If you haven't picked up a jump rope since middle school, you're missing out on a great fitness tool. It's one of the fastest and most effective ways to tone your body while improving your cardiovascular health at the same time. You'll burn around 12 cals a minute and sculpt your arms and shoulders along with your legs.
"There's not as much impact as with, say, running, because you come only an inch or two off the ground and you primarily land on the balls of your feet," says Felicia Stoler, an exercise physiologist and dietitian. "All it takes is a little practice to do it well." Side perk: You'll feel awesome in a Rockyesque way!
3 Jump Rope Moves for a Better Body
You could just pick up a rope and start hopping. But if you need a beginner or more advanced version…
Do It Workout a Rope: You can imitate a jump rope workout for a few days to get a feel for rotating the wrists, timing hops, and landing on the balls of your feet. Just keep your feet together and take short hops over an imaginary rope.
Switch Your Feet: Try alternating your feet so your movement resembles jogging in place. Each time the rope goes up and over, you'll land with one foot. Keep moving your legs like this, as if you were running.
High Knee Jumps: For an extra challenge, raise your right knee up as you jump (think about bringing your knee toward your nose), then repeat with the left side. Continue to alternate legs.
1. Don't go barefoot; wear sneakers for cushioning.
2. Keep elbows by your sides. The twirling action is in the wrists.
3. To find the right length, place a foot in the middle of your rope and pull tight. Handles should hit just below shoulders.
Your 15-Minute Fat Burn
Combine jump rope intervals (do any kind of jumping you like, or choose from the options above) with strength moves in the routine below designed by Los Angeles fitness pro Holly Perkins, author of Lift to Get Lean. You'll lose fat and tone up everywhere in record time.