May 25, 2020

What Jump Rope For Beginners: Starting Your Path to Health

When you start getting into fitness you will hear about jump ropes and being good cardio, well what jump rope for beginners is a typical question that isnt answered usefully.

When I was looking to start jump roping again I was stuck trying to figure out how to choose the right one which will get me the best experience as a beginner. What's hard about it is there are so many different variations and you need the right one to get the results you are aiming for.

What jump rope for beginners is best? For most beginners choosing your rope can help you do well or get frustrated and quit, the best jump rope for a beginner is a steel cable coated in plastic, typically a rope, similar to one like the Crossrope with a 1/4 lb weight up to 1/2 lb if you want a real cardio and fitness workout.

For any person picking up a new sport or hobby you will always have some questions. The information I gathered while trying to learn about jump roping in more depth I have added to the below to help pass the information on and centralize it!

What Type of Workout is Jump Roping?

Jumping rope is a full-body working cardio exercise which involves coordination as well as power and skill. Jumping rope is a great method for exercising as it burns more calories per minute than almost any other aerobic workout, which is about 10 calories a minute!

What Muscle Groups Does Jump Rope Work?

Jumping rope uses muscles all over your body, from your quads and calves to your upper body. You will see your arms sculpt, your abs tighten and your legs lean out as you melt the extra body fat from all over your entire body.

Can Jump Rope Burn Belly Fat?

So the bottom line is that all exercise burns body fat and that no particular workout or exercise will change this. To lose body fat you will need to burn more calories than you consume, there is no way to spot reduce weight from your belly or any other part for that matter.

What Jump Rope to Buy?

What you want to look at is your intended use, are you a crossfitter looking for double unders, an overweight person looking to build up cardio functionality while burning calories and scorching fat?

Well each of these actually are very different uses and totally different types of jump ropes that you would want to look at purchasing. Lets jump into each use case and why the type of jump rope matters:

  • Crossfit - Straight to the point, they don't jump rope for time or anything other than to try to maximize the amount of double unders they can do successfully. (I know some care, but its not the majority)
  • Speed Rope - This is when you spin the rope as fast and constant as you can with the aim to elevate your heart-rate up into the highest tiers you can. This can be good for beginners though it is typically used by elite athletes like boxers to develop footwork, coordination and conditioning.
  • Cardio - This is a basic use of continuous jumping while not aiming for speed or double unders, where the goal is just to go as long as possible and amp up your heart-rate.
  • Weighted - This is the one I love it is like a mini workout while jump roping especially in your forearms, this is jump roping with a rope which can weigh from 1/4 lb to 1lb or more, this gets your arms even more involved in the workout.

Now none of them should be considered the "best" option to get you where you want to be, each has a specific area of assistance to get you what you want to be.

How Do You Choose What Length Jump Rope?

There are many lengths of jump ropes, this may surprise people but there is a "right" size for you and your body and they aren't a one size fits all device. Lets take a look at how you can measure yourself to ensure your jump rope is correct for you, or if you haven't bought one that you make the right purchase.

Height (cm)Height (ft'in")Jump Rope Length
206 to 2116'9" to 6'11"9'10"
201 to 2066'7" to 6'9"9'8"
196 to 2016'5"-6'7"9'6"
191 to 1966'3"-6'5"9'4"
185 to 1916'1"-6'3"9'2"
180 to 1855'11"-6'1"9'0"
175 to 1805'9"-5'11"8'10"
170 to 1755'7"-5'9"8'8"
165 to 1705'5"-5'7"8'6"
160 to 1655'3"-5'5"8'4"
155 to 1605'1"-5'3"8'2"
150 to 1554'11"-5'1"8'0"
145 to 1504'9"-4'11"7'10"
140 to 1454'7"-4'9"7'8"
135 to 1404'5"-4'7"7'6"
Rope Length to Height Grid

Steps To Check For Proper Length:

  1. Step on the rope with one foot and then bring your feet together pulling the rope taught.
  2. Bring your handles together while you point the top towards your chest.
    • Only check where the cable ends - do not include the handles with rope size.
  3. If you follow our length guidelines above, the cable will stop at your sternum or lower pec area. The rope should not go higher than this point as you start to have issues. 

The reason you don't want to have slack specifically is to remove extra effort to maintain the sing along with damaging your jump rope by slapping the ground repeatedly will shorten its lifespan.

What Kind of Shoes for Jump Rope Can Help?

So you are thinking about shoes for jumping and are trying to make sure you get the right ones, now the basics of a jumping shoe are that it has cushion and is able to absorb your impacts without causing leg issues.

