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Jump In: Melt Fat Fast With Jump Rope Circuit Training

No gym? No problem. A circuit alternating jump rope and strength training is the perfect low-cost way to shred on the cheap!

Jumping rope? I know what some of you are thinking: That's for kids, or maybe for professional boxers like Floyd Mayweather, Jr., but it's not for me. I felt the same way all the way up to 2009. I loathed jumping rope, because I constantly tripped over the rope.

Still, I was far from fit—OK, I was overweight—and I knew that jumping rope was probably good for me. So I started searching around on the Internet, and it didn't take me long to discover Buddy Lee. He's a former Marine and former Olympic wrestler who spent the last 20 years spreading the gospel of jump-rope training. He teaches people how to do it properly. He's also a charismatic personality who can do mind-blowing things with a rope. Buddy convinced me to give the rope one more try.

Buddy Lee's Jumping Moments!

Watch The Video - 02:10




This time around, something clicked with me right away. I had an epiphany! All of a sudden, I loved jumping rope. I threw myself into Buddy Lee's training system with an enthusiasm I'd never had for exercise before. Just a year later, I was personally trained and tested by Buddy Lee, and my status changed from "jump rope klutz" to "Certified Jump Rope Training Specialist" by the Jump Rope Institute.

Along the way, my physique transformed so dramatically that I began enrolling in fitness competitions. In 2011, just two years after I bought my rope, I earned my WBFF pro status and became a professional fitness model in 2011.

I owe my transformation to the jump rope. I'm here to show you how it can power yours.

Jump Ropes and the Busy Woman ///

I'm a busy dentist, personal trainer, and fitness model. I don't have time to go to a gym. It's even more challenging for busy career women who frequently travel for work and/or who have young children at home.

There are plenty of people who will tell you that your fitness level is directly tied to how much time you spend in the gym. As I travel deeper into the world of health and fitness, I have discovered the opposite to be true. Workouts don't need to be time-consuming or require expensive gym equipment to be effective.

Here's the bottom line: The only effective exercise regimen is the one you'll actually follow multiple times per week. In today's hectic world, this means it must be quick, fun, inexpensive, and portable. This is why I like to perform time-saving high-intensity resistance circuits.

Research shows circuits are the most effective way to boost the metabolism and burn fat. You can work smarter, not harder, by combining your strength training and cardio session into one short but intense muscle-building and fat-blasting workout.

A University of New South Wales study found that women who did anaerobic high-intensity interval training burned fat at a rate three times higher than those doing long-duration aerobic exercises.

I think you know where I'm going with this. When strapped for time, perform an all-in-one jump rope circuit!

Before You Jump in ///

You may be afraid that jumping rope will be hard on your knees. However, the truth is that when properly executed, jumping rope is actually a low-impact exercise.

By progressing gradually and jumping no more than 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch off the ground, you will cause less stress on the joints than jogging and actually strengthen your knee musculature.

In the long-term, the benefits of a consistent jumping program grow even larger. Aside from the obvious cardiovascular benefits, it increases bone density, minimizing your risk of developing osteoporosis. This is especially important for women, whose risk of osteoporosis in their 70s is double the occurrence among men.

This doesn't mean jumping rope is totally risk-free, but a little planning will go a long way to minimize the danger of injury. First off, wear cross-training shoes with sufficient forefoot padding to protect the balls of your feet.

Second, avoid jumping on hard surfaces such as concrete or tile. Instead, choose a surface that has give, such as wood, or one that will absorb impact, such as a rubberized surface.

Proper rope length is also crucial to your success. To determine your correct rope length, place one foot on the center of the rope and pull the handles up the sides of your body. If the handles extend beyond your shoulders, the rope is too long. It should be at armpit level.

As you become more proficient at jumping, shortening the rope will increase the rope's rotational speed and improve your reflexes. For best performance, cut the cord to the desired length, but if you don't wish to cut your rope to shorten it, you can tie a knot near the handle.

Bounce Step and Alternate Foot-Step ///

Before learning more advanced training techniques, it is imperative to first master the two basic jump-rope skills. Even before trying these, it is advisable to spend some time doing a "shadow jump." Shadow jumping is simulation of jump rope, only without the rope. Do not make the mistake of going from zero to hero, or you'll quickly get discouraged. It is crucial to follow a step-by-step progression with initial emphasis on technique rather than speed.

At first, keep your focus on practicing timing and coordination. Start with one jump at a time. Once you master timing and rhythm, increase to five jumps per set. As you gain proficiency, keep adding jumps until you can perform 140 consecutive jumps. To build your proficiency, practice 5-10 minutes twice per day. Stretch after each session, especially your calves.

Over a six-week period, focus on gradually building your jump rope endurance from 140 to 500 consecutive jumps in small increments. Do not immediately focus on improving speed. Simply mastering these two techniques will provide you with a solid foundation for your jump rope training.

Bounce Step

  1. Jump with both feet approx. 1 inch off the floor.
  2. Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
  3. Do not let your heels touch the ground on landing.
  4. Master the bounce step before attempting the alternate-foot step.

Alternate-Foot Step

  1. Instead of jumping with both feet at once, alternate your feet as if running in place.
  2. Be sure to raise your knees to the front.
  3. Jump a little higher than 1 inch off the floor.
  4. Stay on the balls of your feet.

20-Minute High Intensity Resistance Circuit ///

Feeling confident with your rope? Let's take things to the next level by sandwiching jumping between strength exercises. I like to tackle an intense workout like this in the morning, because later in the day, it'll be too easy to talk myself out of it. Plus, this way I burn fat the rest of the day!

