Could your workout routine use a jump-start? With the holiday season starting at the end of the month, now is the perfect time to get a leg up on your wellness goals. Reduce your waistline and the time you spend in the gym by training with a single piece of workout equipment, such as a jump rope.

The jump rope has stood the test of time as one of the best cardio workouts. It has a bevy of benefits such as increased bone density, lung capacity, endurance, aerobic strength, muscle composition, and improved coordination. This simple apparatus also helps burn some serious calories.

If you're new to jumping rope, finding the right rope length is key to achieving a safe and successful workout. Here's how to determine the right length for you:

  • Using one foot, stand in the center of the rope and firmly pull each side up until the rope is taut.
  • Examine the height of the handles. For beginners, the hands should be around shoulder height, while experienced jumpers should have their handles reach the armpit.

Height guide for ordering a jump rope online:

Your Height Rope Length
4′ – 4’9” 7 feet
4’9″ – 5’3” 8 feet
5’4” – 5’10” 9 feet
5’11” – 6’5” 10 feet

Once you have the right size, try this beginner's jump rope routine for your next workout. A healthier you is only a hop, skip, and jump away.

Warm up: Jog in place for 60 seconds.

Jump rope: Complete 30-45 seconds of jumps.

During this circuit, focus on proper form. Protect your knees and hips by staying light on your feet, soft in your landing, and low to the ground with each elevation.

Ashley Greenblatt

Lateral jumps

Build power, perfect your balance, and pump up your calorie burn by incorporating lateral jumps into this circuit.

  • Lay the jump rope on the ground so it is fully extended and without kinks or knots.
  • Position both feet on the left side at one end of the rope.
  • Extend the hips back into a shallow bend and spring off your feet, jumping to the right side of the rope.
  • Then jump back to the left side, moving forward slightly with each jump.
  • Continue this jumping pattern until you hit the end of the rope. Turn around and complete the same sequence for 45-60 seconds.
Ashley Greenblatt

High knee jumps

High knees are a great exercise for opening tight hip flexors, engaging weak core muscles, and developing the quad and glute strength necessary for overall health.

  • Keep the jump rope fully extended on the ground. Position both feet on the left side of the rope and elevate the right leg so the knee is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Touch the right foot down on the other side of the rope and simultaneously pop the left leg up, driving the left knee toward the chest.
  • Then bring the left leg down to the other side of the rope and shift your weight so the right knee explodes up toward the chest.
  • Continue alternating from side to side, moving forward slightly with each jump, until you reach the end of the rope. Turn around and complete the same sequence for 45-60 seconds.
Ashley Greenblatt

(Repeat this circuit five times.)

Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.