This is actually true for almost all sneakers you could purchase in the store, the only reason to divert is to give you better performance like in Crossfit. If you are just starting then find a comfortable pair of sneakers or running shoes and just get going.

If you are looking for better performance by choosing proper shoes for the effort then you want to evaluate the following in each shoe:

  • Breathable -You want them to allow your feet to breath since you are going to be having them work hard and you want to stop sweat from building up.
  • Flexible - You want your shoes to be flexible and comfortable as you want to be able to push from your toes and to push through the full range of motion.
  • Spring or Bounce - You want a shoe which helps give you some spring back free as part of how the shoe functions, the less energy you need to use the longer you can go without failing.

Should I Wear Shoes When Jumping Rope?

I would highly recommend always wearing shoes when you jump rope as I thought I could jump without issue and be "lighter" but when I took that first whip around into my big toe I thought I broke it!

Outside of this issue that I can't seem to deal with, there is no reason why you can't jump without shoes on and I know that there are people who can do it without problems!

Just note that without shoes you want to focus on your landing to be able to land on the balls of your foot along with using a jumping mat as these help to ensure you absorb most of the impact without damaging your legs and knees.

Lady taking a break from jumping rope and laughing - What Jump Rope For Beginners
Lady taking a break from jumping rope and laughing

What Are Some of the Benefits of Jumping Rope Everyday?

There are an amazing array of health and life benefits which come from jump roping every day, they can range from the expected health for the cardio system to mental cognition benefits.

Improve Coordination & Agility

Jumping rope is a complex system of movements that all need to work together in a symphony like approach. Your eyes, feet, and hands are required to work in tandem to jump while swinging a rope around while your eyes keep this all in sync.

If you fail to pay attention to your feet and the rope movements you will trip on the rope and stop. What is crazy is that once you get more practice in you will realize you aren't even consciously watching the rope but your mind, eye, and feet are all in tune to jump at the right time.

The more ways you practice jumping rope the more this mind, eye, and foot connection grows and the better it becomes at helping you stay coordinated. Over time this helps you build up the ability to be light on your feet and to adjust fast when your body feels a change.

Boxers know jumping rope enhances foot speed and quickness. This is why boxers around the world love jumping rope

What is basically happening is that skipping rope improves your balance , quickness, and coordination by making your mind focus attention specifically on your feet for a sustained period, even when not conscious of it. 

Decrease Foot and Ankle Injuries

Improving your legs and calves actually can help you not be injured by building up the muscles and ligaments within the lower body. Skipping also teaches your body better how to distribute the weight and balance your body.

Jumping rope is amazingly helpful to help rebuild and recover from an injury as it recruits all the muscles and ligaments and doesn't add additional weight into the workout.

If you should get injured or hurt with physical trauma to the lower body jumping rope is a solid avenue to pursue for recovery, make sure to talk about it with your PT.

The big reason it can help to jump rope is that it brings in the entire body and is about control of alignment, to do jump rope right you need to engage your entire body. Additionally jump rope is far less impact which should help you in not re-injuring yourself.

Burns Vast Amounts of Calories

Skipping rope is shown to burn a crazy amount of calories per minute compared to many other forms of cardio. It also can be done in a LISS and HIIT method to change up the intention of your workout with ease and without changing settings.

Including a HIIT session can help you amp up the burn for a longer period, long after the session of jumping rope has ended, or you can go for a low and slow longer duration LISS workout. Choosing these can be based on the result you are looking for or your motivation or energy in the day.

Working out with your jump rope while splitting it into three 10-minute rounds and you can look at burning approximately 480 calories in half an hour. 

According to this calculator the burn can clock in at 10 to 16 calories per minute for an in shape individual. As your weight grows this doesn't drop dramatically and can even increase as you have more weight and effort to move constantly.

While researching I found that each jump can equate out to about 0.1 calories according to Science Daily. They go on to state that being able to do 10 minutes of skipping rope is about equivalent to running an 8-minute-mile. 

Improves Bone Density

Exercise itself is shown to help your body build up its bone density. So the more often you exercise the better levels and stronger your bones become along with pliability and flexibility within the muscles.

It has been shown in research that jumping rope is a superb exercise for athletes and elderly people as it is less hard on your joints than running while providing similar bone health levels.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Cardio is often seen as the less necessary workout and that you need muscle, while this is partially true you need a strong and adept cardiovascular system as your heart is the most vital organ to your life itself.

Most people associate a "cardio" workout with running, jogging, or machines like a elliptical or treadmill. While those are all solid options they are harder on your body where jumping rope is much less high impact for, in many cases, better results.

