Jump Rope Exercise Routines

Tamsen Butler
Woman Doing Jump Rope Exercise

Jumping rope can be an excellent addition to any cardio or HIIT workout. It's easy to include jumping rope into your exercise routine and it will help you build stamina and endurance while challenging muscles throughout your body.

Sample Jump Rope Routines

Each of these routines are designed to be 30 minutes in length. Do a routine five days out of the week and you will meet the suggested weekly activity of 150 minutes. Set aside the first 2-3 minutes for warming up and the final 2-3 minutes for stretching - this will help you avoid injury and increase flexibility.

Beginner Routine

If you're new to jumping rope, do the best you can with the jump rope portions of the routine. As long as you're moving, you'll enjoy the cardio benefits of the movement. Listen to your body and regress to marching in place if you start to feel uncomfortable.

  1. March in place for 60 seconds. As you do so, pantomime the movements of jumping rope with your hands - this prepares your neuromuscular system for what's to come.
  2. Increase the effort of your march for another 60 seconds, pulling your knees up higher as you march. Continue moving your hands as though you were using a jump rope.
  3. Jump easily for 60 seconds, not yet adding the rope but still pantomiming the movement with your hands.
  4. Regress to the increased effort march for 60 seconds.
  5. Return to the easy jump without the rope for 60 seconds.
  6. Repeat the entire sequence again four times, making Step #4 an actual jumping rope as you feel comfortable. If you can only do the jump rope once or twice it's fine as this routine - when repeated frequently - will increase your stamina and allow you to eventually tackle a more challenging workout routine.

Calorie-Busting Cardio Routine

Cardio burns a great deal of cardio, but high intensity interval training increases the burn substantially. This HIIT workout brings your heart rate up substantially and then brings it back down before bringing it back up again. This up and down pattern is fantastic for cardiovascular training. The body weight movements are intentionally focused in the lower body; the leg muscles are large and burn more calories when challenged.

  1. Start with an easy jump rope for 60 seconds.
  2. Increase the intensity of your jump roping for an additional two minutes.
  3. Drop the rope and do deep squats for two minutes. This is an active recovery, and is designed to slow your heart rate without allowing it to drop back to recovery rate.
  4. Return to jumping rope for three minutes. If at some point you need to rest, regress to a vigorous march, returning to jumping rope when ready.
  5. Drop the rope and do alternating lunges for two minutes.
  6. Jump rope for two minutes at a vigorous pace.
  7. Hold a low wall sit for two minutes.
  8. Repeat the above sequence once more.

Abdominal Routine

This workout focuses on strengthening the abdominals. If your goal is to eventually obtain a "six pack," it's important to understand that dietary changes will help yield results.

  1. Start with an easy jump rope for 60 seconds.
  2. March in place for 60 seconds (or as long as it takes for your heart rate to slow down to where you don't feel winded).
  3. Take it to the floor for a 60 second plank (don't go to the ground if your heart rate still feels substantially elevated).
  4. Do 60 seconds of alternating side planks.
  5. Do 60 seconds of slow abdominal crunches.
  6. Lie prone (on your stomach) and do back extensions for 60 seconds.
  7. Slowly return to standing. Take your time so as not to get lightheaded.
  8. Return to an easy jump rope for 60 seconds.
  9. Jump rope vigorously for another 60 seconds.
  10. Return to an easy jump rope for 60 seconds.
  11. Repeat the above sequence twice, starting back at Step #2.

Advanced Routine

This challenging workout is quite vigorous and designed for fit individuals who want to work hard.

  1. Start with 3 minutes of jumping rope.
  2. Do 2 minutes of deep, weighted squats.
  3. Transition to a fast run (either on a treadmill or outdoors) for 3 minutes.
  4. Sprint for 30 seconds.
  5. Return to a run at a slower pace for 3 minutes.
  6. Do 2 minutes of deep, weighted squats.
  7. Jump rope for 3 minutes, with the last minute at an easier pace.
  8. Hold an isometric deep squat for 30 seconds.
  9. Drop to the ground for 60 seconds of push-ups.
  10. Do 2 minutes of mountain climbers.
  11. Hold a plank for 60 seconds.
  12. Return to standing.
  13. Do two minutes of burpees with a jump rope added at the top of the movement (where you typically leap in the air).
  14. Finish with 5 minutes of jumping rope, with the final minute at a slower pace to anticipate cool down.

Strength Routine

Jumping rope is designed to challenge the heart as a cardio exercise, but a jump rope can be used as equipment in body weight exercises that will strengthen your muscles. This routine starts with a chest/shoulder superset, so if at some point you need to drop to your knees do so, but return to the full plank once you feel ready.

  1. Place the jump rope on the floor, stretching it out lengthwise.
  2. Drop into a plank with the rope in front of you. Hold the plank for 60 seconds.
  3. For the next 2 minutes, plank-walk the length of the rope, going back and forth from one side to the other. Avoid allowing your bottom to pike up.
  4. For 60 seconds, hold the plank. Use your right arm to grab the jump rope and pull it toward you. Alternate grabbing the rope with your left and right hand. This is similar to a weight-transfer plank with the intention of forcing one arm to keep you upright while the other is busy, so it doesn't really matter what you do with the rope as you grasp it as long as you put all the weight on the other arm.
  5. Return the rope to lengthwise on the ground and return to standing.
  6. Standing at the end of the rope and using the rope as a guide, step out into deep side squats for the length of the rope before returning to the other direction. Do this for 2 minutes.
  7. For 2 minutes, use the rope as a guide in walking lunges.
  8. Stand in front of the rope on one leg with your knee soft and not locked. Push the other leg behind you as you hinge at the hips, bringing your straight back forward and down. The opposite hand reaches down to touch the rope on the ground. Return to standing. Repeat this sequence for 2 minutes.
  9. Repeat Step #8 on the other leg for 2 minutes.
  10. Stand in a wide squat in front of the rope. Drop into a deep, wide squat, reaching your hands down to touch the rope. Make your legs do the work here - keep your chest up. You will only be able to touch the rope if you drop deep into the squat. Do this for 60 seconds.
  11. Repeat the entire sequence once.

A Versatile Piece of Equipment

Jump ropes are inexpensive and easy to transport. Any exercise enthusiast who wants to be as fit as possible should have a jump rope in their fitness arsenal. Whether you're getting fancy with jump rope tricks or using it to increase your cardio capacity, you'll quickly find your stamina and coordination benefit greatly from using a jump rope.

Jump Rope Exercise Routines