When you think of using a jump rope, you may picture young girls engaging in this activity with their friends. However, there are several excellent reasons why this exercise is making a comeback for fun and effective fitness routines.

Dr. William Roberts with the University of Minnesota Medical School Sports Medicine Program asserts that professional athletes have used jumping fitness routines for balance, strength, and cardiovascular health. Dr. Roberts points out that boxers have to be agile on their feet when they’re in the ring, and jumping helps them work many of the same muscles necessary for boxing.

Several celebrities, including Jennifer Garner, Halle Berry, Kaley Cuoco, and Carrie Underwood, use a jump rope in their workout regimens to prepare for roles or stay in a general state of good health.

Callie Gullickson, CPT, says that jumping is a good exercise for people of all fitness levels. That advice means this activity is excellent for anyone who wants to make their exercise routines more enjoyable.

Ten Reasons Why a Jump Rope Adds Value to Your Workout

Here are ten reasons why this fun and cost-effective workout could prove to be an effective home workout for you.

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1. You’ll strengthen your bones

When you jump at a steady pace, you’re working against your body weight. You’re exerting weight onto your skeleton, which helps improve the health of your bones. This exercise is excellent for maintaining your bone density as an adult, but younger people can incorporate jumping into their physical activity routines to promote healthy bone development. This is especially important for girls. Puberty is the best time to develop bone strength and density since it is more challenging to boost bone density after a girl’s teenage years are over.

Jumping can also help make bones stronger in women who are postmenopausal. Women who are already in menopause are more likely to develop osteoporosis than any other age group, according to a BioMed Research International study. This means that jumping rope is an ideal aerobic workout, no matter what age you are, so you’ll have healthy bones throughout your life.

2. You can prevent physical injury

The stronger your bones are, the harder it will be for your bones to break. This is why adding jumping to your workout routine is essential. If you have osteoporosis, your bones can easily fracture if you suffer a fall or even while you’re engaging in everyday activities like bending down or sitting in certain positions. Jumping and other weight-bearing workouts are ideal for every stage of life, and this means you’re less likely to get osteoporosis in your senior years or break your bones, regardless of your age.

Dr. Roberts also asserts that rope jumping can prevent ankle injuries since it strengthens your ankle joints and supports muscles. You’ll find that your legs and ankles are more flexible. The more you jump, the less likely it is that you’ll sustain leg and ankle muscle injuries. You may also want to try jumping as part of your injury recovery process.

3. Your cardiovascular and respiratory health will improve

Medical experts say that jumping is an ideal cardiorespiratory exercise. This activity is high-intensity and raises your heart rate more than other cardio types like cycling, walking, or jogging. While you can push your body’s endurance to the limits to get the most benefits from these exercises, you can improve the health of your heart and respiratory system by jumping rope without having to work your body as hard.

In addition to improving your heart’s function and strengthening your lungs, jumping can also prevent serious health conditions, like weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, and even certain cancer forms. Instead of getting a stationary bike or working out on the treadmill, try jumping to preserve the health of your heart.

4. It’s a wonderful exercise for improving your balance and coordination

To perfect your jumping routine, you’ll have to work on coordinating the movement of your eyes, hands, and feet. This means you should engage in this workout as often as you can to become easier over time. Jumping requires you to be aware of your body and concentrate on your movements. This is why professional fighters are so fond of a jump rope workout.

You’ll find that you become more flexible and coordinated in your daily life, which can make you less accident-prone. Once your coordination improves, you may be more motivated to try other physical activities like dancing or team sports like basketball or kickball. Be sure to keep your routine slow at first and work your way up in speed as you become more accustomed to the body movement required for this exercise.

5. The activity helps you find your rhythm

A considerable part of perfecting your jumping routine is timing. As you’re learning your workout regimen, you’re improving your rhythm and speed. Once you gain more proficiency, you can start jumping while lifting your knees or crisscrossing your legs while jumping. Even if you’re not ready to engage in fancy jumping routines, you can change the rhythm of your routine, switching between slow and fast cadences to enhance your sense of rhythm while improving your heart rate.

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6. It’s great for sculpting your calves

If you want more definition in your legs, jumping is one of the best workouts to add to your health and wellness routine. Consistently working out improves the strength and look of your calves. This not only makes your legs look great in shorts or a dress but working out in this way can also improve the elasticity of your fascia and tendons to store energy in your muscles and make working out a little easier.

7. This exercise helps you burn calories

Women’s Health recently ranked rope jumping as the highest on its list of effective calorie-burning workouts. When you jump rope, you’re burning between 667 and 990 calories an hour. Research also indicates that jumping provides a more efficient calorie burn than running, according to Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen, Ph.D. FACSM and clinical exercise physiologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities asserts that jumping rope has a MET value of 11. MET is a measure used to calculate the estimated amount of energy the body expends during a specific activity. Running about 12 minutes per mile, on the other hand, only has a MET value of 8.3. At 8.5 minutes per mile, running faster offers a MET value that is equivalent to rope jumping.

8. It makes your shoulders stronger

While jumping strengthens your core and helps tone the lower half of your body, this exercise can also make your shoulders appear more muscular and more defined. A small study published in the Human Kinetics Journal reveals that working out with a weight jump rope for up to 12 weeks had improved mobility and stronger shoulder joints.

9. Progress is easy

All the benefits of jumping are amplified when you use a weighted rope for jumping after getting used to your workout routine. Since your swinging a heavier cable during your workout, you’ll notice more muscle tone and strength in your upper body. A weighted rope can also help you burn more calories. A weighted rope also increases your endurance and coordination, according to a National Library of Medicine study. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness confirms that a weighted rope can also make you lighter on your feet over time.

10. It’s a versatile, affordable, and portable exercise

One of the best benefits of this workout is that you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to worry about purchasing an expensive gym membership, and you can exercise indoors when the weather doesn’t permit an outdoor workout. When you’re able to jump outdoors, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of vitamin D. The rope is easy to carry, so if you’re exercising with friends, you don’t have to bring any heavy equipment with you. You don’t need lots of room to jump; make sure the rope will go over your head.

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Final Thoughts on Using a Jump Rope to Your Workout Routine

While there are several benefits to jumping, medical professionals recommend using caution to have knee, back, or ankle issues. If you have chronic foot pain or wear orthopedic shoes, be sure to ask your doctor if using a jump rope is a safe exercise routine option for you.

If you want to start jumping as part of your workout regimen, it’s best to start slow and engage in low-cardio workouts to build your aerobic stamina, especially if you’ve been sedentary past few months.

This enjoyable workout is more challenging than it looks, but it’s lots of fun once you get the hang of it. Try exercise that less strenuous on your muscles and joints until you can maintain an intense workout. You’ll likely gain more energy with each exercise session, which will motivate you to continue exercising as you continue to accomplish your fitness goals.