Jumping rope torches a ton of calories, builds athleticism and looks incredibly cool—if you do it right. If you’re tripping yourself up on every rotation of the rope, you’re not likely to impress anyone. But you have to start somewhere and the best place, of course, is the bare basics.
The greatest difficulty that beginners tend to have with learning to jump rope is syncing the rhythm of the rope rotation with their jump. I see people who just jump at random and wherever the rope is doesn’t change anything. That never turns out well.
Keep it as simple as possible at first and you will have fewer variables that can hamper your coordination. The following steps can take a beginner with absolutely zero rope experience and turn them into someone with a basic grasp of timing and rhythm.
The good news is that once you pick that up, you can progress very quickly into more challenging variations and longer sessions.
STEPS TO SUCCESS
1. Rotate the rope as slowly as possible when you start.
If you have a slightly heavier rope, you should be able to feel when it is just about to hit the ground.
2. When the rope hits the ground, jump over it.
Here, some people new to the rope tend to mix in another half bounce. Do not leave the ground again until the next revolution.
3. Gradually increase the rate of rotation.
This is vitally important if you ever expect to shed your beginner’s skin. If your jump timing goes out of sync or you start ‘double jumping’ between revolutions, then stop and start at a slow pace again.
4. Don’t Swing your Arms/Shoulders too Much Jumping rope is all in the wrists.
Watching someone who doesn’t know how to jump rope reminds me of how some people will try to swim really hard, but barely go anywhere. Then you see another swimmer who is barely trying yet flies through the water.
Just as swimming is all about the efficiency of your stroke, jumping rope effectively is all about the efficiency of the revolutions. If you are using your arms and shoulders while jumping very high, jumping rope becomes a VERY difficult cardio activity.
5. Use the Correct Rope Length How long should the jump rope be you ask?
If you bisect the jump rope by putting it under your feet, the handles should reach your sternum. Much higher, or lower will affect the rhythm and make jumping rope much harder. The jump rope should tick the ground each revolution, which also makes it easier to count reps and get in a rhythm.
6. Get in a Rhythm.
You can really jump rope as fast as you want, but getting in a rhythm can make jump rope easier and more fun. It’s kind of like hitting your stride as you jog, so you can do the same thing jumping rope. I like to complete a certain number of revolutions, or reps in a certain amount of time, let’s say a pace of roughly 150 reps per 60 seconds. It’s really up to you what feels comfortable and what type of workout you are doing.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice.
This is by far the most important tip of all! Most of my training clients do not know how to jump rope properly at their first session. But after their 4th, or 5th session ,they are jumping rope like a pro.
How is that possible? First, start out with the rope behind you, then:
a) Do one jump rope rep then stop
b) Do two jump rope reps, then stop
c) Keep on going
This progressive strategy helps prevent, or unlearn the dreaded “double hop”.
Which is when you hop twice in between every revolution.
In addition, the main reason I created the preceding video is so you can watch how I do it and just follow along. Then, it’s really just a matter of putting in maybe an hour, or two of practice, next thing you know, you’re jumping rope like a pro boxer and you’re burning fat like it’s going out of style.
When you first start practicing and the rope is moving slowly.
It will feel like a very long pause on the ground between jumps but this is okay because you are learning to jump only when the rope is about to pass beneath your feet. Once you get these basics down.
Then you can focus more on the mechanics of using a smaller bound and using your wrists and not your arms to generate most of the rotation.