Skipping – It helps to sculpt the calves
If you envy calves that pop, jumping rope is a fun way to get showstoppers of your own.
According to Gullickson, the take-off portion of the jumping program works to build calf muscles.
The landing has benefits for your calves, too.
It helps to improve the elasticity of the tendons and fascia (i.e. connective tissue) which surround them, which helps them to better store energy.
It really burns…off calories
WH previously ranked skipping rope highest on its list of the best calorie-burning exercises.
Its burn rate is between 667 to 990 calories per hour.
What’s more: Research supports the idea that jumping rope provides a better burn than running, too; says Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen, PhD FACSM, clinical exercise physiologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
“According to the 2011 (most recent) Compendium of Physical Activities, skipping rope has a MET value [a measure used to estimate the amount of energy an activity expends] of 11, while running at 5mph (12 min/mile) has a MET value of 8.3,” he says. “Running at a speed of 7mph (8.5 min/mile) has a MET value of 11, the equivalent to skipping rope. In other words, you have to run pretty fast to equal [the caloric burn] of jumping rope.”
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It may help to improve shoulder strength
From a strength and toning perspective, most of the physical benefits of jumping rope are focused on your core and lower body; however, it may help to improve shoulder strength too, according to findings from a small study published in the Human Kinetics Journal.
Participants spent 12 weeks training with a weighted jump rope, and by the end, their shoulder joints were stronger and showed an increase in mobility.
It’s easy to progress
All the goodness endowed by rope jumping can be easily enhanced by replacing a regular (or speed) rope with a weighted rope; notes Dr. Roberts. Because you’re swinging a heavier cable, you’ll see more strengthening and toning in the upper body, and torch more calories overall, too.
Something else to consider?
Weighted ropes provide jumpers with greater gains in coordination and endurance, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine.
Heavier ropes can also lead to greater agility gains, per another study originally published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
The equipment is accessible, portable, and versatile
“The best benefit of all is you can jump rope anywhere,” says Gullickson.
[A jump rope] doesn’t take up space, is super light (unless you have a weighted jump rope) and can fit into any small bag.” And if you fold them, she adds, jump ropes can double as props in, for example, an arms circuit.
This makes them even more convenient for use when traveling.
You don’t need a ton of room to jump, either. “As long as you’ve got a reasonable ceiling height or there’s enough room for the rope to go over your head; it can be done indoors in a fairly small space,” Dr. Roberts says.
It’s perfect for the outdoors, too, which means that if you don’t have room in your home; you can still partake of the equipment’s benefits (preferably while soaking in some vitamin D, too!).
And while there are premium jump ropes on the market—especially in the weighted category—they don’t have to be expensive.