10 Skipping Rope Exercises for a Better Body

Hey guys!

So, in a recent post I wrote about my affection for skipping and the incredible benefits of skipping rope.

But today is a new day.

Today, I want to talk about something new, something different. I want to show you how you can progress your skipping routine by adding some cool variations.

I want to show you a few skipping rope exercises that can help you build an incredible body.

Let’s get started…

Skipping requires complete coordination of your entire body.

Skipping combines rhythm and timing as you have to recognize the skipping rope’s distance, direction, speed, and position.

Skipping is a great cardiovascular exercise and is a great way to burn a boat load of calories.

Researches say that one hour of skipping rope can help you burn over 1,000 calories.

But I’ve been skipping for a long time now. My training routine as a boxer relied heavily on skipping rope. It was a huge part of our training structure when I trained Muay Thai. And, as we all know, when you do something for a while, it tends to get a little bit boring.

My solution to boredom?

Add Variation

I started incorporating a variety of skipping rope exercises into my skipping routine. Or, more simply, I started to play around with different combinations. I started to change up my foot patterns, my pace, my hand movements. I started to utilize equipment such as bosu balls. I tried anything I could think of.

So, in honour of the grueling skipping workout I just completed, here is a list of my 10 favorite most effective skipping rope exercises:

1. Criss-cross

A simple variation where you cross and uncross your feet each jump. Don’t always follow the same patterns. Sometimes I will cross my feet with my right foot in front three times and left foot in front only once. This improves your coordination and focus. See image below for better clarity.

Foot patterns for criss-cross. Follow steps 1 to 4. Make sure you stay on your toes the entire time.

2. Heel to Toe

I don’t remember where I learned this variation but it’s been a great addition to my list. Simply jump forwards and backwards only forwards you’re landing on your toes and backwards you’re landing on your heels. Be careful on the heel landing – it should be soft.

3. Running in one spot

I use this skipping rope exercise to finish all of my skipping workouts. Each skip of the rope is one step. You’re basically running in one spot with the rope. When I do this combination it feels as if the rope is going a hundred miles per hour. It’s great for cardio training and improving the muscular endurance in your arms. I often utilize the side rope swing (see next) to relieve stress from my arms.

4. Side rope swings

This is not a foot placement variation. It is a very popular hand maneouvre that I’ve picked up during my boxing career. It has helped me tremendously in making my skipping workouts more effective. The reason is two-fold: 1) It’s great for transitioning from one combination to another; 2) It works wonders from relieving your arms of tension (during prolonged workouts). It takes a while to get but if you work on it you’ll see it’s not very difficult. The idea is to push the skipping rope to the side by moving both hands to one side. On the next skip you bring the rope back to the middle so it goes around your body.

I’ve just realized how hard it is to explain this one with words so I’ve made a video to show you exactly how it’s done. Click here to see the video (note: this variation is outlined at the 1:07 minute mark). This is by far the most effective skipping rope exercise as I often combine it with all the others.

5. High knees

This is a great exercise to incorporate into a dynamic warm up. It is similar to running in one spot except after each step you will be bringing your knee up high to your chest. The objective is to bring each knee up as high as you can to activate your hip flexors and extendors as well as your abdominal musculature.

6. Double Jumps

This is probably the most difficult combination to pull off. Boxers use this variation most often (in fact, some of them only skip using double jumps). The idea is to jump high enough and swing your hands fast enough so the rope goes around twice for each jump. This one will take a while to master but it is worth the effort.

7. One Foot Jumps

The concept here is simple – skip on one foot instead of two. You’ll really feel your calves working here. Play around with this one. Change up how many jumps per foot. Change up how you land on each foot (toe or heel). Change up your landing spots. Be creative.

8. One + Combo

This is a combination of the one foot jumps and the side rope swings. I try to play around with all sorts of combinations and this one I found particularly effective (and fun). Start by doing one one-foot-jump on each foot, then do a side swing. Do two one-foot-jumps on each foot then a side swing. Next is three one-foot-jumps and a side swing. Continue progressively increasing the number of one foot jumps and use a side swing as a transition. Feel free to go up to whatever number you think you can handle. I often work my way up and then work my way back down. It’s a great physical and mental challenge.

9. Split Jumps

This is a rather challenging variation because your balance and coordination have to be spot on. For each skip, alternate one foot forward and one foot back (on your toes). Your pace will naturally be slower because your feet have more ground to cover. Don’t get discouraged with this one. It looks easier than it is. I’m still working on improving my split jumps.

Foot patterns for split jumps. Alternate between positions 1 and 2. Remember to stay on your toes the entire time.

10. Two-by-two combo

This is one of my favorite one-foot-jump combos. I simply jump twice on my right foot and twice on my left foot and I continue alternating. I’ve done this skipping exercise so often that now I can get a very fast pace going. I often tend to make this a three-by-three combo or a five-by-two combo (I’m usually all over the place) to keep my body guessing.

As you can see, skipping is all about being creative. I’ve tried countless combinations over the years and am surprised by how many new ideas keep popping up.


I’ve put together a new post that outlines everything you need to know about skipping rope. Find it here:

Jump Rope Manifesto: Complete Guide to Skipping Rope

Skipping will always be a huge part of my training routine. There are simply too many benefits to pass up. If you’re like me, you’ll need some variation to keep you entertained. Try out my 10 skipping rope exercises and let me know what you think! If there are any unique combinations you know of, please share them in the comments below.

67 thoughts on “10 Skipping Rope Exercises for a Better Body”

  1. Srdjan,

    I’m training boxing and the rope is an invaluable tool. I can’t think of any tool that is so versatile, portable, yet works the entire body.

      1. Srdjan, Right now I’m using a speed rope with weighted handles and a leather rope. Hoping to get a weighted one like the Thai boxers use.

  2. Great video!! I was looking for a cardio workout that wasn’t boring like treadmill machines and the like. Can’t wait to get some ropes now 🙂

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