Jumping rope, a.k.a. skipping rope, has earned kudos from fitness experts around the world for its unbeatable combo of cardio and toning. The best part? You can skip rope anywhere, any time; no fancy gym equipment needed.
However, there’s more to this basic exercise that meets the eye. By adding a few simple variations, you can transform this cardio-and-lower-body workout into a core-carving routine.
Grab a rope and give these core-centric moves a go. And don’t forget to tuck in and contract your ab muscles as you skip to really target your core.
1. Jumping Jacks
Skip rope as usual, focusing on your feet and landing pattern. While jumping, land with your feet in a narrow or wide stance, as if you were doing jumping jacks. Be sure to press your stomach muscles inwards with each jack movement to really target your abs.
2. One-Foot Wonder
Jump rope on one foot, alternating from one foot to the other; intensify by hopping continuously on one foot for 10 to 12 repetitions, then switch to the other foot.
3. Skip And Twirl
This is a classic jump rope move that adds variety to your workout. Using both feet, begin jumping rope and then skip, and then twirl the jump rope, swinging it to one side of your body and then to the other side. Continue to skip, twirl, skip, and twirl. With continued repetitions, adding this fun jump rope exercise will whittle your waist and burn belly fat.
4. Heel Kicks
With proper form – straight back, arms straight, knees bent, and tummy tucked – begin jumping rope. Straighten your right leg out and touch your heel down on the ground. Switch to your right leg and repeat, alternating legs.
5. High Knees
Jump rope, alternating legs with your knees high, as if you’re jogging through the rope. Extend your legs while tightening your stomach. Feel the burn.
6. Forward Scissors
Leaning slightly forward, skip over the rope and land with your left foot forward and your right foot back. Skip again and reverse – right foot forward and left foot back. Your abs will be naturally engaged in order to keep your body balanced and prevent you from falling forward.
7. Wounded Duck
With your heels apart, jump rope and land with your knees and toes facing inward – like a duck. Jump rope again and land with your knees and toes facing outward. Alternate this movement, always landing on the balls of your feet.
8. The Skier
With proper form, jump rope while jumping several inches to your right, and then several inches to your left. Alternate from side to side. Remember to tuck in your tummy muscles for an extra burn.
Fun and addictive, skipping rope is an excellent cardio exercise to incorporate into your fitness routine. Jump around to your favourite workout playlist to really get into the rhythm.