How to Jump Rope (Learn in 30 Min, w/ This Simple, Illustrated Guide)

Side Swing

  1. Twirl rope to one side
  2. Repeat on the opposite side
  3. Twirl rope alternatively from side to side

Hint: Keep hands together, keep feet together


2) Alternating Jumps

Alternating jumps from one foot to the other helps extend the amount of time you can jump rope. It sounds counterintuitive, but hopping from one foot to the other while using the other foot for some support makes it far easier to jump rope for 5, even 10 minutes, or more continuously. This is often how boxers jump rope for 30 minutes straight.

3. How to Jump Rope: Practicing the Basic Jump (With the Rope)

Now that you feel comfortable with the basic jump, it’s time to practice with your jump rope.

If this is your first time using a jump rope, be patient with yourself. You’ll likely trip over your rope quite a bit, which can be frustrating. I promise it won’t take long to figure it out, though.

If you can, continue to practice in front of the mirror. This will be hugely beneficial when it comes to making the adjustments we’ll cover in the next section.

How to hold your jump rope

Start by wrapping your four fingers around the handle and position your thumb at the very end of your rope. See the image above for an example of how to correctly hold the handles.

It should almost look like you’re making a thumbs up with your hand.

And make sure not to squeeze too hard, the handles should be held lightly. Holding the handles lightly will enable you to get faster and smoother rotations.

Now, let’s get a few practice rotations.

Practice rotation

With the rope in your hands, we’re going to simulate a few rotations without jumping. This will give you a general idea of the mechanics required to jump rope.

Start by standing with your feet slightly closer than shoulder width apart. Let the rope hang behind you, with the cable slightly touching the back of your heels.

Swing the rope around your body, letting it hit the floor in front of your feet.

Then, one foot at a time, step over the rope. This will return the cable to the original position with it behind your feet, slightly touching your heels.

That’s one rotation.

You shouldn’t need to do this more than a few times, if at all. It can be helpful though. Practice this a few times, then move on to the next step.

How to rotate the jump rope (use your wrists, momentum)

The rotation of your jump rope is all done in the wrists.

You want to make small circles with your wrists to spin the rope. Once you get going, you can also utilize the momentum of the cable to assist in the revolutions.

Avoid using your arms or shoulders to turn the rope. This is probably the most common sign of an inexperienced rope jumper. It looks silly and it is inefficient.

You’re better than that, I promise.

The rotation of the rope is an important fundamental to get right. Doing it correctly will make you look more professional and enable jump for longer without making mistakes.

Putting it all together

Now, it’s time to put all of the things you’ve learned together and start jumping.

If you can, continue to practice in front of a mirror.

We’re not looking to do anything crazy here, just get some solid rotations without tripping over the rope. Make sure to focus on your form, keeping your knees bent, staying on the balls of your feet, and keeping your jumps small and controlled.

Don’t get discouraged if you trip up a few times, or a bunch of times. That’s expected.

Becoming good at any new skill is about small, incremental improvements. What I suggest is to keep track of how many successful jumps you get, in a row. Then, try to beat that.

If you’re patient with yourself, you should be jumping rope like a pro in no time.

5. How to Jump Rope: Developing Your Skills

Now that you’ve got the hang of the basic jump, it’s time to elevate your jump rope skills. This is where things start to get really fun.

I won’t cover anything too complex or advanced, however there are a handful of movements that you should learn if you want to become proficient with your jump rope. Those moves are the boxer step, single leg jumps, high knees, and the double-under.

Even if you don’t feel like a professional, mastering these moves will make you look like one!

And they aren’t as difficult as you might think. All of these moves are only a slight deviation from the basic jump. With just a little bit of practice you should be able to learn each one without too much frustration.

Learning the Boxer Step

The Boxer Step is one of the first jump rope tricks I learned, and I still use it every time I jump rope. Not only does it look cool, but it helps you use your energy more efficiently.

