What if we told you that there’s a way to getting leaner than you’ve ever been that doesn’t involve a gym membership, expensive equipment, or even require you to take your eyes off of the TV. Is that something you’d be interested in? Thought so. Below is a list of reasons why jumping rope is going to be your go-to method for getting through the winter months without packing on excess insulation. Hop to it.
Feel the burn
For most guys, jumping rope at a moderate pace will burn between 700 and 1,000 calories per hour. That’s significantly more than jogging but with lower impact on the joints. Don’t think you have the time or the stamina for a 60-minute session? Just two 10-minute sessions per day expends 1,000 calories per week. If you incorporate rope jumping as a warm-up to your regular workouts, you’ll burn significantly more calories during weightlifting or interval training.
No piece of fitness equipment gives you as much bang for your buck.
A fitness panacea
Beyond efficiently burning calories, committed practitioners of jumping rope enjoy a host of other health benefits, including a stronger heart, increased lung capacity, plus greatly improved balance, reflexes, posture and hand-eye co-ordination. Studies have also shown that over the long term, jumping rope slows the rate of bone loss and provides protection against osteoporosis. Furthermore, jumping rope will also save you time in the weight room: Pushing yourself away from the earth’s gravitational pull thousands of times is a great way to tackle the scourge of skinny calf muscles and hamstrings.
An all-weather workout
Winter is coming, and for those of us living in northern climes, lower temperatures will make us think twice about a morning jog. Having a jump rope handy means that you don’t have to forgo a decent workout when the mercury drops. Just find some space in your home—ideally, you want to aim for 10 feet of overhead space and an area of four-by-six feet—and you’re good to go. You can even zone out in front of the tube as you elevate your heart rate. Lightweight and easy to whip out anywhere, a vinyl jump rope is also a great way to work out when traveling.
Skills to pay the bills
Unlike most cardiovascular exercise, jumping rope is a skill. Although it can be frustrating at first, you’ll be working the rope like Apollo Creed before you know it. First, get the right rope. If you’re between five-foot-four and five-foot-ten, get yourself a nine-foot rope. If you’re between five feet and six-foot-five, make it a 10-footer. There are several types of ropes on the market, but try a beaded one first. They’re easier to control and will hold their shape better than vinyl or cloth. ($20 ought to do it; no piece of fitness equipment gives you more bang for your buck.) Start with a marching tempo and work your way up. Aim to jump 1 or 2 inches off the floor, landing on the balls of the feet. Take some time to build your stamina and speed. Then you can vary your workout to better target your core, or incorporate interval training that will produce HGH and speed fat loss. Explore the difference in feeling and results with a weighted rope vs. a speed rope. Search YouTube for different routines—most involve around ten minutes of broken-up rope time and traditional calisthenics. Last, make sure you hang up your rope post workout; tangled ropes or ropes misshapen with kinks make it more difficult to spin.