The jump rope is a classic training tool used by both athletes and those interested in fat loss alike. For athletes, the jump rope develops foot speed, coordination, endurance and challenges the cardiovascular system to work harder and burn more calories. For fat loss, jumping rope is a low-impact exercise that helps you lose fat all over your body.
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But does it burn belly fat? Unfortunately, it's impossible to target one particular area for fat loss, belly fat included. Instead, weight loss occurs evenly all over your body, including your belly.
Although jumping rope is helpful for weight loss, there's no magic wand that eliminates site-specific body fat such as belly fat. To see maximum reductions in belly fat, you'll need to combine exercise with changes in your diet.
To lose fat, your body must burn more calories than you're consuming. To improve your diet, focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, opt for leaner sources of protein like fish and chicken, and consider tracking your calories.
While calorie counting is an imperfect science, you need to have an idea of how many calories you're taking in and whether you're gaining or losing weight. If you're losing weight, then you're on the right track. If you're gaining weight, then reexamine your food choices and consider tracking your nutrition.
Read more: Super Simple Ways to Master your Macros
To lose fat, exercise helps break down stored fuels in the form of carbohydrates and body fat for energy. In terms of exercise, the Health.gov recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, which works out to about 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week.
You should also weight training all your major muscle groups at least twice a week, with a full day of rest between strength-training workouts. Make those workouts efficient by including total body exercises like squats, rows, dead lifts, bench presses and lunges.
Adding the Jump Rope
Incorporate the jump rope into your workouts as a tool. To start, add jumping rope before your weight training or cardio and aim for 100 total skips. This elevates your heart rate, loosens your joints, and conditions your ankles, knees and shins to the new exercise.
Then, as a conditioning tool, add 10 minutes of jumping rope at the end of your workout. Thirty seconds of jumping followed by 30 seconds of rest is a great goal, but if that's too tough, simply take breaks when you mess up; then restart once you're ready. Continue using weight training and aerobic training in conjunction with a caloric deficit to burn fat all over your body and eventually, your belly.
Read more: The 3 Secrets to Losing Belly Fat
Advantages of Jump Rope Workouts
The jump rope is a low-risk tool that minimizes injury risk while still providing the intensity to stimulate fat loss all over your body.
The jump rope is low risk for two reasons: First, you must keep your body aligned and tall at all times. If you bend over or bend backwards, you'll catch the rope and need to re-start. Or if you miss a step and whack yourself with the rope, the exercise ends.
These together make it extremely unlikely to overdo it, and even better, nearly impossible to get injured (unless you accidentally trip and fall, of course).
Skipping Rope: Lower-Impact Exercise
Second, skipping rope offers lower impact than exercises like running. Research from the Scandinavian Physiological Society has shown that running can have impact forces 2.5 times those of walking, causing cascading stress on the ankles, knees and hips.
Jumping rope has less impact than many forms of exercise because the footfall, or the height at which you jump, is only a few inches. This means you can jump rope for cardiovascular benefits without undue stress on your hips, knees and ankles.
Despite being low impact, jumping rope is a great conditioning tool. Rapid arm movement, maintaining a rigid core and quick feet all combine to send your heart rate sky-high.