Jump rope woman

Photo credit: Getty Images

Rope jumping is one of the fastest ways to scorch calories while building stamina, power, and speed. Plus it improves both agility and coordination—skills that will assist you in many other areas of sports, fitness, and daily life. So why don’t more of us pick up a rope and start skipping?

“People are still often intimidated by the idea of jumping rope, especially if they don’t think they are ‘good’ at it to start,” says Tim Haft, creator of Punk Rope workouts and a trainer based in New York City. Haft’s popular Punk Rope group classes, which mix rope jumping with conditioning drills, are designed to take out some of that intimidation factor by placing an emphasis on fun drills. And by keeping the rope jumping down to two-minute intervals, you won’t get gassed out as easily, he adds.

Haft’s 15-minute jump-and-burn circuit is perfect for even crazy-busy days when you don’t have time to get to the gym or squeeze in a full workout. It mixes short jump-rope intervals with body-weight moves that’ll work every muscle while blasting more than 200 calories. Time permitting, start with a five-minute warmup (light jog or dynamic stretches like high knees, butt kicks, shoulder rolls, etc.) and end with five minutes to cool down and stretch. Give it a try whenever you need a fast workout or want a little extra burn on cardio day.

SEE ALSO: 11 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts

High-Intensity Finishers Will Amp Up Your Workout

15-Minute Jump-and-Burn Workout

1. Rope Jumping: Basic Bounce

(2 minutes)

Keep feet close together, knees slightly bent, elbows close to ribs, turning rope with wrist and lightly bouncing off feet, jumping only about an inch off the ground.

2. Panther Crawl

(1 minute)

Begin on all fours, crawling forward with left hand and right leg, then alternate sides. Keep back straight and knees low to ground throughout.

3. Rope Jumping: Ski Jump/Bell Jump

(alternate 15 seconds each for a total of 2 minutes)

Ski jump: Do three basic bounce jumps to get started. On third jump, hop laterally to the right, pushing off outside of left foot. On next revolution, hop laterally to the left, pushing off the outside of right foot. Keep the range of motion small to start.

Bell jump: Do three basic bounce jumps, then take a small jump forward, leaning back slightly; on the next revolution, take a small jump backward, leaning forward slightly. Begin with small jumps and increase the distance as you get stronger.

4. Body-Weight Row

(1 minute)

Position yourself under a table or a bar on a rack, gripping the edge with both hands about shoulder-distance apart, arms extended. Pull chest up until nearly in contact with the surface, then lower to start and repeat.

5. Rope Jumping: Straddles/Scissors

(alternate 15 seconds each for a total of 2 minutes)

Straddle jump: Begin with the basic bounce; after the third jump, bring feet apart (like a jumping jack), trying not to kick heels up. On next rotation, bring feet back together. Keep range of motion small; try not to let knees collapse inward.

Scissors: Begin with basic bounce; after third jump, bring right foot forward and left foot back; on next revolution switch foot position. Land on the balls of both feet, keeping knees slightly bent, and imagine feet gliding over the ground.

6. Pushup

(1 minute)

7. Rope Jumping: Arm Cross/Swing & Jump

(alternate 15 seconds each for a total of 2 minutes)

Arm cross: Begin with basic bounce, after third jump, cross forearms in front of your body. On next revolution, uncross arms. Keep handles extended beyond hips when arms are crossed, so arms are down, not out.

Swing & jump: Hold handles close together just above waist height, elbows tight to ribs. Move hands in a figure-eight pattern, allowing hips to sway with the movement. After side swing, bring one hand up and across to opposite hip and jump through this loop. Alternate swing and jumps.

8. Squat Jump

(1 minute)

9. Rope Jumping: Double Unders/High Knees

(alternate 15 seconds each for a total of 2 minutes)

Double under: This CrossFit fave involves two rotations of the rope for a single jump. To do it, you need to jump a little higher than usual. Start by jumping without the rope and tapping your thighs twice (the first as soon as you leave the ground and the second at the top of your jump). Do not tuck your knees, kick your feet back, or pike. The goal is to turn the rope fast enough so that it passes under your feet twice before they hit the ground. To do this, flick your wrists twice in a row as soon as you jump up in a circular motion, keeping elbows pinned to sides. 

High knee: Begin with the basic bounce; after third jump, hop off left foot and drive right knee up; on next revolution recover with a basic bounce. Then repeat, hopping off right foot and driving left knee up.

10. Plank Jack

(1 minute)

From a full plank position, jump feet together and wider than hip-distance apart, keeping core tight and upper body still.

Check out the next page for tips that will have you jumping rope like a pro. 

Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

Try this: Punk Rope Jump Ropes

These inexpensive ropes, made, from a high-density plastic material, are perfect for all fitness levels, plus they’re more versatile and durable than their cable counterparts. they feature easy-to-grip plastic handles and a snap lock that makes the rope easy to shorten. available in eight bright colors or patterns.
($8, timhaft.com)

Don’t Get Tripped Up

Skip like a pro with these easy-to-follow training tips.


A properly sized rope is crucial for success. Stand on middle of rope with one foot and pull the handles straight up so the rope is taut. For beginners, the top of the handles should reach the shoulder; for more advanced jumpers, aim for the nipple line.


Your weight should be over the balls of your feet with ankles, knees, and hips relaxed. Tuck your elbows next to your ribs and keep your hands slightly in front of your hips.


“Most of the movement comes from your wrists,” explains Haft. “Turn the rope by rotating your wrists, not by cranking your elbows or muscling it with your shoulders.”


Turn first, then jump. If you jump too early, you’ll be forced to jump much higher than is optimal, notes Haft.


“Tension is your enemy. It leads to fatigue and clumsy execution,” says Haft. “Think of the rope as your dance partner, so that it moves gently with you at
all times.”

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways Jumping Rope Can Help You Look and Perform Better