It’s a fairly basic concept.

When you perform the jump rope boxer step, you’re alternating your weight between your left and right foot. It’s a slight lean from one foot to the other, transferring your weight.

You still want to land with both feet touching the ground (you’re not jumping on one leg). Instead of completely taking one foot off the ground, you’ll touch your toes to the floor while the other leg absorbs most of your weight.

Then, alternate to the other foot.

That’s really all there is to it, it’s that simple! There are some variations to this move that are a bit more complex, but the core movement is still the same.

Look at the demonstration above for visual on what you should look like when performing this move. And drop me a comment below if you have any questions.

Learning Single Leg Jumps

The next move every jumper should have in their repertoire is the single leg jump. While these aren’t as “sexy”, they are a great move to include in any jump rope workout.

The single leg jump targets the calf muscles in a way that the basic jump does not.

When you perform the single leg jump, you’re literally jumping on one leg at a time. Bring one foot up off the ground about 6 inches and jump on the opposite foot. Do this for how ever many reps, then alternate.

I’ll usually perform this move when I’m warming up for a leg workout. You should feel, very quickly, how well it engages your calf muscles.

Look at the demonstration above for an example of how this movement is performed. If you have any trouble, drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you right away.

Learning High Knees Jump

High knees are another jump rope movement that should be learned early on. It’s also a great movement to include in a jump rope workout. And, once mastered, can help you learn a variety of other jump rope tricks.

When you perform high knees, you’re essentially running in place while rotating the rope around your body. The only difference is you want to focus on bringing your knees up, in front of you, between each jump.

Practicing this movement without a jump rope, to start, can be extremely helpful.

This is also a great movement to increase the intensity of your jump rope workouts. Jump rope high knees allow you to jump at a much quicker pace (x2). This will help you burn ore calories and get your heart rate up quickly.

Once you’re able to perform high knees without any issues, you can use this same movement to help you learn other, more advanced tricks like the crossover.

It’s definitely worth learning…

Learning the Double-Under

Some might look at the double-under and say that’s more of an advanced movement. And, while it is a bit more complex than some of these other tricks, it’s actually quite simple.

The double-under, in my opinion, is a move every jumper should learn. It can significantly increase the intensity of your workouts and is a great trick to include when freestyle jumping.

When you perform jump rope double-unders, it’s important to utilize all the same fundamentals you use in the basic jump. The only difference is you need to jump slightly higher and rotate the rope slightly quicker.

Timing is also critical to perform this successfully.

Given you’re looking to rotate the rope around your body in a single jump, you’ll need to time your bounces perfectly. Try practicing this movement in front of the mirror, without the rope, to start.

Lastly, if you’re finding difficulty mastering this move you might try using a slightly shorter rope. Sometimes too much slack can make it challenging to get two rotations in a single jump. It definitely takes some practice, so be patient with yourself.

How To Jump Rope For Weight Loss

For one to lose weight, more calories have to be lost than they are taken in. Calories are burnt through workouts. Ideally, a combination of calorie intake reduction and increased workout should help reduce weight.

Because there are many muscles involved simultaneously in jumping rope, it is one of the best weight loss activities exercises

The following are a few guidelines on how to effectively jump rope for weight loss

8. The Twist

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This is one of the hardest jump rope tricks that engages your core muscles more than a traditional jump. You start with the basic jump, but while landing, twist the bottom of your body. Your legs should land pointing in that direction while your upper will face the front. On the landing, you will twist to the other side and keep alternating from one side to another with each landing.

Kick Swing

  1. Hop on left foot, swing right leg forward
  2. Hop on right foot, swing left leg forward

Hint: Repeat directions sideward and backward

Your First Jump Rope Exercise

Once you feel comfortable with the fundamentals, you’re ready to learn your first jump rope exercise. 

