Jump rope benefits: 35+ health benefits of jumping rope

Posted on 27 September, 2021 by Nicholas Rizzo

benefits-of-jumping-rope-for-your-health-weight-and-fitness

To investigate the health benefits of jumping rope we spent 75 hours analyzing over 150 studies. This exercise benefits you in a wide range of unique ways. This review of rope jumping benefits is broken down into the following sections:

Heart health

Some of the benefits of cardio include improving your cardiovascular health. This is why studies have shown that jumping rope can lower your heart rate, improve heart function, lower cholesterol level, and overall reduced the risk of heart disease.

  • Skipping rope 10 minutes a day for 6 weeks improves cardiovascular fitness the same as jogging for 30 minutes daily during the same period.
  • According to doctors, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise like jump roping 5 days a week can reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular diseases significantly.
  • Skipping rope for 5 minutes a day, 5 days/week, for 4 weeks reduced mean pulse rate during training by 13.7%
  • 12 weeks of jump rope exercises resulted in a 4.5% decrease in heart rate in prehypertensive teen girls.
  • Teen girls reduced their systolic blood pressure by 4.8-5% by jumping rope for 12 weeks.
  • Triglyceride level was reduced by 32.8% after 12 weeks of jump rope workout.
  • Cardiovascular endurance improved by 10.33% after 7 weeks of jump rope training.

Weight Loss

As an aerobic exercise, jumping rope increases oxygen intake which helps in the conversion of the food you eat or stored energy like fat and glucose, into energy for exercising. The more strenuous an activity is, the more energy is needed to accomplish it, helping to burn more calories and lose weight. This is why when it come to weight loss, activities like jump rope bring greater results than the weight loss benefits of walking and other light-intensity exercises. 

  • After 12 weeks of jump rope training, women decreased their body mass index (BMI) by 4.3-5.7%.
  • Body fat in adolescent females was reduced by 8.9% after doing 12 weeks of jump rope workout.
  • 12 weeks of jump rope exercise resulted in a decrease of 2.5% in female teen’s waist circumference.
  • You can burn 226-503 calories from jumping rope for 30 minutes at a slow to moderate pace.
  • Increasing the intensity level of skipping rope to vigorous results in a burn rate of 1,300 calories per hour.

Physical fitness, strength, and muscle

Decades of studies have shown that jump rope benefits include positive effects on the muscles. Much like the benefits of cycling, jumping rope mainly targets the lower body. The major muscle targeted while skipping rope is the calf muscles and it also improves the elasticity of the tendons, thus reducing injuries as well as improving speed and jumping height.

  • Leg strength increased by 2.8% in teens who did jump rope exercises for 5 minutes, twice a week, for 8 weeks.
  • Teens who jumped rope 3 days a week for 10 weeks showed a 3.3% improvement in their running speed.
  • After 15 weeks of continuous jumping rope, vertical jump increased by 49%.

Aerobic conditioning and oxygenation

Aerobic exercises, like rope jumping, condition the lungs by increasing the air it can hold, absorb oxygen better, while also ensuring that carbon dioxide is expelled properly. The higher lung capacity, the more oxygen is brought inside the body to support the demand brought about by increased physical activity. 

  • After 4 weeks of jump rope workout routine for 5 minutes a day, excluding weekends, subjects increased their oxygen consumption by 33.3%.
  • The vital capacity or the maximum air a person exhales is increased by 18.8% in overweight women who did jump rope training for 12 weeks.

Diabetes

Aside from familial history, one of the most common causes of diabetes is weight gain due to reduced physical activity. By increasing daily physical activity, it can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Exercises like jumping rope, similar to the benefits of rowing machine workouts, have added benefits due to being a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training. 

  • Female teens who did 12 weeks of jump rope exercise reduced their blood sugar levels by 4.3%.
  • Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) is reduced by 33.6% which increased a person’s sensitivity to insulin after 6 weeks of jump work training.
  • Insulin levels were reduced by 32.6% in female teens who skipped rope for 12 weeks. 
  • Jump rope benefits after 12 weeks include increased adiponectin, a protein hormone that regulates glucose and fatty acid, by 10%.

Mental and emotional health

The past year has increased the level of stress and depression experienced by millions of people worldwide. The problem is, it is not only people’s mental health that takes a toll because if not managed, can start affecting a person’s physical health. Exercise has been proven to reduce mental burden.

  • According to studies, exercise, like skipping rope, can decrease depression by 25% after 10 weeks.
  • A total of 1 ¼ hour a week of vigorous jumping rope exercise is enough to reduce a person’s level of stress.

Brain health

According to several studies, the best exercises to improve brain health are those that require coordination, rhythm, and strategy, like jumping rope. This type of workout promotes the growth of new ganglia connections responsible for better cognitive function, focus, and spatial awareness.

  • Jumping rope can improve motor coordination, as evidenced by the 3-19% improvement in kids diagnosed with ADHD who underwent jump rope training.
  • Balance is improved by 23.9% after 15 weeks of continuous jump rope training.
  • After 15 weeks of skipping rope, agility is increased by 8.9%.
  • A total of 20 hours of exercise (jump rope, running, cycling, walking) per week, is enough to significantly increase the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in your brain, which is responsible for maintaining good communication between the brain and the different parts of the body.

