead of jumping rope with your feet close together, try jumping from one foot to the other, almost like you are running. Alternating legs is another good technique to increase speed and agility,” explains McNiven.

Weighted jump rope

"If your main goal is to build strength and lose weight, particularly in your upper body, a weighted jump rope can be of great benefit to you," says McNiven. "Designs may vary, some ropes hold weight in the handles, others in the rope itself. Whichever you go for, start light (1lb might not seem like much but you will begin to feel the burn quite quickly) and work up. Try jumping with a weighted rope three to four times per week for 20-30 minutes.

Double Jumping

Or ‘double unders’. Jump moderately high and pass the rope underneath you as many times as possible before you land. Not for newbies.

To train within your max heart rate (220 minus your age), which is beneficial for both fat loss and calorie burn, you must increase the pace, says McNiven. You can apply this to any of the moves above.

In Conclusion

Jumping rope is a very underrated exercise and offers a host of benefits that can improve your quality of life and slow aging.

Grab a weighted or weightless rope from, get hopping and be amazed by the different ways your body and mind will benefit.