The first exercise you need to learn is the basic jump. Here’s what the basic jump looks like:

As you’re practicing the basic jump, here is a reminder of some important guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Keep your feet close together when jumping
  • Jump on the midsoles of your feet and land softly
  • Keep your jumping height low (½” – 1” off the ground)
  • Keep your knees slightly bent at all times
  • Maintain a tall, neutral spine
  • Keep your head up, chest up, and head looking forward
  • Keep your shoulders pulled back and your elbows held down and back
  • Keep your hands along the midline of your body
  • Use your wrists to turn the rope (not your elbows or shoulders)

The basic jump requires a bit of practice until you get the rhythm and timing down. Again, a weighted rope will help you speed up your learning. Using a mirror will also help you pinpoint any symmetry issues you might be having.

4) Side Straddles

These are pretty challenging, because you have to time the revolutions correctly. Here’s the sequence:

a) Right after the rope passes in front of your feet, jump and split your legs apart b) As your legs touch the floor in the side straddle, jump over the next revolution, while bringing your feet together again.

That’s it. Side Straddles emphasize the outer calves and you’re going to feel an intense burn after only 20, or 30 jumps.

How to Size a Jump Rope

Another common question we get asked at Crossrope is what size of jump rope is best for getting started. A jump rope that’s not sized correctly for you can make your learning experience a little more challenging.

At Crossrope, we’ve simplified the process and made choosing a size quick and easy. All of our ropes are sized according to your height. When choosing a rope, you’ll see a size chart that will tell you exactly which size you need.

Check out the Get Fit Bundle, and you’ll see what size options are available.

4. Double Dutch

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This is a very challenging jump rope trick that requires you have a good understanding of the nuances of the movement. Not just you, the turners must understand the proper rhythm before you take part in it.

  • It would be best if you had the turners start the ropes with a steady rhythm.
  • If you are not new to double Dutch, jump into the rope from one of the turners. However, as a newbie, you can jump in through the middle.
  • You must be prepared to make several tries to get the rhythm if you are trying double Dutch for the first time. It takes excellent rhythm and quick movement to excel in a double Dutch jump rope trick.
  • Although you may feel the urge to look down and keep track of the ropes, don’t do that. It would be best if you relied on your instinct and the sound of the ropes.
  • It would be best if you practiced more often to master this hard and challenging jump rope trick.

How Long Do Boxers Jump Rope For?

Boxers typically jump rope for about 15 minutes as a warm-up. This is split into 3 rounds of 5 minutes, with a short rest in between. The three rounds will usually include some variations in boxing jump rope footwork like the boxer skip, criss cross arms, or one leg at a time.

Beginners can start with a 3-minute simple jump rope warm-up and increase the time – and difficulty – as they feel comfortable.

The 13 Best Jump Rope Exercises

Now that you have the basics down on how to jump r

Now that you have the basics down on how to jump rope, let’s cover some moves so you can expand your workouts.

#1) The Single Under

This is the most basic jump rope exercise. One hop

This is the most basic jump rope exercise. One hop per rope revolution, both feet together.  

Get this down before you move on from here.

#2) Double Single Foot Jumps

Once you get the single under down, try hopping on

Once you get the single under down, try hopping on one foot.

To really test your balance, jump twice from the same foot. 

An example beat would go left foot, left foot, right foot, right foot, with one rope revolution between. 

#3) Kick Out Jumps

Here, you’ll alternate taking one foot forward eve

Here, you’ll alternate taking one foot forward every jump. 

So while your left is down, your right foot will be kicking out.

You’ll hop and switch feet between rope revolutions. This is trickier than it looks. 

#4) Jump Rope Jacks

Your feet will act as they would in a normal jumpi

Your feet will act as they would in a normal jumping jack, jumping wide apart every other hop.

Your arms will stay as they would during a normal single under, so it’s more of a “half jack.”

#5) Twist Jumps

This jump rope exercise is all about rotating your

This jump rope exercise is all about rotating your torso.

