Jumping Rope: Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Let's learn how to jump a rope!

Even if you're stuck at home, a jump rope can make a great cardio workout.

You just have to know what you're doing so you don't keep hitting your shin.

Don't be afraid, even if you've never touched a skipping rope before, we'll make it easy for you to get started.

We specialize in helping people exercise from home with little to no equipment. Today we're sharing a beginner's skipping rope workout routine that you can do anywhere.

If you're in a hurry, get in touch with us free weekly newsletter and we will send you PDFs of our "Work Out at Home" manuals!

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We will cover the following:

Cue the Rocky theme song …

… And let's do it!

How do i jump rope (Video for noobs)

Coach Matt from our online coaching program guides you through learning to jump rope in the video above.

Matt breaks the skipping rope into three parts:

  1. The jump
  2. The arm swings
  3. Timed coordination


# 1) The jump

For now, let's just practice jumping.

Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart.

Then practice jumping up and down in one place.

Most of your strength will come from your ankles and toes. It's really more of a "jump" than a jump.

If you're having trouble with this, Coach Matt recommends drawing some sort of "X" or mark on the floor to keep you in one place.

Another tip from Coach Matt: Keep a little tension in your body. If you're too loose, you can twirl around a little and miss your mark.

# 2) The arm swings

Your arms remain largely stable as you drive the rope. We want to keep movement tight, mostly of your wrists.

The name of the game with skipping rope is "control". Swinging from your wrists will keep you in control of the rope.

Resist trying to turn with lots of elbow movement (try to keep them steady instead).

For the position of your arms, you want to stretch your hands out at about the level of your hips. Your arms will move down at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.

At the beginning, you can even try to lower the rhythm with one hand:

At first don't worry about jumping.

Once you get comfortable swinging with both hands, it's time to start thinking about putting it all together.

# 3) timing

When you first get started, slowly walk your arms and do two jumps per turn of the rope.

It looks like this:

As you start in this position, you may find that your elbows are flapping outward a bit as they move slowly. So you have less control over the wrist.

That's okay.

Once you are comfortable with the rhythm, try one hope per turn of the rope to tighten everything up. You may find it easier to keep your arms and elbows stable and move faster.

Here's a great point from Coach Matt: As a beginner, the rope itself will be your coach.

If you hit your shins or toes with the rope, something went wrong. Maybe you jumped too high or your elbows fell off a little.

No problem. Just accept that the rope will give you instant feedback and try again.

It can be difficult to determine the rhythm and timing with a jump rope. So stay tuned and be patient.

Once you get the feeling about it, it's time to do some workouts.

The nerd fitness jump rope workout (with video tutorial)

Coach Matt will guide you through 5 different levels of difficulty for your skipping rope training.

If you are familiar with high intensity interval training you will find that this is the strategy for our skipping rope workouts for beginners.

Now let's go through each level.

Jump rope workout level 1::

  • Individual subunits: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds

Total time: 5 minutes

If this is too much, you can extend your rest period. That means you can rest for 45 seconds, no problem.

For the next level we do the same moves, but we increase your single under the duration

Jump rope workout level 2::

  • Individual subunits: 45 seconds
  • Pause: 15 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 45 seconds
  • Pause: 15 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 45 seconds
  • Pause: 15 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 45 seconds
  • Pause: 15 seconds
  • Individual subunits: 45 seconds
  • Pause: 15 seconds

Total time: 5 minutes

On level 3It's time to mix in duplicate underwear.

During our jump interval, you can do all the others, so a single sub, followed by a single double under (1 jump, 2 turns of the rope).

If this is too difficult, double under for every four normal jumps.

Just try to keep it consistent as this will help your rhythm.

The mission with level 3 is to make yourself comfortable doing double underwear.

Jump rope workout level 3::

  • Single / Double Under Mix: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Single / Double Under Mix: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Single / Double Under Mix: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Single / Double Under Mix: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Single / Double Under Mix: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds

Total time: 5 minutes

Now that you are Level 4Everything is always double.

We're going to focus on building electricity, so we'll do intervals for 15 seconds and then rest for 45.

