Jumping rope 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.

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Haft’s 15-minute jump-and-burn circuit is perfect for 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 bodyweight moves that’ll work every muscle while blasting more than 200 calories. Time permitting, start with a five-minute warmup (a light jog or dynamic moves like high knees, butt kicks, and shoulder rolls will do) and end with five minutes of stretching.

The Jump-and-Burn Workout

Give the workout below a try whenever you need a fast workout or want a little extra burn on cardio day. See below the table for instructions on each exercise.

Exercise Time
Rope Jumping: Basic Bounce 2 min.
Panther Crawl 1 min.
Rope Jumping: Ski Jump/Bell Jump alternate 15 sec. each for 2 min.
Body-weight Row 1 min.
Rope Jumping: Straddle/Scissors alternate 15 sec. each for 2 min.
Pushup 1 min.
Rope Jumping: Arm Cross/Swing & Jump alternate 15 sec. each for 2 min.
Squat Jump 1 min.
Rope Jumping: Double Under/High Knees alternate 15 sec. each for 2 min.
Plank Jack 1 min.

Basic Bounce (Rope Jumping):

  • Keep feet close together, knees bent, and elbows close to ribs.
  • Turn rope with wrist and lightly bounce off feet, jumping about an inch off the ground.

Panther Crawl:

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

Ski Jump (Rope Jumping):

  • Do three basic bounce jumps to get started.
  • On fourth 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 (Rope Jumping):

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

Body-weight Row:

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

Straddle (Rope Jumping):

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

Scissors (Rope Jumping):

  • Begin with the basic bounce; after third jump, bring right foot forward and left foot back.
  • On next revolution, switch foot position. Repeat.

Arm Cross (Rope Jumping):

  • Begin with the 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 (Rope Jumping):

  • 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.

Double Under (Rope Jumping):

  • This CrossFit fave involves two revolutions 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 Knees (Rope Jumping):

  • 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.

Plank Jack:

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