5 Jump Rope Exercises That Burn Major Calories

Plenty of men will happily lift weights, perform planks, and swing kettlebells, but cardio is a different story. You might think you’ve just uttered a dirty word given the way most guys react to the thought of this heart-pounding type of exercise. But like it or not, activities that challenge your heart and lungs are necessary for staying physically fit.

Instead of slogging through a session on the treadmill, try picking up a jump rope. Boxers have used the simple piece of equipment to get in great shape for decades, and it’s about time you followed their lead because it’s a phenomenal workout for your whole body. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 185-pound person can expect to burn 444 calories in 30 minutes. Go for a challenging routine, and that number will climb even higher. And since your mind is constantly working, you won’t find yourself getting bored the way you do with other workouts.

Grab a rope, set aside some time, and take a look at these five jump rope exercises. Cardio might become the best part of your workout, or at least a lot less dreadful.

1. Beginner’s routine

Man about to jump rope

Check out this beginner’s routine. | iStock.com

If you’re new to jumping rope or haven’t tried it in a decade or so, this basic workout from Men’s Fitness is a great way to get started. It forgoes fancy footwork, and focuses instead on basic forward and backward swings. This makes it good for beginners, but it can just as easily work for seasoned athletes by increasing the number of repetitions.

For this workout, jump over the rope for 30 total swings followed by 30 seconds of rest. Switch directions so you jump over the rope for 30 backward swings and then rest for another 30 seconds. The article suggested four to eight repetitions. As your endurance improves, you’ll be able to work your way up.

While this routine is perfect for newcomers, you definitely want to make sure you have the right jump rope. You don’t need to spend much money, but be sure you get one that’s long enough to avoid tripping on the cable as you jump. Most guys will need a 9- to 10-foot cable.

2. High-speed circuit

Man jumping rope

Try out a circuit. | iStock.com

Circuits are great for folks who find traditional cardio workouts too boring because you’re constantly switching from one activity to another. Many of these multi-exercise workouts involve weights or other equipment, but Men’s Journal shared how you can get a fantastic workout with nothing more than a jump rope. The idea is to alternate between skipping rope and various bodyweight exercises with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. This strategy also ensures you work every major muscle group, something very few types of cardio can do.

Warm up with 30 seconds of jumping rope, followed by 30 squats and a 60-second plank, then repeat the process three more times. Now for the circuit. It alternates one minute of a some variation of jumping rope with 30 seconds of a different exercise. You’ll do push-ups, lunges, tricep dips, jump squats, mountain climbers, and flutter kicks. After completing one round, rest for 1 minute, then repeat the cycle. Finish with some light jumping to cool down.

3. Timed intervals

Woman and man jumping rope in gym

Interval training is great with a jump rope. | iStock.com

A little bit of exercise is a great way to shake out the cobwebs after a busy day at work or wake yourself up in the morning. The last thing anyone wants to do in either scenario is attempt crafting a creative workout routine. It takes too long and you just end up wasting a bunch of time. In these situations, BuiltLean’s go-to jump rope workout with timed segments is a complete winner.

Start with some light jumping and maybe some dynamic stretching to warm up. For the workout, try to complete as many jumps as possible in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 to 90 seconds, depending on your conditioning. Repeat the cycle a total of five to 10 times. Again, finish with some light jumping to cool down.

4. Jump rope and push-up ladder

CrossFit members warm up by jumping rope

You’ll get a serious lower and upper body workout here. | iStock.com

Descending ladders are a great interval workout for any type of cardio. The idea is to decrease the duration for each interval as you go. As you become more tired, you’ll have less to do, making each interval just manageable. Men’s Health used this strategy to create a routine with just push-ups and jumping rope. While it sounds simple, this workout will pose a serious challenge for both your lower and upper body.

Warm up with a few minutes of jumping rope, then begin the ladder. Start with 50 jump rope turns, then immediately follow with 50 push-ups. Go right into 40 jump rope turns, then 40 push-ups. Repeat this process until you’ve completed 10 push-ups. For even more of a challenge, perform the ladder a second time.

5. Jump rope workout for travel

Man jumping rope outside

Jump ropes are great for travel. | iStock.com

We’re fortunate to live in an age where most hotels have decent gyms. Every so often, though, you’ll find yourself staying somewhere without any workout facility. As long as you pack your trusty jump rope, you can still stick to your workout regimen. Livestrong designed this jump rope-only workout with the busy traveler in mind, which means you can do it anywhere you have at least a little bit of space.

As with all these workouts, you’ll start with a warm-up. Begin with some jumping minus the rope, then get into the rhythm with some side swings. Next, you’ll start the meat of the workout with 25 to 50 repetitions of jumping rope. You’ll incorporate a number of different jumping techniques as well as some core and leg exercises that don’t involve swinging the cable. Some of the jumping techniques in this workout are a bit more advanced, so don’t worry if you mess up. Just begin where you left off and keep counting your repetitions.