This 15-Minute Jump Rope Workout Is Great for Beginners

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We all know kids love jumping rope, but did you know this recess-friendly activity has incredible fitness benefits for grown-ups? You might think you no longer have the energy, but even beginners can benefit from taking some quick hops (so long as you maintain the correct posture). Jump rope is an effective cardio exercise that works your arms, legs, and core, helps strengthen your bones, and improves balance.

To get started, try this 15-minute jump rope workout designed by Buddy Lee, a Virginia-based jump rope expert, Olympic wrestler, and author. Begin each move with your knees slightly bent, holding the rope at about hip height, and your palms facing your body. With each jump, push evenly off the balls of your feet, keeping your knees soft and your torso upright. Resist the urge to bounce between jumps.

A note on ropes: If you're a beginner, grab a heavy PVC rope (available at most sporting-goods stores; test the weight by hand). The rope's weightiness will make you jump more slowly. Switch to a lighter PVC version as you advance, so you can jump faster and increase the intensity.

01 of 05

Basic Jump

Jump Rope Exercise Basic Jump
Jason Lee

Swing the rope over your head and jump as it passes your feet. You don't have to jump high, just enough to clear the rope. Land evenly on the balls of both feet. Continue for one minute, keeping up a steady rhythm, then rest for one minute.

02 of 05

Alternate-Foot Jump

Jump Rope Workout illustration alternate foot jump
Jason Lee

Swing the rope over your head and jump as it passes your feet. Land on your right foot. On the next rotation, land on your left. Continue this for one minute as if you were running in place. Rest for one minute.

03 of 05

Combo Jump

Jump Rope Workout illustration combo jump workout
Jason Lee

Repeat the alternate-foot jump for eight turns of the rope. Next, do eight basic jumps. Continue this alternating pattern for one minute, rest for one minute, then repeat the sequence.

04 of 05

High Step

Jump Rope Workout high step jump workout
Jason Lee

Repeat the alternate-foot jump, but this time raise each knee to a 90-degree angle while jumping. Continue for one minute, then rest for one minute.

05 of 05

Endurance Jump

Jump Rope Workout illustration endurance jump workout
Jason Lee

Do either the basic jump or the alternate-foot jump for five minutes. If you can't keep it up that long, start by jumping for one minute, resting for one minute, and repeating for five sets. Aim to complete at least 600 jumps total.

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  1. Zhao R, Zhao M, Zhang L. Efficiency of jumping exercise in improving bone mineral density among premenopausal women: a meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2014;44(10):1393-1402. doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0220-8

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