Although it's well-known for its part in playground games, the jump rope is also a good exercise tool. It's cheap, it's highly portable and it can give you a workout anywhere. The jump rope is for more than just double-dutch -- master the techniques for a solid workout.
Jumping rope is an efficient cardiovascular exercise and one often used by boxers and other athletes to increase endurance. By engaging all of the major muscle groups in your body, jumping rope can burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour during an intense workout. This can lead to quicker fat loss and a better-looking figure.
Jumping rope is endorsed by the American Heart Association's "Jump Rope for Heart" program because of it's ease and efficiency as a cardiovascular exercise. According to two-time U.S. Marine Corps athlete of the year Buddy Lee in an interview with Trib.com, jumping rope can raise your heart rate two to three times faster than other exercises. Jumping rope also builds muscular endurance because the muscles of the entire body are engaged throughout the exercise.
Increase Agility and Coordination
After you've mastered the standard cadence of jumping rope, you can increase your agility and coordination by using different jump styles. Balance and reflexes come into play when you spin the rope at different speeds and in different directions, training you to change your body's position properly and combine your movements in the most efficient way possible. Boxers swear by jump rope workouts to increase these skills.
Another skill of particular importance to boxers is proper footwork, or the instinct of properly placing your feet to set up another athletic movement like a punch or block. The rapid rope jumping pattern forces the feet into action, while variations like jumping backwards and laterally increase the challenge.
Jumping rope won't build muscular strength, but it will tone and firm the muscles because it keeps them engaged throughout the exercise, especially in the legs, triceps and shoulders. The muscles of the midsection and core also benefit from jumping rope.