Jump rope workout level 4::

  • Double bottom: 15 seconds
  • Pause: 45 seconds
  • Double bottom: 15 seconds
  • Pause: 45 seconds
  • Double bottom: 15 seconds
  • Pause: 45 seconds
  • Double bottom: 15 seconds
  • Pause: 45 seconds
  • Double bottom: 15 seconds
  • Pause: 45 seconds

Total time: 5 minutes

For our last workout today, we increase the double underwear duration to 30 seconds and then rest at the same time.

This could be a challenge.

Jump rope workout level 5::

  • Double bottom: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Double bottom: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Double bottom: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Double bottom: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds
  • Double bottom: 30 seconds
  • Pause: 30 seconds

Total time: 5 minutes

If single and double jumps get boring, don't be afraid.

We're going to cover additional exercises you can do now to improve your skipping rope game.

Feel free to combine any of the following movements in your workout.

After a while, your rest period can be normal hops, while your interval period can be one of those sweet moves.

The 13 best jump rope exercises

Now that you know the basics of jumping rope, we're going to cover a few moves so you can expand your workout.

# 1) The single under

This is the most basic jump rope exercise. One jump per turn of the rope, both feet together.

Get that down before you continue from here.

# 2) Double single foot jumps

Try hopping on one foot once you get the single below.

To really test your balance, jump off the same foot twice.

An example shot would go left foot, left foot, right foot, right foot with one turn of rope in between.

# 3) Kick out jumps

Here you take turns taking one foot forward with each jump.

While your left side is down, your right foot is stepping out.

You hop and switch feet between turns of the rope. It's harder than it looks.

# 4) Jump rope lifter

Your feet behave like a normal springbok and jump wide apart with every second jump.

Your arms stay under like a normal single, so it's more like "half a jack".

# 5) twist jumps

This skipping rope exercise is all about turning the upper body.

Your feet will jump together but rotate about 180 degrees from left to right and rotate from your hip.

Your shoulders will stay tight, which will keep the rope in place.

# 6) skier

Feet land together for your skier, but one leg is in front and the other in back.

You switch leg positions between jumps in a scissor-like motion.

# 7) High knees

Alternate your hop from one leg to the other. The trick is to keep your knees up while doing this.

# 8) Butt kicks

These are similar to your high knees but are reversed as you are trying to get your foot back to the point where it meets your gluteus muscle (butt).

A good counter exercise for your high knees.

# 9) Squat jumps

If you really want to challenge your lower body, hold a squat position while hopping.

Your entire lower body is engaged in this exercise.

# 10) Squat jacks

As the name suggests, we combine our squat jumps with jumping jacks.

To do this, perform skipping rope lifts, but end up crouching if your legs are thrown far out.

This quickly becomes challenging.

# 11) Criss Cross Jacks

These are like jumping jacks, but instead of bringing your feet together, cross one foot in front of the other.

Your feet will go wide, then left to right, then wide, then right to left, then wide.

After some practice, the coordination is finished.

# 12) Skipping rope Figure 8

We'll have fun with it.

In this exercise, you will do four normal jumps followed by four twist jumps.

Here's the fun part: as you twist, bring your arms together and let the rope make one turn on the side you're twisting away from. Switch to the other side and combine twist, hop and whip.

Don't feel bad if this takes practice. This begins to get into the area of ​​"skipping rope tricks".

# 13) The double under

This is one of the more advanced skipping rope moves as you have to swing the rope underneath you twice per jump.

Coach Jim walks you through the performance of Double Unders in this video:

If you consistently bring the double down, you are no longer a skipping rope noob.

Do you want a workout where you do some of these skipping rope movements? If so, Check out our new app!

NF Journey tailors a workout for you based on your level of experience and also shows you exactly how to use your skipping rope.

No guesswork required, just grab your rope and follow the app.

You can sign up for a free trial version here:

How do I choose a skipping rope? (Type and length)

There are a few things to consider when choosing a skipping rope: type and length.

Let's discuss both of them.

In general, there are three types of jump ropes that you will come across.

# 1) speed ropes

This is the most common type of skipping rope that you will come across. It's also something Co.Oh Matt used in his videos above.