Opens the Throttle on Body Fat Weight Loss

As we stated above the calorie burn on jumping rope is very high, due to this jumping rope can be a super efficient way to help drop unwanted body fat by increasing your calorie output.

To lose weight it still must be said, you need to burn more calories than you consume, this isn't magic but people still seem to misconstrue it.

Should you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight, obviously it is a slow slope as 3500 calories is hard to overeat within a day for a pound, but 500 calories over a week is easy and you gain a pound.

But what about fasting or intermittent fasting? Well, again you are practicing calorie restriction and the lessening of eating is what causes the weight loss, not the "magic" of fasting.

But what about vegan, carnivore, keto, new diet? This is again all due to calorie restriction, none of these provide mystical weight loss advantages. Depending on your choice they may make it easier for you to ADHERE to the diet consistently.

This doesn't mean you need to workout 2 hours per day or take it to an extreme either, that's where everyone goes wrong. Focus on getting in quality exercise each day and learn when you are actually hungry and eat real whole foods and not packaged garbage.

Jump rope is simply amazing for weight loss. 

One of the most huge benefits of jumping rope that I have seen and experienced first hand is how fast you’re able to burn calories while jumping and you can hit the gas by adding in weighted heavy ropes.

Improves Cognition

Building up your brain is an important thing to do as you get older, everyone should want to spur on their brain matter to learn as it helps it stay strong.

Jumping your body up and down helps the brain learn a new movement pattern and makes the system need to communicate from the toes to the head and everything in-between.

The NIH has done studies on the brain and exercise showing that even when duration is as short as 20 minutes it is helpful to our brains.

It has been shown that activities which pair up mental and physical demands have a more dramatic impact on your overall cognitive functioning than something like a treadmill or similar workout.

Skipping your rope helps in the development of both hemispheres of your brain building a better overall awareness to space, reading skills, memory, and much more mental skills to keep you alert.

Improves Your Posture

Since most people in jobs now are hunched over at computer desks for 8 hours or more, then they go home and hunch over their cell phones and laptops building posture is very important.

Slouching is a huge cause of back issues as we age, it also pulls your shoulders in and it just can cripple you and cause you undue stress.

If you are performing proper jump rope skipping you are keeping your shoulders back and your spine erect which helps to correct posture issues and actually will make you appear taller.

Affordability & Portability

There are not many options outside of running that can be done with less gear than jumping rope. If you don't have one you can pick them up in almost any shop in any town in the world.

This is a prime example of exercise which could be done by anyone who travels for a living, from business man to truck driver. There is no excuse for not getting in ever a short 10 minute workout daily with a jump rope.

What Are Some Disadvantages of Rope Skipping?

There are some issues for people who look to add on a skipping session as a workout, most have to do around pre-existing issues and problems. Though if this should concern you please reach out to your doctor or physical therapist to ensure they approve.

Pre-Existing Leg and Knee Problems

When you have had or have knee issues or have had a replacement then you really should speak with your doctor and other rehab staff possibly before adding in jump rope to ensure your knee integrity.

Even if it has been years and you are pretty sure it will last without issue I want to ensure you understand the possible issues that jump roping has specifically to your lower limbs and getting a green light from your doctor will give you peace of mind.

Cardiovascular Pressure - Heart Problems

Jumping rope when done right is an amazingly helpful workout to build up your cardiovascular system as a whole, but if you have any pre-existing cardiac problems or issues you need to get cleared by your doctor.

Repetitive Ground Impacts

It may sound silly but a lot of people don't think about this and they lose focus on control through the jump. It is a lot of up and downs and especially if you are heavier your joints are working hard, take care of them by landing on the balls of your feet.

Landing on the balls of your feet allows your legs to operate in your favor absorbing the overall impact and spreading it through the multiple joints and muscles to ensure no shock of impact occurs like when you land on your heels.

Final Thoughts on What Jump Rope For Beginners

Jumping rope is an amazing cardio workout that allows you to get in an aerobic exercise in nearly any place you are. I wish I had thought about it when I was a contractor and traveling between sites as hotels always were a letdown.

When you workout with a jump rope you are doing an all over workout which means you can burn an exceedingly high amount of calories per minute as large as 10 calories per minute spent!

For their cost they do have a range based on the class and style you want along with the results you are wanting. For the money I love my Crossrope as I have a wire, 1/4 lb, and a 1/2 lb rope so I can build a more difficult session or go for sheer speed.

Article written by EatLiftSleep
I grew up in a very non-active family where most our days were spent inside an away from sports. I did soccer and baseball as a kid but that time quickly ended and I grew away from activities. To regain my health and set myself up for the long run I have chose to involve myself in the three tenets of health and longevity, I hope you join me to live as long and as well as possible.

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