Jumping rope endlessly on pavement or concrete in grade-school hardly affected my joints. As an adult, choosing where and when to rope is more important; my bones and joints are more prone to injury. Though hard surfaces increase the rope speed, repetitive jumping on concrete and asphalt can injure joints. If concrete is the only surface option -- with no floor pads or workout mat available -- the intensity decreases and technique becomes the focus. Landing softly is paramount; I keep my knees bent and ankles soft to absorb impact. Proper footwear is also essential for cushioning and joint protection.
Proper Attire and Form
Choose cross-training shoes with enough forefoot cushioning to absorb impact.
Stand on the center of the rope and hold the handles taut against your body. They should both reach the top of your shoulder to ensure the rope is the correct length for your body.
Hold the handles firmly, keeping your arms close by your sides and rotating your wrists to turn the rope.
Swing the rope up in an arc and jump off both feet, approximately 1 inch off the ground.
Land softly on the balls of your feet, keeping your knees slightly bent. Don't let your heels touch the ground.
Keep your eyes ahead and progress slowly until you develop a rhythm and can continue for 30 seconds to a minute without tiring.
Purchase interlocking rubber or foam mats to place on your concrete surface. These mats provide more cushioning to absorb impact, yet do not hinder the speed of the rope as it passes under your feet.
Place a thin exercise or yoga mat on the concrete floor. Avoid thick mats, as the cushioning hinders roping performance and may throw you off balance.
Follow steps one through six in section one for proper form or try the alternate foot-step technique.
Place the rope behind your knees and swing it up in an arc over your head.
Bend your right knee and lift your right leg up to a 90 degree angle as the rope swings down.
Bring your right foot down over the rope as it passes, and jump off the ground with your left foot. You may need to jump higher than an inch off the ground.
Bring the right foot down and bring the left foot up, using the same technique as step one.
Continue to hop or step your feet, one at a time, over the rope as if you are running or marching in place.