Incredible Benefits of Skipping Rope

As a child, skipping was a game.

It was a way to try and deplete an endless source of energy.

On the playgrounds you would see it all the time – kids spent their recesses skipping rope. Together. It was beyond enjoyable.

And even though it would be years before I finally understood the true benefits of skipping rope, I must say I have always admired the activity.

Today, however, it’s one of the top tools in my fitness arsenal.

It’s light, portable and relatively inexpensive. I can bring it to the gym with me or I can stay at home and build an entire home workout around it.

The options are endless.

Here are some benefits of skipping rope that you should be aware of.

Skipping rope is a very efficient and complete full-body workout. You are integrating resistance training of your calves, hamstrings, shoulders and arms with an incredible cardiovascular workout. In a sense, you are toning your muscles while strengthening your heart.

[Skipping rope was a big part of my Muay Thai training in Thailand. We used heavy ropes to make the exercise extra challenging.]

Jumping rope requires overall coordination of your body. Your arms and feet need to be in tune with each other as you continue to increase your skipping pace. It takes a lot of concentration and focus. Skipping combines rhythm and timing as you have to recognize the skipping rope’s distance, direction, speed, and position. Your brain will be forced to make extremely quick calculations. Therefore, skipping rope helps you build great overall body coordination, improved reflexes and a greater sense of balance.

Another great benefit of skipping rope is the effects it has on preventing osteoporosis.  It is an excellent weight bearing activity – it places stress on the bone which helps develop optimum bone mass. Researchers from the Osteoporosis Society in the UK have discovered that skipping throughout life helps minimize the rate of bone loss and provides the maximum protection against osteoporosis.

One of the well known benefits of skipping rope is its calorie-burning effects. Researches say that one hour of skipping rope (at a good pace) can help you burn over 1,000 calories. That comes out to roughly 20 calories per minute!

I look to incorporate a lot of interval training in my skipping workouts. This helps me burn even more calories. It’s all about increasing and decreasing intensities. For instance, I would skip at a light pace for one minute, then go all out for 30 seconds, back to a light pace for 1 minute, then go all out again for 30 seconds. I do this sequence four times (total of 6 minutes), then rest for 2-3 minutes before doing it again. These kinds of workouts really get your heart rate going which will help you burn even more calories after your workout [read more about epoc training].

One knock against skipping rope is the fact that it can get frustrating or boring. You are jumping in one spot over and over again and, thus, you are stressing your Achilles and calves constantly. When lactic acid builds up you start to fatigue and you start to make mistakes.

It’s important to always keep switching your patterns up. You can do double-foot hops, single-foot hops, criss-crosses, toe-to-heel, and even running in one spot. If your arms are starting to burn (which they will), learn how to do side skips and arm-crosses to relieve some of the tension from your arms.

If you want to add some variation to your routine, you can read about these 10 skipping rope exercises that I’ve written about or a video of these 23 skipping rope exercises I’ve put together. I show you how to change up your pace, foot patterns and even your hand placement to make skipping more challenging.


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

There you have it – the benefits of skipping rope. Go get yourself a skipping rope and  get started. Learn the basics and gradually start to incorporate new patterns and new tricks. Your body will thank you!

What are your thoughts on skipping rope? Is it a big part of your workout routine? Share in the comments below!

68 thoughts on “Incredible Benefits of Skipping Rope”

  1. When I was a younger 25+, skipping was my preferred exercise and it was addictive. I only did 15 minutes every morning and boy, was I TIGHT! I quickly got a lean muscle look that had every one complimenting me. Not only that, but, my skin glowed, my hair and nails grew faster, and jumping rope made me feel happy with incredible energy all day. I also slept better. Plus, it did not take up so much time out of my day to get into superb shape. I had started jumping rope back then because running and bicycling were damaging my knees making them unstable and causing shin splints. I have no problem with my knees when jumping rope, just calf burn as a beginner again. (I solved this by spraying my calves with magnesium chloride 15 minutes before I start.) Now however, its been a looong hiatus from any exercise and I’m back to jumping rope with an extra 60 lbs on an older body. I”m starting with 30 minutes (1min jump alternated with 1 minute stretch/walk intervals = 15 minutes of actual jumping which is all I can handle right now. I will lower the rest minutes by quarters until I’m jumping full out 15 minutes non-stop in a couple of months. On off days, I do 15 min. of yoga-like stretches to keep my spine fluid.) I will recommend one thing for all my sisters with large breasts: purchase a good under-wire bra PLUS a size smaller danskin leotard or 1/2 top to keep your breasts from being pulled downward by gravity. To conclude, what I like most about jump-roping and remember is that with continued jumping you get a fantastic body, a younger looking face (bonus!) and into a happy zone that makes you feel as if you are floating on air and can jump forever. This happens faster with jump-roping that any other sport I have ever done. Happy Jumping All!

