Everyone has their personal fitness goals; I talk about initiating a fitness and nutrition routine in a separate article and stand by those words. But if I were to describe my fitness goals personally, they would be summed up in one word: "balance."
When it comes to working out, it's a chance for me to escape the present world and focus on myself. Self-care should be a priority for men (everyone, honestly). Ever since I moved out of my parent's house following high school, I've gotten busier and busier, from attending a military college and all of the extracurricular activities that are commensurate with that experience to active duty service in the U.S. Navy as an officer, I've constantly remained on my toes. So, finding time for myself, let alone working out, can be challenging.
These experiences have forced me to realize that if I want to maintain a lean and athletic physique year-round, I must build a fitness regimen that effectively integrates with my busy lifestyle; therefore, I value efficiency and effectiveness. That is why I have spent the last eight years of my adult life finely tuning my approach to fitness.
As an adult, I have never owned a gym membership, and I don't care to be in a gym with many people regularly. I'll be honest; I would instead save money and spend it on other things (or invest it for the future). As an active duty military member, I'm often at my workplace (in my case, a ship). Many of you reading this might be in a similar position in life; you're in and out of the office constantly, and what little time you happen to have for yourself, you spend with your family or significant other, or you're too burnt out to get in your vehicle and drive to the gym (no sarcasm, here).
When I exercise, I want to be done as soon as possible; frequently, I'm so tired from working or standing duty as a part of my military obligations that my pre-workout beverage is the only thing carrying me through a single period of exercise, so I have to hit it hard and hit it fast.
Whether you're in a similar position or have more time, I highly recommend utilizing a jump rope as a focal point in your fitness routine. I will tell you why, but first, let's go back to where my fascination initially came from.
While attending college, I came across a Harvard study that detailed the most efficient ways to burn calories within a 30-minute time frame and found that jumping rope was among the top activities. I will list the most recent edition of those studies here.
From there, I found a growing community of folks online who had made the same discovery as I had, and it became apparent that they were having lots of fun and enjoying some pretty spectacular results. So, I made my first jump rope purchase and never looked back!
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER TRYING IT
Look, I get it. Some folks get a boost of dopamine when they enter their gyms. It's their escape and a place where like-minded people congregate to share their love for the gym-going experience, that is to say, the "clubhouse" for the clubby. If you're one such person, I would argue that your gym membership is well worth the money. If it means a lot to you, you should find a way to own one.
But suppose you're like me, and getting your blood pumping or seeing results after putting forth the effort is more important than the social experience. In that case, I am sure that you will find incorporating a jump rope within your routine to be a liberating and exhilarating experience that can potentially change the trajectory of your fitness journey for the better due to the following reasons.
Anyone can jump rope. Depending on your coordination and skill level, you might be good or bad at it, but with practice and perseverance, you'll get better with time. Contrary to what you may believe, jumping rope (when done correctly and with proper form) helps strengthen your bones and joints because it is considered a medium-impact exercise, but I'm no scientist, so here's the science to back it up.
Studies have shown that jumping rope is an excellent means of increasing coordination and balance, so boxers and other athletes incorporate it into their daily training. Suppose you are also an athlete of sorts. In that case, a plethora of additional research substantiates the long-term benefits of jumping rope to improve agility for athletes, particularly those at a younger age.
The Harvard study I mentioned earlier found that jumping rope intensely for 30 minutes ranked among the highest activities, yielding the most calories burned within that time frame. If the average person were to jump rope briskly for half an hour, they would burn more calories in that window than jogging.
You can take a jump rope anywhere. If you think about it, you can pack it on any of your adventures and know that you have the means to continue with your fitness regimen no matter where you are in the world. Trust me when I tell you that this sense of freedom does wonders to help you stop making excuses for not exercising and allows you to feel more liberated.
I was deployed for over three hundred days during the COVID-19 pandemic to the South China Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Gulf, conducting operations with the NIMITZ Strike Group. While that was difficult, I fondly remember jumping rope on top of American steel while watching the sunsets on the high seas.
At the time of writing this article, I have found that there are jump ropes for as little as under $5, and so long as you have one, you can participate in my Bare Bones playlist, where I showcase full-length workouts that require only a jump rope and a standard towel or exercise mat.
That's incredible value and, more importantly, an intense and effective alternative that saves you money throughout the year, whether it's a gym membership or the gas you burn to get to your fitness facilities.
I'll link some budget jump rope options below and my recommended set, which I use in my playlists.
This is subjective, but I never get bored of jumping rope. All I need is a good music playlist and some space to work. Put enough practice in, learn enough tricks, and you'll turn the heads of local passers-by, guaranteed. Even if you don't crave attention, you'll undoubtedly stand out from others and look like one heck of an athlete.
DO MORE WITH LESS
Look, I'm not trying to sell anyone on jumping rope. At the end of the day, we have to find what works for us and commit to a consistent routine. However, if money is tight or you want to find a way to accomplish a lot with very little, then try your hand at jumping rope and see where things go. Again, I have 20 workout videos attached to this blog that cover all portions of the body and range in various difficulty levels.
If you want to accomplish more with less, I have you covered. Who knows? You might love it as much as I do.
BUDGET JUMP ROPE RECOMMENDATIONS
JUMP ROPES THAT I LIKE TO USE FOR MY WORKOUTS