For this 20-minute circuit, set your timer for 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 20 cycles. The goal is to transition between exercises with little to no rest time. I recommend you use a circuit timer like Gymboss, which can be downloaded onto your smartphone.

High Intensity Jump Rope Training Circuit

Watch The Video - 12:41




For the jump rope part of this circuit, use a combination of the basic bounce and alternate-foot step jump rope techniques. As you gain proficiency, increase the amount of jumps you can do during the 50-second work periods. In time, integrate the "high-step" technique, which is the same as the alternate-foot step technique except that you raise your knees to hip-level.

Circuit: Repeat 2x

References

  1. Baker J.A. Comparison of rope skipping and jogging as methods of improving cardiovascular efficiency of college men. Research Quarterly, 1969, 39. P. 240-243
  2. Lee, Buddy. Jump Rope Training (2nd Edition). Human Kinetics. 2010.
  3. Lee, Buddy. Jump Rope Basics, Part 1: Preparation. CrossFit Journal, Issue 62, October 2007.
  4. Lee, Buddy. Jump Rope Basics, Part 2. CrossFit Journal, Issue 64, December 2007.

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About The Author

Dr. Sara Solomon received her B.Sc. in Physical Therapy and her D.M.D. in 2001 and 2005 respectively. Learn more about this Oxygen Magazine success...

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Comments

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JohnHardesty

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JohnHardesty

I definitely need to add this to my program! Much more engaging then cardio on a treadmill. Thanks Sara!

Mar 19, 2013 6:18pm | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

Thanks John! Perhaps Next Time I come to Boise, I could give a Jump Rope lesson to you and anyone who is game from the bb.com crew? ps. Get Jeff to show you his fancy Buddy Lee Jump Rope. Buddy gave it to me to give to Jeff when I did the Jump Rope World Tour with him. We wanted Jeff to experience it before we put an article on bb.com. Oh, the rope he gave me isn't even half as fancy as Jeff's!

Mar 19, 2013 9:13pm | report
Southcac24

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Southcac24

I need to add this to my cardio sessions. I have 2 jump ropes and really need to start using them. Thanks Sara.

Mar 19, 2013 10:16pm | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

Thank you!!!! You better start jumping... double jumps!!! lol

Mar 20, 2013 7:27pm | report
bluefireflip

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bluefireflip

Just started rope jumping a couple weeks ago and absolutely love it!! I could have used the advice to stretch my calves a little earlier though, haha.

Mar 20, 2013 1:47am | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

awesome! ps. I stretch my calves everyday post-w/o. I also foam roll them :)

Mar 20, 2013 7:28pm | report
chumar47

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chumar47

the article is great and we appreciate your work i will definitely try this

Mar 20, 2013 1:55am | report
 
scbiller

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scbiller

Love the different approach to circuit training!

Mar 20, 2013 5:06am | report
 
bouboula

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bouboula

short intervals are killers and way more effective than running for hours! I often train like that and I can highly recommended.

Mar 20, 2013 8:03am | report
 
chiefgreybeard

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chiefgreybeard

Old school for sure! Tape your hands, do 5 minutes of jump rope, quick like a bunny rabbit, put on the gloves, 100 punches in 2 minutes on the heavy bag, quickly remove the gloves and 5 more minutes jumping rope. When you can do two cycles of this, your heart is ready for a 3 round fight! Now you're ready to learn the skill part. That's how they started us 50 years ago.

Mar 20, 2013 8:24am | report
 
dajunglebrotha

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dajunglebrotha

lol yeah jump rope can kick your ***!!! serious biz right here! good read!

Mar 20, 2013 9:18am | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

Thanks!!!

Mar 20, 2013 7:30pm | report
Topshelf97

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Topshelf97

Thanks Sara! I've been looking to add more cardio to my program. Utilizing circuit training with jump rope will really increase the intensity of my training. Great idea and great article.

Mar 20, 2013 11:04am | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

thank you :)

Mar 20, 2013 7:29pm | report
MarkT808

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MarkT808

gonna give this a whirl this weekend

Mar 20, 2013 2:04pm | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

Let me know how you fare!

Mar 20, 2013 7:29pm | report
Jaluca

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Jaluca

Definitely gonna give this one a try!

Mar 20, 2013 2:55pm | report
 
ItsMe713

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ItsMe713

jumping rope is the truth...

Mar 20, 2013 5:06pm | report
 
PagtBod

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PagtBod

i need a jump rope now! :)

Article Rated:
Mar 20, 2013 7:06pm | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

Mine is pink like your bikini in your profile pic! you can get it here: http://www.drsarasolomon.com/jump-rope/

Mar 20, 2013 7:30pm | report
ashleyhorner

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ashleyhorner

i love this girl, beauty and brians! Go Sara!

Mar 20, 2013 9:41pm | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

awe thanks ash! I love you more! lol Seriously, you inspire the hell outta me!

Mar 20, 2013 10:20pm | report
shaddock67

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shaddock67

This is great! Adding this to my routine. I was using the jump rope I have, the handles are weighted. had a good rythm going, and stopped. UFF!! now to get back into. Thanks for putting the spark back into jump roping Sara.

Mar 21, 2013 3:10am | report
 
plmcute8402

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plmcute8402

This is going into my workout book! Ive been looking for exercises outdoors at home, we have large patio area that connects to the pool- i can do this without taking my eyes off her! You just helped me kill 2birds with 1 stone! Thank you!

Mar 21, 2013 8:40am | report
 
P90XVeteran

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P90XVeteran

Definitely agree. I incorporate jump rope to my training all the time (I do Insanity Asylum)

Mar 21, 2013 12:05pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 56 Comments

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