Jumping rope is a common activity amongst children, but it's also a very effective cardiovascular exercise for adults. It can be used as a warm-up prior to completing another cardiovascular activity or weight training. It's also effective as a workout on its own, developing the cardiovascular system and burning calories.
Jumping rope is an exercise activity that requires you to jump over a rope as you swing it underneath your feet and then over your head repeatedly. It requires coordination and aerobic endurance. It improves the cardiovascular system and is also used to increase leg power and agility. It can be done nearly anywhere. There are a variety of jump-rope techniques, including the basic jump with both feet, single hops, criss-crosses, double-unders and side-swings.
Losing weight requires the presence of a caloric deficit, with you burning more calories than you consume over a certain period of time. How many you consume is dependent on your eating and drinking habits, but how many you burn is partly dependent on your physical activity level. Cardiovascular activities like jumping rope require a significant amount of calories to fuel the working tissues and the more active you are, the more calories you burn, contributing to the creation of a caloric deficit and thus weight loss.
Harvard Medical School lists jumping rope as an effective calorie-burning cardiovascular activities. A 155-pound person burns about 744 calories and a 190-pound person burns about 888 calories per hour of jumping rope. To lose a pound of fat, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you consume. A healthy goal is to burn about 500 calories per day to thus burn a total of 3,500 calories per week and lose a pound per week. Jumping rope, therefore, is a highly effective exercise to burn calories and lose weight.
Technique Safety Tips
Jump only 1 to 2 inches off the ground as you hop over the rope and land on the balls of your feet. Your heels should never touch the floor. Keep your shoulders still and your elbows into your torso as you swing the rope around with your forearms. Use a rope that's appropriate for your height, which is one that doesn't pass your armpits when you step on the center of the rope.
Jumping rope is a very high-impact activity, meaning that it's very stressful on your joint structures made up by your bones, muscles and tendons. You're constantly taking off and landing, with your entire weight landing repeatedly onto the ground and the forces then driving directly through one of two of your feet. If you begin to feel pain in the arch of your feet, ankles, knees or hips, you may want to cut back on your time spent jumping and incorporate other cardiovascular activities as well.