Speed ​​ropes are light, which is helpful with certain movements like the double under.

The Coach Matt speed rope has a plastic sleeve, but occasionally you can only find this with the wire. That makes it even easier. The danger here is that if you hit yourself … it's with a bare wire …


WOD Nation has a decent coated speed skipping rope that doesn't sell out (unlike a lot of other fitness equipment).

# 2) pearl ropes

You probably used this rope in the playground as a child.

Beaded skipping ropes do not tangle as easily as speed ropes and weigh a little more.

They're also chunkier and make double undergarments harder, but the little extra weight could make it easier for beginners to deal with.

Rogue Fitness has some pretty cool things to see.

# 3) Weighted ropes

We have weighted ropes for advanced jumpers.

These can range from a one pound rope to a six pound rope.

Why the extra weight?

With additional weight, your upper body receives a more intensive workout.

If you are a beginner it is probably best to skip these for now (hehe) but something to keep in mind as you improve your skipping rope skills.

For those interested, this is a decent weighted jump rope that is still available.

The next question we want to answer: How long should my skipping rope be?

The good news here: most skipping ropes you buy are adjustable.

When properly adjusted, step on your skipping rope with one foot and both handles should reach right around your armpit:

If it's a little higher or lower it might be fine, but you will likely need good skipping rope technique to skip properly.

How to Jump a Rope (Without a Rope)

In the video above, Coach Jim walks you through 3 alternatives to the jump rope.

Just in case you want to get your heart rate up and don't have a rope around you, or when you're just starting out and haven't got your rhythm right.

Here are three alternatives for skipping ropes::

Jump rope alternative # 1: march in place

This is as easy as it sounds, just march in place. The higher you bring your knees, the more difficult this becomes.

Jump rope alternative # 2: climber

Mountaineers do:

  • Put your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Place your right foot near your right hand, but extend your left leg behind you.
  • Switch your legs in one movement and keep your arms in the same position.
  • Keep switching your legs and trying to keep your arms and back in a stapling position.

Jump rope alternative no.3: Hop in Place

Last but not least, you can just look for an alternative to skipping ropes.

Where should i jump rope?

The cool thing about a jump rope is that you can use it virtually anywhere, as long as you have the leeway.

That doesn't really mean that you should be jumping everywhere as not all surfaces for jumping are created equal.

In the videos and gifs above, you'll notice that both nerd fitness trainers use mats to practice jump ropes.

That's a good idea.

Jumping on a mat puts less strain on your joints and reduces the risk of injury.

When jumping onto a harder surface like concrete or asphalt, it's okay to just focus on less intense movements like individual surfaces. You may want to save the fancy moves and duplicate subsurfaces when you have a more forgiving surface underneath you.

The other thing to consider is your shoes.

Something with good shock absorption will help when your feet hit the ground.

You don't necessarily need a running shoe as you walk up and down from your toes. But you probably don't want to jump barefoot either, as this rope hitting unprotected toes isn't fun.

Here is our guide to healthy feet, which includes some general shoe recommendations.

Will the skipping rope help me lose weight?

If you're trying to lose weight, a jump rope and one of the workouts above can be an important part of the plan.

The other part of the plan should be your diet!

We believe we will spell this out in our Nerd Fitness Prime coaching program and our comprehensive guide to eating healthily Diet is 80-90% of the equation for weight loss.

No joke.

It is by far the greatest success factor.

So are you going to weight jump jump rope?

In any case, maybe!

If you correct your diet AND incorporate skipping rope workouts a few times a week, you will find that you gain muscle, lose fat, and get stronger!

This is because with a skipping rope you are training to:

  • Calves
  • Posterior deltoid muscles
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings

As long as you get it right:

My point is that jumping rope needs to be part of a bigger weight loss picture.

How do you fix your diet?

Good question.

Whether you choose to go on a keto diet, a paleo diet, a Mediterranean diet, or something like intermittent fasting, the best route will guide you towards your goals, situation, and habits.

