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Benefits of Jumping Rope: To Lose Weight & More

12 min

Here's my story about how I got into jumping rope and some surprising info regarding the many benefits associated with the activity.

What happens if a person jumps rope every day? Well, I've been doing so for years now. Here's what I have to say.


As a sophomore in college, I attempted to find a new cardio method other than running. You see, I went to school in the middle of the mountainous region of Vermont. As one of the great New England states, the Winters could prove unrelentingly cold. I'm talking well into the negatives (below zero degrees Fahrenheit).

My alma mater (Norwich University) was a military school, and as is typical of military academies, running and push-ups were the most common activities across campus. However, the criminally small gym and decreasing outdoor temperatures during the late-year months meant that working out often required a bit of creativity.

At first, I clung to rowing machines and treadmills. Still, this wasn't sustainable over time, given the limited quantity of equipment and the variance in my academic and ROTC schedules. It wasn't until I came across some YouTube videos and other media that I realized numerous people across the globe were jumping rope and looking cool while doing it.

I admired how sleek and fun it looked, propelling me to discover how effective rope skipping was. I then found two young men online who would eventually become the Jump Rope Dudes. I watched them begin specializing in jump rope training and building their brand. Suddenly, I was hooked and found that a new fitness world had just opened up to me.


In just a few short months, I was a jump rope fanatic. I jumped rope day and night, practicing to obtain the proper form and learn more tricks. It was addictive in the best possible way. Suddenly, my approach to fitness took on a whole new form.

I quickly began tailoring my workout routines, which incorporated jump rope and followed high-intensity interval training (HIIT) principles to burn calories more efficiently. Depending on my workout routine, I sometimes used heavier weights to cross-train my body to build muscle while also burning fat to lean out with jump rope.

Here is an example of one of my more advanced workouts incorporating free weights.


I quickly found that jumping rope was an effective full-body workout, engaging numerous portions of the arms, chest, and core muscles.

Over time, my agility, motor coordination, lung capacity, reflexes, and hand-eye coordination all improved as the speed at which I was freestyle jumping increased. I had more energy and could better sustain that energy over time.


Jumping rope is an efficient cardiovascular exercise that can burn many calories, improve heart health, and promote weight loss. It is an effective, high-intensity, full-body workout that can even help you improve your running, so don't think you have to choose between the two; you can do both!

Despite not loving to run as much as others I know, I'm still a military member and have been for over a decade. I have to run for my yearly physical fitness assessment to remain within standards.

Significant research supports that jumping rope can improve running performance, which has proven accurate in my experience. I only run when I need to perform my fitness assessment for my job. Still, because I jump rope vigorously almost every single day, I'm consistently able to exceed the standards for someone my age in the military on a routine basis.


In a 2021 Harvard health study, jumping rope was one of the top exercises listed among dozens of activities that burned the most calories in 30 minutes. However, the key to ensuring you burn the most calories possible lies in your type of activity and training intensity.

The more intense your workouts are (i.e., the faster you jump rope), the more calories you will burn within any given period. This is a critical element to consider!


There's a reason professional athletes (especially boxers) incorporate jump rope into their routines. Studies show it is an excellent way to build agility, speed, coordination, footwork, and balance.

As you jump rope, your body must keep up with the speed at which you swing the rope. As you become airborne and re-engage with the ground, you must quickly rebalance in preparation for the next skip/jump. It might not seem like much, but this continual balance is coupled with constant motion.

Throw in some cool footwork maneuvers and jump rope tricks, and you'll build this balance and coordination further.


Jumping rope is a medium-impact exercise that exerts enough necessary load on regions such as the knees, feet, and ankle joints. Research suggests that participating in weight-bearing activities that stimulate bone formation can strengthen bones over time, particularly in the hips and lumbar spine. Jumping rope is one such activity that can help build stronger bones through impact-loading.

We build healthy bones over time through this medium-impact training. Bone density is essential for overall health and can allow you to reduce the risk of sustaining injuries across your lifespan; this is why organizations such as the International Osteoporosis Foundation recommend jumping rope as one of the numerous ways to help prevent painful and chronic conditions during later stages of life.


The key to building or strengthening muscles of any kind while jumping rope is to ensure some weight is behind the rope. In most cases, a weighted jump rope means that the handles can be adjusted to various weights; however, some jump rope types feature weighted ropes in addition to the handles.

Building acute strength using a weighted jump rope is possible but cannot replace weightlifting to build sizable mass. However, using weighted ropes and handles can increase muscular endurance and grip strength over time.

When you jump rope, you also engage your quads, glutes, hips, calves, core, shoulder, and back muscles. This activation on its own is good for basic conditioning, but adding weight to your ropes can heavily alter the degree of stimulus being affected on these muscle groups, and depending upon the amount of weight in your rope, you'll certainly feel the difference the following day.

This won't make these muscles larger because you are not progressively overloading them as if you were training to be a bodybuilder. However, rapid engagement will build functional strength and conditioning of those muscles over time.


A jump rope lets you take your gym anywhere for outdoor or indoor use. During my travels with the U.S. Navy and deployments, I ensured that a jump rope was always with me.

Its portability allowed me to get a good workout no matter where I was. I could exercise anywhere and everywhere, on land or at sea, to meet my fitness goals. I fondly remember skipping rope next to MH-60 helicopters in the hangar bay of my ship, looking out over the horizon at the setting sun in places like the South China Sea, Persian Gulf, and Coastal Somalia.

