The jump rope is one of the best cardio exercises you can do, as it boosts your endurance, heart strength, and circulation. It’s not an exercise that everybody can do easily, though.
If you’re looking to use the jump rope to burn calories, get in shape, improve your lower body strength, or boost flexibility and stability, you may want to know how to get better at jump rope.
If this is an exercise that you struggle to do, you might have come here looking for some tips on how to improve your form and how to make the jump rope easier to use.
I want to share with you some tips on strengthening your body and perfecting your form so that the jump rope isn’t quite as challenging for you.
There are some common mistakes that people make while jumping rope as well, and we’re going to get into those, so you don’t have to make the same ones.
Things to Avoid When Jump Roping
Let’s start first with those common missteps. The biggest one is probably landing too hard on your feet.
If you land with a lot of force on the flat of your feet when jumping rope, you’re putting stress on your ankles and feet, and you could be damaging your knees.
Jumping rope with poor posture and poor form can cause micro fractures. You can cause severe damage to your lower body by the way you land, which is why jumping exercises like the jump rope are something you have to be really careful with. You can’t just do them any way you want.
When you land each time you jump with the rope, you want to land softly. If you land loudly and put a lot of pressure on your knees, you’re going to hurt yourself, especially over the long run.
Even people with knee problems, arthritis, and other lower body issues can use the jump rope. They just have to make sure they’re using it properly.
Landing hard on your feet can be painful and make it very difficult to use the jump rope for extended periods of time.
You also want to be careful about jumping too high. When jumping rope, you are not trying to jump as high as possible.
You need to pace yourself, because jumping too high when you wear yourself out quickly. You won’t get the full benefit of jumping rope if you’re trying to jump as high as possible for each jump.
You only need to jump high enough to get over the rope as it passes under you. This should just be a few inches off the ground, so even if you don’t have much of a vertical jump, you can still use the jump rope for exercise.
What Muscles Does Jump Rope Work?
If jumping rope is proving difficult for you, you can work on some of those muscle groups that you use for it. Let’s consider the muscles used to jump rope- calves, quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
If you build those up, jumping rope will become much easier. You will be able to jump quickly and lightly with strong lower body muscles.
Any exercises that help to build up these leg muscles will improve your jumping rope sessions. You’ll be able to jump rope for longer without feeling exhausted and sore.
You’ll also be able to jump quickly over the rope without hesitation, keeping up a continuous jumping rope rhythm for long periods of time.
Stopping and starting the exercise means that you’re not getting as many benefits as you could compared to if you were able to keep up in regular rhythm for a long period of time. So, if you’re building up these lower body muscles, you need to be consistent and maximize your workout benefits.
You can do leg presses to build up those muscles, as well as running, swimming, and squats. These are some of the best ways to strengthen those leg muscles and develop them for improved jump rope sessions.
If you’re really struggling to do jump rope, I suggest working some leg exercises and lower body exercises into your regular workout routine.
Squats are probably the best lower body exercise to target all those muscles that are used in jumping rope. If you want to boost your jump rope performance very quickly, then you’ll need to challenge yourself with squats.
This will mean doing squats more quickly or for longer periods of time, or it can mean adding weights to your squats.
Using a weighted vest, ankle weights, or dumbbells with your squats can make them far more effective.
Another way to boost the effectiveness of squats is to do box jump squats. This is an intense exercise that works your body with a jumping motion similar to jumping rope, but you will be jumping much higher and farther than what’s required for jumping rope. It builds up all those same muscles. This may be a good way for you to work your way up to jumping rope.
Why I suggest the box jump squats is because you don’t have to keep a rhythm. You can rest between each jump, and you will build up the muscles necessary for jumping rope.
How to Get Better at Jumping Rope
Use Music to Keep a Rythm
Another way to help with your jumping jacks is to develop a proper rhythm. Some people struggle with their jump rope, and what might help is to play some music with a fast tempo when you jump.
This prepares your body for those jumps, increasing heart rate and blood flow through the speed of the music. It’s a known fact that listening to fast music increases your heart rate and the rhythms of your body.
It makes sense, then, that with the right kind of music, you can build up a rhythm that would be helpful for jumping rope.
Try playing some fast music next time you’re jumping rope, if you’re struggling with keeping up a steady rhythm.
See if it makes a difference at all, as this little tip has helped many people improve their jump rope performance and keep a steady rhythm for their exercise session.
Stretch before You Jump
I want to leave you with one last bit of advice that can really make a difference in your jumping rope exercises. That would be to spend time stretching out before you start jumping rope.
This prepares your body for the motions you go through, helping get rid of tension and stretching out your muscles so they are less likely to become injured.
It’s really vital that you warm up before you do a high intensity exercise like jumping rope. If you don’t, you may have to quit early because you don’t feel very good.
You may also take longer to recover from the workout due to muscle soreness.
Stretching also gets your body ready for exercise. It gets the blood flowing and the heart pumping so that your body is prepared for what’s to come in.
That way, you are not shocking your body by going from a state of almost no activity into the high intensity requirements of jumping rope.
If you ease into this exercise by warming up your muscles first, you hurt your body less and will be at less risk of injury.
You don’t have to give up on jumping rope just because it’s proving difficult for you. If you follow the tips I’ve given you, you should have a lot less trouble jumping rope.
It may take a little while to build up your body to get it to a state where it can handle jumping rope, but you’ll get there in time.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://awellnessbody.com.