The Most Underutilized Piece of Cardio Equipment
The most underutilized piece of gym equipment would almost have to be the jumprope. More specifically, how the jumprope can be used to enhance any aspect of your fitness routine.
We see jump ropes hanging from hooks in every gym yet we all walk right past them. Believe me when I tell you...you’re missing out!
You’re not just missing out on adding some fun back into your monotonous daily routine. You’re also missing out on several other aspects that will help you reach your fitness goals much faster than you thought possible.
For starters, the caloric burn is surprisingly high. Depending on your weight, jumping rope will burn roughly 10-16 calories per minute! With just two 10 minute sessions every other day you can burn close to 1,300 extra calories per week!
As I mentioned above, the rope itself isn’t anything novel, it’s how you use it. My methodology is such that I believe highly in an interval style of working out. Adding some jump roping to your routine will give you that cyclical heart rate that is so imperative to raising your body’s metabolism.
Benefits of jumping rope:
Your average jump rope costs $15
A jump rope takes up next to no space so it can be taken anywhere
Tight on space? To use a jump rope you really only need a 6’x3’ area
If, like I do, you run outside a lot and want to mix it up a bit to burn even more calories, tie a jump rope around your waist before you head out the door. Throughout your run, stop every 10 minutes and jump rope for 5 minutes. This will TORCH calories!
Increases bone density
The impact of jumping rope will increase your bone density but isn’t as stressful on the joints because the impact is absorbed by both legs as opposed to running where each impact is unilateral.
Burns a ton of calories
As I mentioned above, jumping rope burns roughly 10-16 calories a minute. If you go with 3 10-minute rounds, you will burn roughly 480 calories in 30 minutes. According to Science Daily, just 10 minutes of jumping rope is about equivalent to running an 8-minute mile.
FUN! Use your imagination and you can turn traditional jumping rope into something more fun by changing the “jump” aspect of the movement. Try doing jumping jacks instead of the regular two foot hop. Try doing high knees. Try doing a double turn.
Improves dynamic balance, coordination, and reflexes
Decreases foot and ankle injuries
Some of my favorite jumprope workouts:
Cardio-Jump Routine (Warmup for 10 minutes prior to beginning this routine)
As mentioned above, jumping rope can be added to any cardio routine if you want to burn even more calories. My example involved running outside with a jumprope tied around your waist. The same concept can be applied to indoor cardio in a gym as well. Grab a jumprope before you head to your favorite cardio piece. If you’re a beginner, spend 10 minutes on the cardio machine and then hop off and complete 2 minutes of jumping rope. Continue this for 24-36 minutes. For more advanced gym goers, try a 1:1 split of 5 minutes on the cardio machine and 5 minutes of jumping rope. Do this for 40 minutes and you’ll burn over 400 calories!
Power-Jump Routine (Warmup for 10 minutes prior to beginning this routine)
One of the aspects of fitness that too many of us forget about is power. Power can be described as the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movement. These exercises range from simple squat jumps or burpees to olympic lifts. For the layperson, the addition of power movements simply means you will not only be burning more calories during your workouts, but you will also be burning more calories throughout the day.
An added bonus of power exercises is the addition of lean muscle in a shorter period of time than simply utilizing only traditional strength exercises.
Here’s my Power-Jump routine:
Exercise #1: 1-minute Jumping jacks
Exercise #2: 1-minute Squat jumps
Exercise #3: 1-minute Jump rope
Exercise #4: 1-minute Burpees
Exercise #5: 1-minute Medicine ball slams
Strength-Jump Routine (Warmup for 10 minutes prior to beginning this routine)
As with most of us, time is limited and therefore my training style involves combining strength and cardio to ensure we hit all aspects of fitness within a short amount of time. The best, and most effective, way of accomplishing this is to set up a circuit that incorporates one exercise of each of the following facets of fitness:
Strength and muscular endurance
Here’s an example of a 30 minute routine that combines all of the above:
Exercise #1 - 60 seconds Jump rope
(Cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, coordination, and power)
Exercise #2 - 60 seconds Burpees
(Cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, coordination, power, core strength, and flexibility)
Exercise #3 - 60 seconds Bodyweight squats
(Muscular endurance, core strength, coordination, and flexibility)
Exercise #4 - High knees jump rope
(Cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, coordination, power, and flexibility)
Exercise #5 - Plank up/downs
(Muscular endurance, core strength, and coordination)
Repeat this 5 exercise circuit a total of 5 times and you’ve hit every major aspect of fitness several times within a span of just 30 minutes.
Masochist-Jump Routine (Warmup for 10 minutes prior to beginning this routine)
If you want a killer routine, try using the rowing machine for 3 minutes (hard and fast) then completing 20 burpees, and finally wrapping the circuit up with 3 minutes of jumping rope. No breaks. Continue this 3-exercise circuit 3-5 times.