What Muscles Do You Use While Jumping Rope?

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Jumping rope works both your lower and upper body.
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The next time you head to the gym or outdoors for a cardio circuit, consider grabbing a rope to jump rope for heart health. Not only does this form of cardiovascular exercise benefit your heart, but it also targets several muscles in your upper and lower body.


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Whether your skill level is advanced enough to bust out a few criss-cross moves or you're just starting, jumping rope is a fantastic way to get fit. Plus, incorporating jump rope circuits in a strength training routine or sprinkling them in a high-intensity interval training workout can boost your heart rate and torch some serious calories.



Jumping rope uses the muscles in your lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. It also recruits the muscles in your shoulders, arms and core.

Full-Body Muscle Blast

Skipping rope like you did as a kid can boost your muscular endurance and give the muscles in your entire body quite a workout. When initiating the beginning phase of a jump rope exercise, you rely on the lower body to generate power and lift you off the ground.


To perform this move, you need to recruit the powerful muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. You also need to rely on your calves to help you hop when the rope goes under your feet, which the American Council on Exercise says helps strengthen the calf muscles and improves the elasticity of the surrounding tendons and fascia.


It's obvious that jump rope benefits your lower body, but it's not just these muscles that do all the work. The muscles in your upper body, and more specifically, the shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearms all work together to rotate the rope around your body.

And last, but certainly not least, your abdominal muscles will feel the burn when skipping rope. Since balance, athleticism and coordination are required to perform this move successfully, you will need to rely on your core muscles to generate power, support your lower back and keep your posture upright.

Read more: A 10-Minute Jump Rope Cardio + Body-Weight Strength Workout

Cardiovascular Benefits of Jumping Rope

To meet Health.gov's physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, consider adding a variety of jump rope exercises to your weekly fitness routine. Not only is this a fun way to get fit, but it also contributes to better heart health and a reduction in certain diseases.

When it comes to the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise, the American Heart Association says being more active benefits, everyone. But more specifically, it can help reduce your risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease. It also reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer.

In addition to using a jump rope for heart health, this method of cardio also keeps your metabolism revved up. Harvard Health Publishing reports that 30 minutes of jumping rope can burn approximately 372 calories in a 155-pound person.

Read more: This 20-Minute Jump Rope Workout Burns Fat and Tones Every Inch

Jump Rope for Heart Circuit

If you're ready to test your coordination, boost your cardiovascular and muscular fitness and have a whole lot of fun doing it, consider adding these jump rope circuits to your workouts.

Move 1: Jump Rope Hops

  1. Stand with feet together and grip a jump rope handle in each hand.
  2. Put the jump rope behind you, so the rope touches the ground behind your heels.
  3. Begin jumping with both feet together by swinging the rope in front of your body, down to the floor. Jump to allow the rope to travel under your feet.
  4. Jump for 30 seconds.

Move 2: Jump Rope Jog Step

  1. Stand with feet together and grip a jump rope handle in each hand.
  2. Put the jump rope behind you so the rope touches the ground behind your heels.
  3. Swing rope in front of the body and jump on one leg as the rope goes under your foot. Repeat this pattern by alternating legs.
  4. Jump for 30 seconds.


According to ExRx.net, keep your jump height minimal or just enough to clear the rope. This can help decrease the impact on your joints.

To make this circuit more challenging, consider adding body weight exercises such as planks, push-ups and air squats.