Here are some basic tips (as we treat in the 5 rules to lose weight):

  1. If your goal is weight loss, you need to eat less than you burn each day. This can be done by eating less and burning more (from the resistance band training above).
  2. Processed foods and junk foods make it really difficult to lose weight: They are high in calories and carbohydrates, low in nutritional value, do not fill you up and lead to overeating.
  3. Vegetables are your friends. If you don't like vegetables, here's how to make vegetables taste great.
  4. Liquid calories sabotage your efforts. Soda, juice, sports drinks: they're all fairly high-calorie, sugary water with minimal nutritional value. Get your caffeine from black coffee or tea, carbonated drink from sparkling water.
  5. Eat more protein! Protein helps build muscle and can help you stay below your calorie limit as it will fill you up and fill you up. Here's exactly how much protein you should be eating each day.

These tips should get you started. However, if you want more specific instructions and guidance, check out the NF Coaching Program – Your coach creates a routine tailored to your individual needs and the equipment available:

A Nerd Fitness Coach Can Guide Your Weight Loss Journey! Find out more here.

How to Create a Jump Rope Workout (Next Steps)

The only question that remains to be answered in this manual is, "When should you do your skipping rope exercises?"

You have a number of different options for doing this, with a few considerations.

# 1) Jump rope to warm up

All nerd fitness workouts need to be warmed up before starting.

It can be five minutes of simple exercises like arm circles:

Or jumping jacks.

Do you know what else it can be? Five minutes of skipping rope!

A short lap of skipping rope is a perfect warm-up exercise for any workout you choose.

Is your gym closed? No problem, check out our guide to The 8 Best At Home Workouts.

# 2) Jump rope for active recreation

Active recovery is any gentle movement that allows your muscles to heal after a workout.

If you're bouncing at a low intensity, skipping rope workout can perfectly fit that bill.

In between your strength training sessions, you can mix in a jump rope, stretching, or even a little yoga for an active recovery.

If you don't want to jump at low intensity, you have another route.

# 3) Jump rope as a full body workout

With enough intensity, a jump rope can make a great whole body workout.

You can increase the intensity by working up to double surfaces or other advanced skipping rope exercises.

Or you can look into a weighted rope once you get the swing of things.

The other thing to consider would be circuit training, where you mix skipping ropes with some bodyweight exercises.

Perhaps alternate burpees with your skipping rope intervals.

Many HIIT workouts involve skipping rope sessions, so there are tons of ways to incorporate your skipping rope into your workout.

Once you've nailed your technique, the world becomes your skipping rope playground:

If you need help putting it all together, Nerd Fitness is there for you.

We have three great options to continue your journey with us.

Option 1) If you want a professional coach in your pocket who can do video form reviews, provide feedback, and customize your training based on the equipment available, check out our 1-on-1 online coaching program!

For example, let's say you're stuck in the house during a pandemic and you want someone to put together an exercise regimen based on the furniture and equipment you have (like a jump rope). Here an online coach changes the game!

Personally, I've been working with the same online coach since 2015 and that has changed my life. You can learn more by clicking the box below:

Our coaching program changes life. Learn how!

# 2) If you need a trigger to get up and jump, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app will help you exercise more, eat healthier, and (literally) improve your life. Also, we are sending you an adventure where you will learn how to jump a rope!

Try your free trial here:

Option 3) Be part of the rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box below to sign up and receive ours Rebel starter kit, including all of our guides who work out from home.

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  • The 15 mistakes you don't want to make.
  • Complete Guide to Most Effective Diets and Why They Work.
  • Complete and track your first workout today without the need for a gym.

Okay, I want to hear from you and your experience with skipping ropes!

Do you train with skipping ropes?

Any exercises or tricks that we are missing?

Are you one of those people who haven't touched a jump rope since elementary school?

Let me know in the comments!


P.S. If you're looking for ways to do interval training without the gym, check this out The 20-minute HIIT workout at home.


Photo source: Speed ​​Jump Rope, Beaded Jump Rope, Weighted Jump Rope, 166/366, Boxing of a Gentlemanly Sport, Jump Rope, Laughing Buddha, David Pereiras Villagrá © 123RF.com, 167/366

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