Jumping rope isn’t just for the kids. The fun, do-anywhere activity gets your heart rate up almost instantly, burns major calories (up to 60 in five minutes*), and can help boost your athletic performance. Moreover, talk about a low-budget fitness option: You can find a solid jump rope for less than $10. What are you waiting for? Here are five, 5-minute workouts to get you started:
1. High Knees
Warm up for 1 minute, jumping at a moderate pace (either with both feet or one foot at a time — whatever is most comfortable for you). Jump rope, lifting your right knee up to hip-height in front of you, while your left leg skips as usual. Switch legs on the next jump, bringing your left knee up. Continue alternating sides for three minutes. Cool down for 1 minute, gradually decreasing your pace until you come to a complete stop.
Check out this video for a quick overview.
2. Squat Jacks
Warm up for 1 minute, jumping at a moderate pace, with feet and legs together. Then fold your jump rope in half and hold one end in each hand. Squat down, with feet shoulder-width apart, bending your knees 90 degrees, keeping knees behind your toes, and touch the rope down to floor in front of you. Jump straight back up, bringing legs together and extending rope/arms overhead. Do 50 to 100 jacks. Cool down for 1 minute.
To see how it’s done, check out this example of a squat jack. Just be sure to hold your jump rope overhead while you do it.
3. Jumping Ladder
Start by jumping rope at a slow pace for 30 seconds. Then step it up to moderate pace for 1 minute. Gradually build up to a fast pace for 2 minutes. Then go in reverse. Jump rope at a moderate pace for 1 minute and at a slow pace for 30 seconds.
4. Running Man
Warm up for 1 minute, jumping with feet hip-width apart and in sync with each other. Then jump with feet staggered, right foot in front of left, leading jump with right foot and following with left, for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat. For the third round, alternate your lead foot every five jumps. Cool down for 1 minute.
5. Figure 8s
Warm up for 30 seconds, jumping at a moderate pace. Jump as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Fold the rope in half and hold its handles in your right hand. Use your wrist to move the rope in a Figure 8 pattern in front of you, and then do five jumps. Continue alternating Figure 8s with jumps for 2 minutes. Switch arms and repeat. Jump as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then cool down for 30 seconds.
* Calories burned estimate based on a person weighing 140 lbs.