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I believe that most people would say jumping rope is for play, not for exercise. After all, you jumped rope as a kid on the playground and you probably forgot about it entirely after fourth grade. And it certainly isn’t touted as a benefit of joining the newest fitness center. “Join our facility! We have an excellent variety of jump ropes!” I doubt you hear that. Even if it isn’t very common as a workout tool, jumping rope fits right in with other forms of aerobic exercise (running, swimming, cycling, etc.). And as a matter of fact, it may be one of the best forms of cardio exercise out there.
For years, top athletes have been using the rope to condition for their sports. Boxers probably come to mind. But with other well-known jumpers like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball), Arnold Schwarzenegger (bodybuilding), Jerry Rice (football), or Michael Chang (tennis) joining in, jumping rope is certainly not for “girly men!”
So is jumping rope for you? Here are several reasons why you might want to give it a try:
Before you get started, first make sure you have the right sized rope for you. When you step in the center of the rope, the handles should just reach your armpits. This chart will help you find the correct length rope for your height.
It’s inexpensive. You probably have a jump rope somewhere in your house already. Otherwise, most ropes cost less than $10, while higher-quality ropes are around $20 and top-of-the-line models (made with the best materials) will set you back just $25.
You can do it practically anywhere. A jumping surface like hardwood, rubberized flooring, or very thin carpet is preferred, but any hard surface works fine. Outside, inside, at the gym—anything goes.
It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. It is estimated that 10 minutes of jumping rope (at 120 turns per minute) has the same benefit as jogging for 30 minutes. Those are great numbers for people short on time.
It’s compact. A jump rope makes a great addition (or start) to your home gym. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of equipment that takes up a lot of space. A jump rope can fit nicely in a drawer—just don’t forget it’s there!
You’ll notice improvements. Jumping rope helps build agility, speed, balance, and coordination, while improving your overall fitness level.
You can do it with your family. Because jumping rope is a fun activity that almost anyone can do, it’s also an easy way to get your whole family exercising with you. Try making a game out of it. How many jumps can you do in a minute? How many jumps can you do without stopping or messing up? What kind of cool tricks can you do while keeping the rope turning?