Five Reasons to Go Back to Basics With the Jump Rope

April 28, 2011

Must See Conditioning Videos

A staple of elementary school gym classes, the Jump Rope is one of the first exercises athletes perform. It takes you back to the basics, enhancing cardio capacity, coordination, speed, core stability and lower leg strength. Despite its humble origins, many professional athletes and champions use the Jump Role to push themselves to supreme levels of athleticism.

Derive the following benefits from the Jump Rope by incorporating it into your future workouts.

1. Convenience
A Jump Rope is small and lightweight, making it extremely portable and efficient—easy to stuff in your gym bag as you head out for a team workout. A Jump Rope also fits well with any exercise regimen. Whether you’re challenging strength, stability, power—or all of the above—jumping rope is an ideal  exercise to perform between sets to keep your heart rate up and calories burning.

2. Coordination
Athletes with trophies on their mantels and D-I scholarships don't generally trip over their own feet. Why? Because most elite athletes integrate the Jump Rope into their routines. Here's where it gets fun: hop on one foot, change feet every three hops, jump high enough for two revolutions under your feet in one jump. Whatever you do, changing your rhythm and style of jumping will improve your coordination. You’ll be the one faking out opponents and making them trip over themselves.

3. Speed
How you use the Jump Rope will determine what you gain from it. If you lethargically hop your way through a routine, you probably won’t benefit much. But if you push yourself, continuously upping the speed as you progress through a session, you’ll notice improvements in all facets of your speed—quickness, agility and reaction time.

Breaking down what happens with the Jump Rope, as soon as your feet contact the ground, you immediately jump back into the air to avoid tripping on the rope. The repetition develops speed by training your body to react explosively every time you touch down. Speedy point guards and running backs don’t hit the ground with cement block feet. They’re constantly moving until the end of the play, just like in a Jump Rope workout.

4. Strength
Most sports involve lots of pounding on the feet and ankles. Weak ankles don’t last long, regardless of the playing surface. Jumping rope simulates the constant pounding of competition, strengthening both the feet and ankles. To increase the challenge, try jumping rope barefooted, but make sure to start off on grass or a rubberized surface. Doing your first shoeless Jump Rope workout on the hardwood is like performing your first Bench Press without a spotter. Be smart so you can surpass your opponents’ level of strength without risking injury.

5. Stability
Avoiding a sprained ankle in a game is like avoiding illness in a hospital. You’re at risk as soon as you arrive. That’s why athletes must challenge their ankle stability in a safe and controlled environment. Jumping rope accomplishes exactly that. Once you're comfortable jumping with two feet, try one foot at a time to train your ankles to absorb the stress of your entire body on each side. Think about the times you’ve landed awkwardly in a game. Single-Leg Jump Rope will help prepare you to land securely and avoid icing your ankle on the sidelines.

The Jump Rope is part of most successful athletes' training regimens. Case in point: the University of Illinois wrestling team [learn more about their workout here]. Jim Zielinski, head strength and conditioning coach, has his athletes skip rope for five minutes—switching between Double- and Single-Leg Hops—before their weight lifting sessions. "It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and muscles warm before a lift,” he says. During the off-season, Illini grapplers perform the following Jump Rope routine immediately before workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Zielinski on the Routine: “With any jump rope routine we do, we emphasize spending as little time on the ground as possible between jumps. Stay up on the balls of your feet the whole time, and when you are doing any lateral movement, keep most of your weight on the instep and big toe without letting your ankle roll. When you jump from one square to another, don’t think about how much distance you cover, think about jumping as quickly as you can. This whole routine shouldn’t take more than 12 minutes. It takes longer at first, but as you progress, you will get through it quicker and quicker.”

Going back to the basics with this versatile exercise will improve all levels of fitness. Integrate Jump Rope into your workout, so you, too, can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!

Joe Baur
- Joe Baur is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University [Oxford, OH]. He became certified with the National...
Joe Baur
- Joe Baur is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University [Oxford, OH]. He became certified with the National...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 152,830
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,325
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,268,862
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,536,765
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,144,153
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,437
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,240
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,332

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

If you're tired of doing several rounds of steady state cardio for 30, 45, or even 60 minutes at a time then it's time you learn about HIIT. High...

Get in Football Shape Fast With Metabolic Runs

Get in Football Shape Fast With Metabolic Runs

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

Adeline Gray Is Going for Gold

Adeline Gray Is Going for Gold

Get in Shape Fast With Todd Durkin's 5 Intense Workout Finishers

Get in Shape Fast With Todd Durkin's 5 Intense Workout Finishers

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

Why Better Conditioned Athletes Have Fewer Injuries

Why Better Conditioned Athletes Have Fewer Injuries

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

Football Players: 2-Week Crash Course in Football Conditioning

Football Players: 2-Week Crash Course in Football Conditioning

Obstacle Race Training: Get in Shape With This Finisher

Obstacle Race Training: Get in Shape With This Finisher

WATCH: Ronda Rousey's Intense New Bag Drill

WATCH: Ronda Rousey's Intense New Bag Drill

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

Can You Survive the ‘100 Bears’ Challenge?

Can You Survive the '100 Bears' Challenge?

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Are High-Intensity Workouts Making You Fat?

Are High-Intensity Workouts Making You Fat?

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trail Running

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trail Running

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

How to Build Soccer-Specific Conditioning

How to Build Soccer-Specific Conditioning

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Who Invented the Burpee?

Who Invented the Burpee?

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Prepare for Your Season With These Conditioning Drills

Prepare for Your Season With These Conditioning Drills

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

YardBarker