If you’ve gotten past childhood, you’ve probably jumped rope at some point — but jump rope workouts are rather different than the double Dutch games of your early years. Here’s how to get started with jumping rope rope as a grown-up exercise.
Jump rope can be an intense, high-energy workout. If you’re not used to this type of aerobic exercise, it’s best to start with a very short practice, such as 5 to 10 minutes.
Get the Right Size Rope
As a rule of thumb, many jump rope instructors advise choosing a rope that’s no more than three feet longer than your height. By choosing the right size rope, you’ll minimize tripping and maximize the effectiveness of your workout.
Experiment With Different Class Styles
Some jump rope classes and videos feature nothing but rope-based exercises, but others incorporate other elements of fitness, such as free weights or stretching. If one style of class doesn’t suit you, feel free to experiment with the wide variety of options available.
Work on Your Form
Proper form is essential for preventing injury and getting the most out of your rope routine. Each hop should only lift the feet only about one inch off the ground. Other tips for form: keep your elbows close to your sides, stay on the balls of your feet as you jump, and use your wrists (not your entire arms) to swing the rope.
As you pursue a jump rope practice, remember that you’re learning a difficult skill! It may take awhile to get the hang of various moves. “Jump rope can be frustrating at the beginning, so have patience with yourself,” encourages Dawn Jackson-Blatner, RDN, a certified specialist in sports dietetics, who practices jump rope workouts personally. “It takes coordination, rhythm, and stamina, but with a little practice each day you will soon get better and it will feel easier and easier!”