Your feet will jump together, but will be rotating about 180 degrees from left to right, twisting from your hip.

Your shoulders will stay firm, which will keep the rope in place. 

#6) Skiers

The feet will land together for your skiers, but o

The feet will land together for your skiers, but one leg will be in front and the other will be behind. 

You’ll alternate leg positions between jumps, in a scissor like motion. 

#7) High Knees

Alternate jumping from one leg to the other with y

Alternate jumping from one leg to the other with your hops. The trick here is to bring your knees up high as you do so.

#8) Butt Kicks

These are much like your high knees, but in revers

These are much like your high knees, but in reverse, as you’re trying to bring your foot back to the point where it meets your glute (butt).

A good counter exercise for your high knees.

#9) Squat Jumps

If you want to really challenge your lower body, h

If you want to really challenge your lower body, hold a squat position while doing your hops.

Your entire lower body will be engaged for this exercise.

#10) Squat Jacks

Just like the name would suggest, here we are comb

Just like the name would suggest, here we are combining our squat jumps with jumping jacks.

To do it, perform jump rope jacks, but land in a squat position when your legs are kicked out wide. 

This will get challenging quickly.

#11) Criss Cross Jacks

These are like jumping jacks, but instead of bring

These are like jumping jacks, but instead of bringing your feet together, you cross one foot in front of the other. 

Your feet will go wide, then left in front of right, then wide, then right in front of left, then wide.

After some practice you’ll get the coordination down. 

#12) Jump Rope Figure 8

We’re gonna have fun with this one.

We’re gonna have fun with this one.

This exercise has you doing four normal hops, followed by four twist jumps.

Here’s the fun part: when you rotate, bring your arms together and have the rope do a revolution on the side you’re twisting away from. Alternate to the other side, combining your twist, hop, and whip.

Don’t feel bad if this takes some practice. This is starting to get into the “jump rope tricks” territory. 

#13) The Double Under

This is one of the more advanced jump rope moves,

This is one of the more advanced jump rope moves, as you need to swing the rope under you twice per hop.

Coach Jim walks you through performing Double Unders in this video:

If you get the double under down consistently, you’re no longer a jump rope noob.

Want a workout that will have you doing some of these jump rope moves? If so, check out our new app!

NF Journey will match a workout for you based on your experience level, and will also show you exactly how to use your jump rope.

No guesswork needed, just grab your rope and follow along with the app. 

You can sign-up for a free trial right here:

Three jump rope workouts to try

There are many fun jump rope exercises you can do.
Shunevych Serhii/Shutterstock

There’s really only one way to use a jump rope but you can get creative with how you exercise with it. Here are three workouts inspired by my kickboxing days. 

  1. The 30-minute routine: Set a timer for 30 minutes and jump. Yup, that’s it. It’s tedious, but if you’re looking to get non-traditional cardio in, half an hour of jumping rope does the trick. 
  2. The EMOM: For this workout, you’ll be performing an every minute on the minute protocol (or, EMOM). Set a timer for 30 minutes and complete 30 jumps at the top of the minute. Once you’re done, rest for the remainder of that minute. At the top of the next minute, do 10 push-ups and rest for whatever is left of that minute. At the top of the third minute, do 20 alternating reverse lunges and, you guessed it, rest for the remaining time. Repeat this cycle for the full 30 minutes. 
  3. The timed circuit: This workout has you perform five moves for 30 seconds each. After finishing the last exercise, rest for one minute. I suggest downloading an interval timer to your phone — this makes keeping track much easier. Set it for 5 sets of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest. You’ll hear a beep to let you know when to start and another to let you know when to switch moves. 

Aim to complete five rounds of the following exercises:

  • Jumping rope
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Bear crawls
  • Push-ups*
  • Pull-ups*

*If you can’t do push-ups or pull-ups for 30 seconds straight, do as many as you can, rest, and do more until time runs out.