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Functional Fitness Exercises: Jump Rope Basics

by Tim Haft


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Jumping rope is one of the most effective functional fitness exercises.  It’s a cardio event that works your arms, legs, core, strengthens bones, improves your balance and is an ideal brain exercise.

According to research jumping rope for a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness, and when you build to ten minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 RPMs it can provide the same benefits as the following:

  • 30 minutes of jogging
  • 2 sets of tennis singles
  • 30 minutes of racquet and handball playing
  • 720 yards of swimming
  • 18 holes of golf

In addition, jumping helps to develop the left and right hemispheres of the brain, to further improve spacial awareness and reading skills and increases memory and mental alertness. Jumping on balls of the feet requires the body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a result jumping improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.

Jumping rope can also avoid the knee damage which may occur during running, as the impact of each jump or step is often absorbed by both legs. Jumping rope also helps strengthen the arms and shoulders.

This combination of an aerobic workout and coordination-building footwork has made jumping rope a popular functional fitness exercise for athletes, especially boxers and wrestlers. Many tennis players around the world jump rope to increase their endurance and foot speed for competitions.

For fitness enthusiasts learning proper jump rope technique is simple compared to many other athletic activities. The exercise is also appropriate for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.

Jump rope has been rated as a perfect building block to fitness either as a warmup or as high intensity interval training (HIIT) and categorized as a healthy exercise that can produce positive changes in the body and brain.

The American Heart Association endorses jump rope and uses it as a key fundraiser for heart research by encouraging millions of children to jump their way into cardiovascular health.

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Editors note:  Research and editorial content has been provided by The Jump Rope Institute.  



    1. Fun no doubt.

      You may want to practice the moves without a rope a few times to see how your lower body soft tissue and joints tolerate it. The last thing you want is sore foot, ankle, knee or hip joints.

      Let us know how it goes!

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