Jump Rope Training

The jump rope (rope skipping) is an excellent tool for GPP. You can purchase a jump rope for less than $10. Benefits include:

  • Enhance anaerobic endurance
  • Improve agility and footwork
  • Improve coordination, balance, timing, and rhythm
  • Faster hands and feet
  • Strengthen arms, wrists, shoulders, and back

A Few Pointers

  • Use a flat, non-abrasive floor surface
  • Land with soft feet, do not stomp into the ground
  • Land on the balls of the feet
  • To determine the proper length for the rope, step on the middle and the handles should reach your armpits.

Turning The Rope
The traditional rope turn begins with the upper arms held close to the body. The forearms are held down and out at a 45-degree angle. With this arm position, the hands and wrists will do most of the work. You will make small circles with the wrists, minimizing arm movement.

To increase the workload of the arms, keep the elbows in by your sides, with the forearms parallel to the ground.

Regardless of hand position, focus on speed when jumping rope. Turn the rope fast! If you turn the rope slow, you will miss the true conditioning benefits of jump rope training.

Jump Rope Variations
You can incorporate several variations into a jump rope program. Each variation will challenge your coordination and agility in a unique fashion. Below I have
listed several variations that I encourage you to try.

Run In Place: Run in place while jumping rope. Land on the balls of your feet and flex the lower leg to form a 90-degree angle with the back of your thigh. You
can run in place with the knees up or down. By lifting the knees up to hip level, you will target the quadriceps. By keeping the knees down, you will work the

Sprint In Place: A variation to running in place involves an all out sprint with the rope. You will remain stationary and jump rope with a “sprint” pace. For this
variation, you should run in place with the knees up. This is an excellent exercise to improve anaerobic endurance.

Side-to-Side: Jump with your feet together in a side-to-side motion while skipping rope.

Side-to-Side Twists: A variation to the side-to-side jump involves a simultaneous rotation of the hips. While jumping from side-to-side, you will rotate the hips back and forth like a slalom skier.

Heel-Toe: Jump once to each turn of the rope, alternating your right and left feet from heel to toe. The heel and toe of opposite feet will contact the ground at the same time. For example, your right heel will touch the ground in sync with your left toe and vice versa.

Forward – Backward Spread: Alternate one foot forward and one foot backward as you turn the rope. The left foot lands forward and the right foot lands back on the first turn, then the right foot lands forward and the left foot lands back on the second turn. Continue in this alternating fashion. This variation is commonly referred to as the Ali Shuffle.

Front-to-Back: With your feet together, alternate jumping forward and backward while turning the rope.

Corner Jumping: Jump in the pattern of a square. You will jump to each corner of the square while turning the rope. This variation will improve your agility in all
directions. You will jump forward, backward, and side-to-side.

Straddle: Start with your feet together for the first turn of the rope. Spread your feet to the sides for the second turn. Continue as if you were performing jumping jacks with the rope.

Cross Straddle: For this variation, laterally cross the right leg over the left leg, and then cross the left leg over the right leg. Continue in this alternating fashion.

Criss-Cross: Cross the arms at the elbows on the downward swing of the rope. Jump through the loop of the rope that is formed in front of your body. Uncross
the arms on the next downward swing. Continue to criss-cross the rope in this alternating fashion.

Single Leg Bounce: Bounce once to each turn of the rope, using one foot at a time. Alternate between right and left foot. A sample routine involves a ladder
where you start with 1 jump on the left foot, then 1 with the right, 2 with the left foot, then 2 with the right, 3 with the left foot, then 3 with the right, and so on until you reach 10. You can then start over with 1 jump per foot and continue.

Double Unders: Make two turns of the rope for every one jump. Keep your feet together and turn the rope fast to allow two full turns for every jump.

Double Unders – Single Leg: A more difficult variation is to perform a double under on one leg at a time. Work 5 double unders on the left leg, and then 5 on
the right leg. Continue with this back and forth pattern.


Putting It All Together
If jumping rope is new to you, you can begin by performing 1 or 2 minute rounds followed by 1-minute of rest. Eventually, you should progress to 3-minute rounds on the jump rope. During this time, you can alternate between various jump rope styles. You can alternate between 30 seconds of all out jumping, followed by 30 seconds of less intense work. You can repeat this pattern with one of many jump rope variations. You can also perform each variation for 10-20 jumps and continue down the line. A third option involves changing variations for each round on the rope.

If you really want to crank up the intensity, you can purchase a jump rope with weighted handles. The extra resistance will strengthen the shoulders and arms.
If you do not want to purchase a separate weighted rope, you can wear a light pair of wrist weights to add resistance while jumping rope. The added resistance
is an excellent way to improve anaerobic endurance.

You can also reduce the period between rounds from 1-minute to 30 seconds.
When you can jump rope for 6 hard rounds with only 30-seconds of rest between rounds, you are making excellent progress.