Hey there, curious soul! You’re not just anyone—you’re someone who digs deeper, always eager to uncover the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane. Jumping rope, a simple activity, is a goldmine of benefits waiting to be discovered. Sure, we all nod to the usual perks like boosting heart health and improving coordination. But let’s peel back the layers and explore some lesser-known, yet equally thrilling, aspects of this classic activity!
1. It’s Very Hard to Cheat as a Beginner
Jumping rope is something most of us haven’t done since childhood. Perhaps some of us can’t remember jumping rope even once. This means, in general, that our skill level at jumping rope is pretty low.
As humans, we are equipped with a brain that will naturally find easier ways to do things to keep us comfortable and safe. We have a tendency to use this to our advantage in strength training by shortening the range of motion of an exercise or by swinging the weights to get more reps in. This is common and known as ‘cheating’.
Jumping rope is not only aerobically demanding, but it also requires balance and upper and lower body coordination. If even one of these traits isn’t up to par, you won’t have the bandwidth to cheat, so it keeps you completely honest.
2. It Gives Immediate Feedback When to Stop
To build an aerobic base, you want to jump rope between 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This is called Zone 2 Training.
The most direct and holistic way to find your Zone 2 is through nasal breathing. Basically you close your mouth and solely breathe through your nose. When you reach the upper limit of nasal breathing, you are at the upper limit of Zone 2 training.
If while jumping rope, you need to breathe through your mouth, you are beyond the upper limit of Zone 2. Stop to catch your breathe and start over or call it a day.
There are two other forms of feedback that may occur before you are no longer able jump while maintaining nasal breathing.
Form – Unlike running or cycling, jumping rope will give you immediate feedback on your form. You just won’t be able to jump successfully when your form fails.
Calves – Your calves will give you feedback on their condition very quickly. Be wise and patient and stop when they tell you to. And give them a good stretch after each session.
3. It’s Easy to Quantify
Jumping rope is a vigorous aerobic exercise and if you start too fast, you are setting yourself up to get injured. In order to start smart and gradually condition your body, begin by doing intervals like this:
- 30 seconds of jumping rope
- 10 seconds of rest
Repeat this interval until you get clear feedback as mentioned above:
- Nasal breathing is no longer possible
- Your form deteriorates
- Your calves are on fire
Over time you will develop the endurance to jump continuously for 5, 10, or over 20 minutes if you choose to.
4. It’s Ultra Convenient
A jump rope ‘packs small and plays big’, meaning that it takes up virtually no space, yet is such an effective tool to keep you happy and aerobically fit.
Running, which has the least demand for equipment among aerobic sports, still requires shoes in most cases. Jumping rope only requires the rope.
If you are traveling and want to keep space open in your suitcase for gifts for family and friends, your convenient jump rope will give you that space.
5. It’s So Darn Inexpensive
Of course, there are super sexy, state-of-the-art jump ropes that are available on the market. There are speed ropes, weighted ropes, old-school leather ropes, and even smart ropes that track your calories, jump numbers, and connect to your smartphone.
And…there are many great, perfectly functional jump ropes for under $10 that will absolutely do the trick. Here is the jump rope that I use.
6. It’s a Perfect Warm Up For a Strength Training Session
Instead of spending 10-15 minutes on an exercise bike, stair climber, or treadmill, you can get your heart rate up and blood flowing in about 2-3 minutes with a jump rope.
It’s the perfect tool for prepping the body before mobility work, stretching, or strength training.
7. It Offers Massive Variety Via Next-Level Skills
Running and cycling require mastery of technique for solid performance and injury prevention but don’t offer much variety of next-level skills to enjoy. Swimming offers a variety of strokes, kicking skills, and underwater skills for the person who really likes to mix things up.
Jumping rope trumps running, cycling, and swimming by offering a multitude of next-level skills for the adventurous, growth-minded individual. Beyond the ‘basic jump’ which is the familiar ‘2-foot hop’, there are over 20 advanced skills. Skills such as the side swipe, running in place, boxer skip, criss-cross, double-unders, and double-under criss-cross will keep you engaged, learning, and growing over time. They look pretty cool to boot!
8. It Provides a Unique ‘Team’ Variation
Taking next-level skills to an even higher level is a form of jumping rope that requires two simple pieces of equipment (2 x 3.5 meter (11.5 ft) ropes) and a team of three people ( two turners and one jumper). If you haven’t tried Double Dutch, then you are in for a challenging treat!
The turner’s job requires hand-eye coordination to make sure the ropes move in a way that the jumper can jump with grace and ease. The aerobic benefit of a turner’s job is mainly arm and shoulder-focused.
The Jumpers’s first challenge is learning the skill of entering and exiting the ropes. Once that is accomplished, there is a plethora of skills waiting to be learned.
With 2 x 3.5 meter (11.5 ft) ropes, up to 4-6 jumpers can jump simultaneously, so with just two ropes, up to 8 people can have an amazingly joyful time together.
So there you have it. 8 unique reasons to start jumping rope.
Being the exceptional person that you are, it now behooves you to take action on what you learned. By applying one or all of the points shared today, not only will you increase your knowledge, health, and happiness but also your jump roping skills.
May you joyfully jump in with both feet and enjoy the journey!
If what I have shared here speaks to you and you’re interested in a deeper conversation about transforming your mind, body, and entire life, please join me for a complimentary 60-minute Zoom conversation. Click THIS link and follow the directions inside.
Yours in Transformation,