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5 Steps to Mastering the Jump Rope

Written by Tyler Bramlett

By Tyler Bramlett

The jump rope is one of the greatest conditioning (and fat loss) tools EVER! Check out the physique of any great boxer to see what jumping rope can do for you.

Before you grab your rope and start jumping, read a little more to avoid the two biggest mistakes you want to avoid.

MISTAKE #1: Doing Too Much, Too Fast

Hitting it too hard at first can leave you injured, frustrated, or both.

You might see little kids using a jump rope on the playground, but the reality is that jumping rope is an explosive exercise. If you start with variations that are above your skill level, you might injure your feet, knees, hips, spine, or any combination.

I’ll show you how to fix this mistake, but first, let’s look at mistake #2.

MISTAKE #2: You Aren’t Making It Any Harder

Although you want to start simple, you also need to progress if you’re going to see results. Imagine yourself only doing bodyweight squats for the rest of your life without making them any harder. Not only would your body get used to the exercise but you would have to do a lot more of them to get the same, or any, result.

So, What Do I Do For Safety And Results?

You can have a lot of fun and see some serious results with jumping rope if you do it right.

All you have to do is use what I call Progressive Movement Technology!

Keep reading and you’ll learn the 5 steps to mastering the jump rope. Just follow the 5 steps and master the short workouts below each step before moving on to the next level.

If you’re more of a visual person, be sure to watch the video below. You’ll see all 5 steps and I’ll hook you up with a funny blooper at the end.

5 KEYS TO MAKING JUMP ROPE EXERCISES EFFECTIVE:

  1. Make sure you keep your core tight and your posture tall and tight throughout every rep. This will work your core and the deep stabilizer muscles needed to get the best results from jumping rope.
  2. To minimize the strain on your joints, stay light on your feet and try to spend as much time in the air as possible while landing softly between jumps.
  3. Keep your shoulder blades pulled back and down during your exercise session. You’ll prevent any neck and shoulder discomfort simply by improving your posture.
  4. Use your wrists to move the rope, not your arms — the rope will travel faster and with less effort. (There is one exception to that guideline as you progress through the exercises, and that’s when you’re doing jumping jacks).
  5. Relax!

Okay, let’s get started with…

LEVEL 1 – Jumping Jacks
jumping-jack

Before you even start jumping rope, you must condition your feet, ankles, knees, hips, spine, and shoulders so they’re ready for the strain jumping rope with place on them.

The best way is with the Jumping Jack. The side motion of your lower body will condition your feet, ankles, and knees while the small plyometric (explosive) motion will help jumpstart your core stability during jumping exercises.

WORKOUT #1

Do 3 rounds of jumping jacks at the end of your regular workout — set a timer for 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest, go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #2

Continue doing 3 rounds of jumping jacks at the end of your regular workout — but set your timer for 45 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest, go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #3

Keep doing 3 rounds of jumping jacks at the end of your regular workout — but this time, set your timer for 60 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest, go to the next workout.

TEST ON THIS BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

Set a timer for 60 seconds and do as many jumping jacks as possible in 60 seconds. If you get 80+ reps, go onto Level 2. If you do less than 80 reps repeat workout #3 for 3 more sessions and then retest.

LEVEL 2 – Single Unders
single-unders

Single unders are the starting point of jump rope mastery. If this is your first time jumping rope, embrace the fact that this exercise is frustrating to learn.

The easiest way I have found to get people started is to prove that you can do 1 rep. Bring the rope behind your heels to start. Use your arms to whip the rope over your head and jump over it as it reaches your feet. There you go — that was your first single under! J

From there, practice stringing single unders together until you can maintain a good pace. Simply practice this exercise for 5 minutes at the end of your regular workouts until you’re able to do a minimum of 50 reps strung together. Once you’ve mastered 50 reps, you’re ready for workout #1.

WORKOUT #1

Set a timer for 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of single unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest, go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #2

Set a timer for 45 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of single unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest, go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #3

Set a timer for 60 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of single unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest, go to the next workout.

TEST ON THIS BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

Set a timer for 60 seconds and do as many single unders as possible in 60 seconds. If you get 150+ reps, go onto Level 3. If you do less the 150 reps, repeat workout #3 for 3 more sessions and then retest.

LEVEL 3 – Alternating Single Unders
alternating-single-unders

Alternating single unders are my favorite jump rope exercise.

You’ll start with single unders and then simply alternate the leg you use on the ground from right to left — kind of like you are jogging in place. The rope should go under you every time you switch legs, NOT every 2 steps like school kids do.

WORKOUT #1

Set a timer for 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of alternating single unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #2

Set a timer for 45 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of alternating single unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #3

Set a timer for 60 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of alternating single unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest go to the next workout.

TEST ON THIS BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

Set a timer for 60 seconds and do as many alternating single unders as possible in 60 seconds. If you get 200+ reps, go onto Level 4. If you do less than 200 reps, repeat workout #3 for 3 more sessions and then retest.

LEVEL 4 – Single Doubles
Single doubles will serve as the foundation for learning the double under — one of the most difficult and impressive jump rope exercises you’ll do. A double under is where the rope goes under your feet twice in just one jump!

Start by doing fast single unders. From there count down 3… 2… 1… and then jump as high as you can while whipping the rope around as fast as you can.

Once you get your first double under, go back to single unders and practice getting consistent at adding a double under every 4th rep. Start by practicing this exercise at the end of your regular workout for 5 minutes. Once you can do a minimum of 10 total double unders mixed in with your single unders in one exercise session, move on to the workouts.

WORKOUT #1

Set a timer for 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of single doubles at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #2

Set a timer for 45 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of single doubles at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #3

Set a timer for 60 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of single doubles at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping for extra rest go to the next workout.

TEST ON THIS BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

Set a timer for 60 seconds and do as many single doubles as possible in 60 seconds. If you get 25+ total double unders, move on to Level 5. If you do less than 25 total double unders, repeat workout #3 for 3 more sessions and then retest.

LEVEL 5 Double Unders
Start just like you did in the single doubles, but after completing a double under, try to repeat it for a second rep. Practice stringing these together until you’re able to maintain a good pace. Simply practice this exercise at the end of your regular workout for 5 minutes until you are able to do a minimum of 10 reps strung together. Once you have that mastered, move on to the workouts.

WORKOUT #1

Set a timer for 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of double unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping, go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #2

Set a timer for 45 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of double unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping go to the next workout.

WORKOUT #3

Set a timer for 60 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest, and do 3 rounds of double unders at the end of your regular workout. Once you can do 3 rounds without stopping, go to the next workout.

TEST ON THIS BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

Set a timer for 60 seconds and do as many double unders as possible in the 60 seconds. If you get 50, you’re doing ok. If you get 75, you’re a champ. And anything over 100 makes you bad to the bone!

Now For The Video…

There you have it — 5 steps to mastering the jump rope, 15 different progressive workouts to use, and 5 challenge tests to mark your progress!

Be sure to watch the video below to see the exercises in each level and the funny blooper I promised you at the end.


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Tyler Bramlett

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