    1. Thanks for your awesome comment Caitlin. It’s nice to see you getting back into it and starting slowly. You seem to have a nice routine down. Keep me posted with your progress!

      PS – Thanks for the ‘gravity’ tip. I’ve never had anyone complain to me about that one but it’s definitely a legitimate thing to watch out for. Ladies you definitely want to pay attention to this tip!

  2. At some point in the late 90s, I tried out jumping rope, primarily as a way to lose weight. I didn’t end up getting that far into it, because around the same time my involvement with Latin dancing took off and even though that is a relatively low intensity activity, I did it enough that I definitely no longer needed to lose weight. (Also I was so focused on dancing that given the choice between practicing my dancing and jumping rope, I would always go for the former. I did continue to ride a stationary bike to warm up, followed by a routine on weight machines.

    Here I am, about fifteen years later, and I have been dusting off my jump rope. Due to ongoing chronic allergy and sinus problems, I have been unable to be nearly as active as I was before, for almost a decade now. I can’t count on going out dancing regularly. My lifestyle has become more sedentary for other reasons as well. I need to lose weight and I’m very out of shape. So it occurred to me that I need to maximize what little time I am able to devote to exercising. That’s why I’ve decided to get back into jumping rope. (I have also gotten back to at least taking one salsa class a week, since that’s what I love, but I am not counting on it providing much in the way of weight loss.)

    Anyway, I am bookmarking this site, and appreciate the inspiration. For now I am just getting the hang of jumping rope again. My calves are complaining but am telling them they better wake up and get used to this sort of activity, because this is the way it’s going to be from now on.

    1. Hey Rudy – thanks so much for sharing your story.

      I think one of the most effective ways of incorporating exercise into your life is finding activities that you absolutely love doing. What dance was for you, basketball was for me and it always allowed me to keep moving.

      As we get older we need to find more effective and efficient ways of exercising (although I think dance is one of those life long things you can do). A few tools that can help you get the best bang for your buck are the jump rope and the kettlebell. Both are highly effective and very efficient.

      One other thing I’d like to mention is that your weight is very highly correlated to your food choices. It’s important that you change that first before anything if weight loss and optimal health are the objective.

      Let me know if you ever have any questions along the way!

      PS – I love salsa and bachata dancing. I just wish I was a little better at the former 🙂

  3. Been wanting to do jump ropes for a long time, I don’t have time to go to the gym that’s why I want something that I can do at home or in a vacation. Thank goodness I found you in YouTube. One question though, do you need to wear supporter when doing jumps? What’s your favorite brand of jump rope especially for a beginner?

  4. Hello, very nicely written. I must say I am extra motivated now.
    Used to do skipping during college days, then injured my leg badly and thought will never be able to do it again.. but have started all over again after 10 years, weighing 40 pounds more but i m and feeling greatt in resuming this exercise. Thanks

  5. Jump rope is a fantastic workout, I started gradually and now I do 1000 jumps every night, 10 sets of 100, with about 30 seconds break in between. Learned new variation from you as well which make it more fun. Thanks.

  6. started skipping after completing high school…its been 3 years now i have been skipping..feels gr8..i skip upto 1000 times everyday..plz tell me whether i will help u lose chest fat???

  7. I was seeking the for the same issue about breast size….becouse one of my friend made affraid of skipping. She said skipping may enhancs breast size and I don’t want so…will you please make this clear…

    1. Shreya, that’s a tough question for me to answer, but I can point you to a group of women who jump that might be able to help. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll shoot you a link.

  8. Am 56 and have been jumping rope since early 90s but am a bit more consistent been of late. I do about 35-40 minutes with brief rest periods (5 seconds or less). I vary speed/pattern/intensity but when I’m finished I don’t really “feel winded” as when I’m running 3 or 4 miles. Has my body gotten too used to the “routine?” Should I try for 60 minutes?

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