Bone and joint health

According to the National Institutes for Health, the best form of exercise to improve bone strength and bone mass density is a weight-bearing one such as skipping rope as it forces your body to work against gravity.

  • Jump rope benefits after 3 months include increased forearm bone density of participants by 18.9%.
  • The heel bone density has increased by 5.8% after 10 weeks of jump rope workouts.
  • Based on extensive studies, bone density gains from 24 weeks of jump rope training can be sustained by doing just 11-18% of the initial exercise.

FAQ

Is jumping rope good for weight loss?

Yes, anything that requires you to move and sweat will result in a caloric burn, which when done regularly, can help you reduce weight. Also, a jump rope is a cheap piece of exercise equipment that you can bring anywhere so you can exercise whenever you have time to spare.

Is a cordless jump rope as effective as the traditional one?

Yes, cordless jump ropes deliver similar benefits as regular jump ropes. The weighted balls at the bed of the handles mimic the feeling of turning the rope which helps exercise the arms. Jumping, even without the rope, is still jumping and delivers the same benefits for heart, brain, and overall health.

Some people with limited spaces also prefer cordless jump ropes because the risk of hitting something, or someone, is greatly reduced.

Can you get a flat belly from skipping rope?

Yes, you can achieve a flat tummy just by skipping ropes. You tighten your abs when you jump rope so they don’t jiggle. The action is similar to engaging your core when you plank, which is helpful in toning ab muscles.

Why do my knees hurt when I jump rope?

Jumping rope is a high-impact training exercise, so if you don’t have a proper form, you’re wearing the wrong shoes, you’re overdoing it, you can expect the joints of the lower extremities to hurt.

When jumping, make sure not to bend your knees too much or not at all. You just need to bend them a little, so they can act as a spring to absorb impact.

Be sure to wear shoes with adequate cushioning under the balls of your feet or use an impact mat or yoga mat to soften your landings.

Don’t overdo it. Jumping rope 2 3 times a week, for 15 to 30 minutes can be beneficial for your health, especially when you’re a beginner.

Are jumping exercises bad for people with arthritis?

Yes, any exercise routine that puts an extra burden on your joints should be avoided when you have arthritis. Exercises like interval jumping rope can be brutal on your joints. Those who suffer from arthritis would benefit more from activities that promote flexibility like yoga. Another cost-effective form of exercise that is easy on the joints is walking.

Is jumping rope good for beginners?

Yes, you can do jump rope workouts regardless of your fitness level. The beauty of jump rope training is that it is self-limiting. If you have improper form, it would be unbearable for you to keep going. So you learn to listen to your body to avoid any injuries.

Is jump rope good for HIIT?

Jumping rope is a great exercise for reaping the additional benefits of HIIT. By pushing the intensity of your jump rope routine, with small breaks throughout, you can push yourself harder and get more out of your short workout. 

Some of the most common lower leg injuries include shin splints, calf strain, patellar tendonitis, as well as plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, Achilles tendon strain, and ankle injury related to joint pain. These injuries happen because of overexertion and improper jumping form. To avoid injuries make sure to:

  • Keep your feet close to the ground.
  • Don't bend your knees too much.
  • Not jump too fast if you're just starting out.
  • Do some warm-up exercises before jumping.
  • Stop when you feel a sharp pain on any part of your body.
  • Get checked out if you see swelling on your knees or ankles.

Should you use a weighted rope?

The benefits of jumping rope are intensified when you use a weighted jump rope. You get better arm workouts and engage your core better, which means strengthening your back muscles as well. As a full-body workout, the use of a heavy rope can: 

  • burn more calories per hour.
  • improve full-body coordination because the weight of the rope makes the user aware of where the rope is at during a rotation.
  • help beginners find a regular cadence they are comfortable with. Heavier ropes mean slower rope swing, so they don't get tripped up trying to keep up with a light rope.

Conclusion

The use of jump ropes to increase physical activity is found to be effective in improving a person’s overall health and function. What makes jumping rope appealing is that you can get the same benefits of jogging or running for less than half the time. On top of that, skipping rope is a great way to shake things up, without buying expensive gym equipment, if you feel like your daily walks or runs have gotten boring.

About RunRepeat

RunRepeat has a huge reserve of all the latest and popular athletic and lifestyle shoes. We offer visitors a quick way of knowing more about a pair of trainers called the CoreScore which combines the ratings from users experts reviewers. High CoreScores mean better quality and shoe performance.

Because jumping rope requires, well, jumping, you need to look for shoes that are excellent in absorbing impact to prevent joint pains or injuries. Some good options are high-intensity interval training shoes like the  Nike Free Metcon 3 and Reebok HIIT because they offer generous cushioning. On the other hand, you can also opt for a pair of CrossFit shoes like the Nike Metcon 6 and the Nobull Trainer

Use of content

  • If you want to know more about the benefits of jumping rope or do an interview, you can reach out to Nick Rizzo at nick@runrepeat.com. He will be happy to answer question related to this piece.
  • Use of data from this analysis is free. We only request that you link back to this original source.

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Author
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.