The Effectiveness of Jumping Rope for Weight Loss

Jumping rope may bring back memories of grade school, but adults have much to benefit from this intense aerobic activity. It can help you burn calories at a rapid rate, and is an effective addition to a well-rounded diet. Jumping rope is tough, however, and can cause issues for people with knee or ankle problems. Help prevent injury by seeing your physician before starting a jumping workout.

Calorie Burning

You lose weight by burning more calories than you eat, and jumping rope is one of the top calorie-torching exercises around. A 160-pound person burns about 861 calories in a one-hour session of rope jumping, the same number he would burn running 8 miles in an hour. For perspective, 1 pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories. As efficient as jumping rope is for calorie burning, you’re unlikely to last an hour at the activity. Even 30 seconds of jumping is tough for beginners, and even highly fit people may have the stamina for only 20 to 30 minutes.

Muscle Toning

Jumping rope has an added weight loss advantage of muscle building, as it provides a full-body workout to tone your shoulders, biceps, forearms and calves. The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism will become because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, even while you’re inactive. The exact increase will depend on body composition and genetics — some people can develop larger muscles than others — but you may boost your metabolism by up to 15 percent with muscle-building exercises, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the best results, also perform weightlifting or body weight exercises such as squats and pushups for all muscle groups.

Jump Rope Moves

Try a variety of jumping techniques to liven up your routine and target a broader range of muscles. The jog step, for example, involves jogging in place while swinging the rope underneath you at the moment when both feet are in the air. You can also try switching rope directions or scissoring your legs as you jump.


Vigorous exercises like jumping rope bring greater risk of injury than gentler workouts, so protect yourself by taking certain precautions. Jump as low as possible to reduce impact and wear shoes with plenty of cushioning. As you jump, relax your shoulders and hold your elbows close to your body. Keep your back straight and your head facing forward, and bend your knees slightly as you twirl the rope using your wrists. Take a break if you grow exhausted. You may even prefer to train in short intervals to avoid overexertion.

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