Jumping rope is an excellent exercise to improve your speed, agility, and burn a ton of calories, but sometimes it can get really, really BORING! I try to incorporate several different variations when I jump rope to make my cardio workouts much more fun and engaging.
Here’s a video demonstration of me doing some basic jump rope tricks, with more detailed descriptions below. If you need a primer on jumping rope and want to see a video of a guy doing CRAZY jump rope tricks (you have to see it to believe it), check out my article: Learn How to Jump Rope Like a Pro.
1) Basic One Hop
Good old fashioned, basic “one hop” where you jump once in between each revolution while keeping both feet together. This effectively works your both your calves and is the most common jump rope method. This isn’t a jump rope trick of course, but it’s helpful to have a baseline.
2) Alternating Jumps
Alternating jumps from one foot to the other helps extend the amount of time you can jump rope. It sounds counterintuitive, but hopping from one foot to the other while using the other foot for some support makes it far easier to jump rope for 5, even 10 minutes, or more continuously. This is often how boxers jump rope for 30 minutes straight.
3) One Foot Jumps
One great way to correct any muscle imbalances you may have in your calves, or to improve your athleticism is to hop on one leg for anywhere between 10 and 50 reps, whatever you can do. This also helps work your calves very intensely, because you are focusing on just one leg at a time.
4) Side Straddles
These are pretty challenging, because you have to time the revolutions correctly. Here’s the sequence:
a) Right after the rope passes in front of your feet, jump and split your legs apart
b) As your legs touch the floor in the side straddle, jump over the next revolution, while bringing your feet together again.
That’s it. Side Straddles emphasize the outer calves and you’re going to feel an intense burn after only 20, or 30 jumps.
5) Front Straddles
Front straddles are a bit easier than side straddles, and just requires that you alternate your legs forward and backwards. This also works your hamstrings and quads a bit more, because you have to control your legs.
6) Running in Place
This is a great way to increase the intensity of jumping rope. Each time you jump, the rope comes underneath one foot, then the other, and so on. Kick your knees up as high as possible to make the workout harder. How many reps can you do in 30 seconds?
7) Double Under
When you can complete all these 6 variations with ease, then you can go for the Double Under, where you swing the rope around 2x in one jump. I mistakenly referred to the Double Under as a “Double Hop” in the preceding video (my mistake).
The Double Under is the hardest of all the tricks I mentioned so far because you have to jump a lot higher to account for the extra time it takes to spin the jump rope around twice in one jump. You can try to do them consecutively like I do in the video (took me a while to work up to that!), but you can start out doing a Double Under every 10 reps. It helps increase the intensity of the workout along with your athleticism.
A couple common jump rope tricks I didn’t include are “The Skiier”, where you jump keeping both feet together from one side, to the other (do this before a ski vacation) and the “Arms Cross”, where you cross your arms in front of you as you are jumping rope.
The last part of this jump rope series I’ll share with you a few great jumping rope cardio workouts.
I will follow up soon with some jump rope cardio workouts so you can apply what you’ve learned so far. I hope you have fun trying all these different jump rope tricks and variations, which makes jumping rope a lot more, fun, challenging, and engaging!