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The 9 Best Jump Rope Workouts for Runners, Cyclists, and More

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Come, you aching runners, you shoulder-sore swimmers, you cyclists nursing chafed inner thighs the color of a sports car. Regardless of your sport of choice, everyone can gain fitness jumping rope. Jennika Landon, Crossrope athlete and part of the team developing its app-based workouts, has seen all types move into the sport, whether to rehab, supplement, or even switch due to chronic injury, only to discover its myriad benefits.

“It’s amazing what it does for your endurance and stamina,” the 40-year-old says. “And of course, you know, great calves.”

While calves might be the most visible adaptation you’ll make, jumping rope has a number of benefits. Besides being a caloric furnace (significant due to the activity’s total-body demand), it’s also surprisingly low impact, providing an alternate to many nursing foot and knee injuries from other sports. There’s also the fact that, without excluding resistance bands, it may be one of the most portable workouts available, making it an ideal choice for those in small spaces or frequent travelers.

If you’ve never jumped rope before, are coming from a different discipline, or were total crap the last time you tried in high school, then Landon cautions to start out slow. For the first few weeks, start with a five-minute beginner session of 30 seconds jumping and 30 seconds resting. Complete these every other day, allowing the lighter load and days off for your body to strengthen the smaller, injury-prone tissues. “It takes time for those things to build up,” she says. “But if you do it right, adaptation happens pretty quickly, as with most things in fitness.” Then, when you’re ready, try one of the below workouts.

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Basic Ladder

Crossrope

Not as much about speed as it is consistency, time yourself as you progress through the sequence and see how fast you can get over time. Retest once a week or once a month.

  1. 25 jumps
  2. 50 jumps
  3. 75 jumps
  4. 100 jumps
  5. 100 jumps
  6. 75 jumps
  7. 50 jumps
  8. 25 jumps

Rest as needed.

Combo Ladder

Crossrope

Another at-your-own-pace workout that adds in extra upper body work, rest is as much (or as little) as you deem necessary. Again, time yourself and retest once a week or once a month, noting how your times drop.

  1. 25 jumps, five push-ups
  2. 50 jumps, five push-ups
  3. 75 jumps, five push-ups
  4. 100 jumps, five push-ups
  5. 100 jumps, five push-ups
  6. 75 jumps, five push-ups
  7. 50 jumps, five push-ups
  8. 25 jumps, five push-ups

Jump Rope AMRAP

Crossrope

Short for As Many Rounds as Possible, this jump rope-themed take is grueling, but at least it’s over quick. Over 10 minutes, complete rounds of:

  1. 100 jumps of the rope
  2. 10 plank up-downs
  3. Two tuck-jump burpees

Repeat until death or the timer goes off.

Jump Rope EMOM

Crossrope

Another famous gym acronym, these Every Minute On the Minute workouts reward hard work: the harder you work, the more rest you have before the next round. For the basic, grab your rope and rip through 50 jumps. Rest and restart on the next minute. Repeat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Climbing EMOM

Crossrope

For this intermediate-to-expert variant on the previous workout, the reps only increase while the rests get shorter and shorter. For repeating one-minute rounds:

  1. First minute, 20 jumps
  2. Next minute, 30 jumps
  3. Next minute, 40 jumps
  4. For every successive minute, add 10 jumps until you can no longer fit them in the prescribed minute interval

Combo EMOM

Crossrope

The easiest way to throw variety in the standard jump rope workout is to add bodyweight calisthenics, as Landon has done here. Rip through 40 jumps and then drop into four burpees. Rest and restart on the minute for 10 to 15 minutes.

Timed Interval Endurance Builder

Crossrope

Rather than focusing on revolutions, for this workout you’re focusing on duration. It’s longer, but remember you’re not trying to beat anyone, including yourself. Think of this as running’s weekly long run, where the object is time on your feet rather than a specific pace.

  1. Five minutes of freestyle jumping
  2. Rest one minute
  3. Four minutes of freestyle jumping
  4. Rest 45 seconds
  5. Three minutes of freestyle jumping
  6. Rest 30 seconds
  7. Two minutes of freestyle jumping
  8. Rest 20 seconds
  9. One minute of freestyle jumping

For your first workout, go all the way through. In the future, add successive rounds by feel.

All Jump Tabata

Crossrope

Like all traditional tabata, you’ll go hard for 20 seconds and then take a 10-second break. While its duration is a mere four minutes (trust us, it’s an intense four minutes), you can add multiple rounds for a complete workout. When you’re running out of time, just finish one.

  1. 20 seconds basic jump, 10 seconds rest
  2. 20 seconds alternate jump/10 seconds rest
  3. 20 seconds basic jump/10 seconds rest
  4. 20 seconds alternate jump/10 seconds rest
  5. 20 seconds basic jump/10 seconds rest
  6. 20 seconds alternate jump/10 seconds rest
  7. 20 seconds basic jump/10 seconds rest
  8. 20 seconds alternate jump/10 seconds rest

Combo Tabata

Crossrope

For those who want to incorporate some bodyweight calisthenics, this hybrid has you recovering during your jumping before burning out another part of your body. As with the previous workout, you can complete one round when time is short or add rounds for a full workout.

  1. 20 seconds basic jump, 10 seconds rest
  2. 20 seconds curtsy lunges, 10 seconds rest
  3. 20 seconds alternate jump, 10 seconds rest
  4. 20 seconds 180° squat jumps, 10 seconds rest
  5. 20 seconds basic jump, 10 seconds rest
  6. 20 seconds curtsy lunges, 10 seconds rest
  7. 20 seconds alternate jump, 10 seconds rest
  8. 20 seconds 180° squat jumps, 10 seconds rest

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Jon Gugala
Features Writer
Jon Gugala is a freelance writer and photographer based in Nashville, Tenn. A former gear editor for Outside Magazine, his…
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