In addition to being portable, most jump ropes are exceedingly affordable. Sure, the better-quality ones will cost a pretty penny, but if you need a budget-friendly rope, take your pick, as there are near limitless options available online.



Popularized by boxers such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., these ropes are cheap, lightweight, and usually last a while. If you want to build speed on a budget, this no-frills option is for you. Just know that it is extremely lightweight, and if you're just starting, you won't have much feedback when the rope comes in contact with the ground.

Additionally, if you happen to be outside with heavier winds, the rope's swing may be disrupted, given that there isn't much mass to combat the breeze.

Check out this Amazon Basics option here.


Similar to the previous jump rope option but much more precise and often better constructed, the cable speed ropes are equally lightweight and often have enough heaviness in the actual rope to cut through any wind that might blow your way. This is due to the steel cable found within the rope.

Typically more expensive than plastic ropes, cable jump ropes tend to wear down much faster due to the extra weight of the cable. Pay particular attention to the type of ground you are using to jump rope on.

As the rope's coating wears out, the cable inside becomes exposed. If it hits you on the shin, it can hurt, leave a mark, or even draw blood! Just be cognizant of what's happening.

Check out this option from Amazon here.


If you want to build stronger muscles while simultaneously jumping rope, incorporating weighted handles puts additional load on your muscles and increases your heart rate and calorie burn. In most cases, you can find some weighted jump rope variants with weights that can be added and removed from the actual handles, allowing you to adjust the weight to your liking.

Check out this option from Amazon here.

These are certainly effective, but the next type of jump ropes are, in my opinion, far superior in quality and application.

As good as weighted handles on jump ropes are, nothing quite beats a weighted rope in addition to handles. This leads us to quite possibly the very best jump rope brand that exists right now.


In my opinion, Crossrope jump ropes are the best. Mixing and matching various weighted ropes with many handle sets becomes easier with hardy and durable handles that detach from the ropes.

Crossrope offers a combination of weighted handles and ropes. This completely changes the major muscle groups that a person engages when s/he jumps rope, not to mention that it does wonders for your balance and motor coordination in the long run.

Crossrope has a fully enclosed bearing system that enables precision spinning due to a unique clip-in design. This makes swapping out individual ropes of various lengths and weights easier. Of course, this interchangeability comes at a hefty cost, as these rope sets are often called the "sports car" of jump ropes.

Don't feel like you have to own a Crossrope to enjoy the many benefits of jumping rope; you don't! Any previous type of jump rope will do just fine to get the job done!


Everything we have discussed is great, but none of it matters if you don't have a healthy diet. Dial in your nutrition if you're trying to alter your body composition; without doing so, you'll never see the best possible results. There's just no way around it.

Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. Whether you decide to eat fewer calories, increase the rate at which you burn more of them, or perhaps work to achieve a combination of the two, the bottom line is that your level of exercise is only ever part of the equation.

If you want to learn more about how to lose, maintain, or gain weight, check out my separate article here.


The best jump rope routine for you is the one that enables you to accomplish your goals. The exciting thing about jumping rope is that it allows for numerous options.

What I love most about jumping rope is that it is an excellent activity to break up other activities. What I mean by this is that you can perform full-length HIIT-style workouts with all manner of exercises to accompany your rope skipping.

I could go on and on about all the different combinations of workouts I have discovered, whether lower body, upper body, full body, etc. However, I think it would be easier to show you what I'm talking about.

This blog includes numerous workout videos where I showcase a variety of routines, all of which can involve a jump rope. Check out these video playlists here or under the blog's navigation bar. Each playlist has a description detailing what's in it.

Regardless of your age or background, my playlists have something for everyone. But if you're uninterested in exploring what I offer, I'll sum it up this way: Focus on a holistic approach to fitness and health. Don't just jump rope and neglect the other major regions of your body.

As with many things in life, it is all about balance. Find the best balance to improve your health and wellness across the board.

See my separate article here for how to start a personal fitness routine.


The best way to get good at anything is to do it regularly, or in my case, every single day. It took me a while to finally build enough coordination and agility to nail a series of double unders, but after a few months of practice, I could crank them out consecutively.


If you decide to get yourself a Crossrope or any jump rope with a steel cable running through it, do yourself a favor and obtain a jump rope mat. The heavier the rope, the faster it will wear down from grazing the ground, particularly on rougher surfaces.

In the case of Crossropes, you don't want your expensive new rope to be worn all the way through after a single workout session because you neglected to pay attention to the ground type (trust me, I've done it).


Hopefully, you recognize that the health benefits of jumping rope, including weight loss, cannot be understated. Adding jump rope to your workouts is an excellent way to burn more calories and quickly create a calorie deficit, making it efficient and effective.

Whether you wish to lose weight, increase balance and coordination, improve your heart health, or become the newest member of the Jump Rope Dudes, jumping rope is quite possibly the best method of cardio to burn calories. It can work well alongside other exercises, regardless of your personal goals.

Jumping rope can be an incredibly fun and addictive method of physical activity! However, I recognize that it isn't for everyone and won't make or break your ability to burn calories or improve your cardio level. So long as you're not neglecting to raise your heart rate somehow, your chosen method is entirely up to you.

The lawyers rolled in and said I had to say this to you... Thanks for acknowledging it.

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