Jump roping is one of my favorite ways to burn calories and get your heart rate up in no time.
But it does take a good deal of coordination (and a good amount of confidence), so if you haven’t picked one up since elementary school P.E., today’s beginner tutorial will help you get started.
Watch this quick 3-minute video tutorial or follow the instructions below, and you’ll be jump roping like a pro in no time!
Jump rope like a pro
Step 1: Getting the right set up
First, obviously, you’re going to need a jump rope. I like to use a basic speed rope, but if you’re a beginner you’ll probably want to go for the classic slightly heavier jump rope because it’s slightly easier when you’re first starting out.
Next, you’re going to want to make sure the jump rope is the right height for you. You want the ends of the jump rope to go about chest level—it can be a little bit shorter, but too much harder is going to make it too difficult.
Also, make sure you’re on the right surface for jump roping. I probably don’t need to tell you that concrete or a gym floor is much easier to jump rope on than grass.
Step 2: Practice the timing
To start, grip your rope handles lightly in both hands with the rope behind you. No need for a death grip here!
Practice turning the rope in front of you, then lightly jumping as it goes around. If you’re brand new at this, try for one jump, stop, then try again. Coordination is crucial in jump roping, but it often takes time to get the timing right.
You can also practice by pretend jump roping—set your rope to the side, then try taking an imaginary jump rope and pretending to turn it over your head and jump rope it. Yes, you’ll feel a bit silly, but this will really help you figure out the timing you need to jump with an actual jump rope. Try doing this for a minute or two until you start feeling a little more comfortable.
Next, you want to start stringing your jumps together. Start with a couple at a time, and slowly start to add more together as you feel more and more coordinated. Be patient with yourself!
What to avoid when jump roping
Here are a few common mistakes and important things to avoid when jump roping:
Super wide arms. Bringing your arms way out to the side of your body makes the exercise much more inefficient, and will tire your arms out really quickly as well. So try not to do it!
Double jumping. I know it’s tempting, but double jumps can become a bad habit so try to avoid them if you can. Focus on getting the timing right and doing a quick, light jump off of the balls of your feet as you swing the rope around.
Jumping too high. You really only need to jump the minimum amount to get off the ground and allow the jump rope to go under your feet. Anything more than that will just tire you out unnecessarily. We’re not doing tuck jumps here!
Don’t give up
Be patient with yourself! Jump roping takes a lot of coordination, but with time and practice you will get it. And then you can move on to more exciting variations like double unders and high knees!