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Jump Rope for Weight Loss: Calories, Benefits, and Target Muscles
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Jump Rope for Weight Loss: Calories, Benefits, and Target Muscles

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 26
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7 min

Rope jumping isn’t just great fun. It provides a full-body workout that burns calories, strengthens muscles, and boosts your cardiovascular fitness. Find out how the nostalgic exercise can help you lose weight and learn all the benefits of jumping rope you didn’t know.

Jump rope for weight loss

Remember the joy of jumping rope as a kid? The skipping rope made the perfect tool for group games or solo activities. It provided a creative way to get moving, develop rhythm and coordination, and build stamina.

Today, it’s not just a child’s game. Adults can benefit from incorporating this high-intensity intermittent exercise into a workout routine, whether you want to lose body fat, strengthen your leg muscles, or simply get your heart pumping.

If you’re wondering whether jumping rope trumps your usual cardio workouts, keep reading. This article covers jump rope, including how many calories it burns, cardio impact, what it targets, and how it can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Jump Rope for Weight Loss – Is It Worth Trying?

Jumping rope can be part of an effective weight loss strategy as it incorporates several factors that can help you lose weight. Primarily, you can burn an impressive number of calories that helps you achieve a calorie deficit. It also helps build lean muscle mass, resulting in the loss of unwanted body fat.

It is a form of cardiovascular exercise that involves swinging the rope over your body and jumping over it as it reaches your feet.

It requires repetitive movement that immediately gets your heart rate going and keeps it up for a prolonged period. Jumping at a consistent pace delivers a killer cardio workout.

Scientifically speaking, losing weight requires you to burn more calories than you take in. We call this a calorie deficit.

As jumping rope burns many calories in a short time, it can help you effectively create a calorie deficit. Therefore, jump rope exercises are certainly worth trying for weight loss purposes.

But remember, long-term weight loss calls for a well-rounded lifestyle rather than a single action alone. Including jump rope as part of an integrated fitness routine alongside a healthy diet is best.

How Many Calories Does Jumping Rope Burn?

The number of calories burned from rope and other exercises depend on a few contributing factors. Your current weight, and the intensity and duration of the movement, each play a role in determining calories burned.

For example, a 125-pound person can burn up to 340 calories from 30 minutes of jump roping at a fast pace and 226 calories from jumping rope slowly.

A 185-pound person can burn 503 calories from 30 minutes of jump roping quickly and 335 calories at a slower pace.

Furthermore, the rope weight also has an impact. Heavier ropes amplify the benefits, enabling you to burn more calories in the same amount of time.

Is Jump Rope Good Cardio?

Yes! Jump rope is an excellent cardio workout as it elevates your heart rate and helps strengthen your cardiovascular system. Cardio is a kind of exercise that raises your heart rate and keeps it up for an extended period. It forces your respiratory system to work harder as your muscles demand additional oxygen

In time, your physical fitness level improves, and your body’s ability to transport oxygen to the working muscles is more efficient. Additionally, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, keeps your muscles strong, improves brain function, and boosts your mood.

Does Jumping Rope Burn Fat?

Fat loss is one of the top benefits of skipping rope. It counts as a vigorous-intensity activity that is excellent for burning calories and shedding unwanted pounds. As it works almost every part of your body, you can expect to burn fat and increase muscle mass with regular practice.

Fat loss comes down to the weight loss balancing act. If you eat fewer calories and burn more calories with exercise, you can create a calorie deficit that leads to weight loss. Although the exact number of calories is difficult to predict as every person is different, jumping rope can burn significant calories. 

So, if you balance a healthy diet with jumping rope regularly, you can promote fat loss.

5 Benefits of Jump Rope: What Does It Help With?

Did you know that the benefits go beyond weight loss? In fact, the popular exercise has perks for both your body and mind. Here’s how a trusty skipping rope can improve your overall health.

#1 Improves coordination

Jump rope is ideal for working on your balance and motor skills. You can soon improve your coordination even if you’re a bit clumsy.

The exercise demands good coordination as you must move your body in time and rhythm with the rope. It uses your legs, arms, abs, and back as you hold your balance. 

You must consistently jump on the balls of your feet steadily, or you can alternate feet without falling off balance.

#2 Helps to build muscles

If you want to build and strengthen your muscles, look no further.

The activity involves pretty much all of the muscles in your body. Adding it to your routine will help you achieve muscle definition. Plus, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn while at rest.

