Jump Rope: The School Yard Classic!

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It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump.

I think everyone has laid hands upon a jump rope at least once in their lives. Sometimes it’s not even a jump rope; maybe you just found a length of regular rope or an extension cord or something and simply used it in the same way. It’s a simple concept, which is why you can see it in both a gym and on a playground. But while jumping rope is certainly a fun pastime for the kids, it’s also a deceptively intense workout move. Just 20 minutes of the stuff can really kick your butt, and in more ways than you might think.

Jumping rope is, perhaps unsurprisingly, fantastic cardio. Whether you’re taking short hops with both feet between skips or alternating steps with both feet, full-effort jump rope is classified as vigorous exercise that can get your heart rate up to its max in just a few minutes. Even better, consistent jump rope has actually been shown to increase the amount of oxygen your body can take in at once, which will make your cardio efforts even better.

A jump rope also slots will into interval training. After all, it’s all about concentrated intensity in a small, compact location. It’s easy to pick up and do and doesn’t require much of a warm-up, so you can quickly swap between pumping iron and jumping rope to really get some heat going. Jumping rope can also improve your physical coordination, which is important in interval training, as proper coordination helps you to swap between exercises faster and reduce your risk of injury.

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But here’s something I bet you didn’t know: studies show that jumping rope can improve your bone density. It kinda makes sense; all that bouncing around, sending waves of kinetic energy through your body, your bones will naturally toughen up on their own. Of course, the key to this is to not get too crazy with your jumps. Remember, jumping rope is all about short, controlled hops. If you try to jump as high as you can, you’ll tire yourself out too quickly. Low-impact, longer lasting. That’s the name of the game.