As a weight-bearing exercise, it also supports your bone health and can increase bone mineral density.

#3 Burns calories effectively

Jump roping is an excellent calorie-burner that allows you to burn more calories in a short space of time. Just 20 minutes a day can burn significant calories, make you sweat, and speed up your blood pumping and heart rate.

#4 Great for heart health

Skipping rope can significantly improve your cardiovascular fitness by increasing your heart and respiratory rate and keeping your heart and lungs functioning properly. As a type of aerobic exercise, it can lower blood pressure and improve cardiac output.

Any sort of cardiovascular exercise is highly beneficial to the heart and lungs. It can help you live a longer and healthier life by reducing the risk of serious illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

#5 Easy cardio

There’s a reason why children use skipping rope – it’s fun! Exercise doesn’t always have to be a chore. If you swap long hours on the treadmill for this alternative activity, you can have a little fun with cardio.

A skip session enables you to reap the benefits of cardio training while having a good time. And if you find an activity you enjoy, you’re more likely to sustain a long-term workout regimen.

How to Incorporate Jumping Rope Into Your Workouts

You can incorporate a jump rope routine in several ways. It’s easily customizable, so you can include as little or as much of the activity as you like. You can then aim to include more jumps during your next skip session.

Here are some ideas for your workout program.

  • Warm-up: If you’re not quite ready to use jump rope for an entire workout, try it for a few minutes as part of your warm-up routine.
  • Finisher: At the end of your workout, complete a short, fast session to tap out your muscles.
  • Add to your weight training: Try adding jump rope for a high-intensity interval in between sets.
  • Add to your HIIT circuits: It makes the ideal tool for high-intensity interval training. You can add it to your current circuit alongside activities such as jumping jacks, push-ups, and squats.
  • Jump alone: Take out your skipping ropes if you’re short on time and want an effective workout to burn energy. You can quickly blast some high knee skips before work or within your lunch break.

What Does Jumping Rope Work On?

Jumping rope works everything from your brain to your calves! The task provides a full  workout that targets almost every aspect of your body, engaging all muscle groups. And aside from the physical aspect of jumping rope, the activity also works the mind as it demands coordination and focus.

In the lower body, it works the calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. In maintaining the force when you swing the rope, your entire upper body is engaged, including the abs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, back, and chest muscles.

It improves brain function, enhancing cognitive performance and improving attention span.

FAQs

How long should I jump rope to lose weight?

How long you need to jump rope to lose weight depends on your current body weight. With just 30 minutes of fast jumping, a 185-pound individual can burn an impressive 503 calories. Therefore, 30 minutes of jumping daily can burn significant calories to support weight loss.

How many jumps should I do?

The exact number of jumps you should do is difficult to determine as people move at different speeds. It may be more beneficial to time yourself as you jump and set a specific target each time, such as 15 minutes a day. From there, you can increase your jump count.

Is jumping rope better than running?

Both jump rope and running are great cardio workouts with high caloric expenditure. They benefit your health in multiple ways, and adding either activity to your routine is valuable. Each burns a similar number of calories, but your calorie burn may increase with high-intensity jump roping.

Can jumping rope burn belly fat?

Jumping rope targets the abs, keeps your core tight and may reduce belly fat. Combining it with a well-balanced diet can help you reduce fat mass all over, including the abdominal region, as it burns an impressive number of calories. However, you cannot target fat loss.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Jumping rope is the perfect practice that combines cardio, strength, and endurance training.

Whether you want to lose a few inches or drop significant pounds, adding a jump rope to your routine can support you in reaching your goals and improving your body composition.

The calorie burn contributes to a calorie deficit and therefore increases your weight-loss potential. It also strengthens the heart, bones, and muscles, as well as your motor skills.

The best way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories and partaking in regular physical activity. You should always aim to follow a well-balanced diet that covers all macros requirements, including complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Conclusion

Jumping rope delivers a powerful workout that helps you shed pounds and boost your overall fitness. It provides an excellent cardio session with major benefits for your heart, whether you use it as a warm-up, finisher, or full workout.

Regardless of when and how you incorporate it into your routine, it’s a lot of fun and an accessible means of getting in shape. The best part is that all you need is a skipping rope and comfy footwear to get started.

Once you decide how to integrate the activity into your lifestyle, you can start skipping your way to better health!

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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