Finding a Good Shoe for Jumping Rope

Sports & Activity

Using a jump rope is a great addition to your workout, but it's important to wear the right shoes.

Last updated: January 15, 2022
5 min read
Finding a Good Shoe for Jumping Rope

Using a jump rope can be so much more than a kid's game — jumping rope is great cardio exercise that actually burns calories and can help improve heart health. It can also help with coordination and making your bones stronger. Not to mention jumping rope is a low injury-risk exercise, which makes it appealing for those looking to incorporate a new cardio exercise into their routine.

As with all exercises though, wearing the right footwear is key to doing a jump rope workout safely and effectively.

Jumping Rope as Part of Your Workout

Creating a diverse workout routine helps give you the ability to hit all your muscle groups and toss in some excellent cardio. In order to stay engaged and motivated by your fitness routine, it’s important to choose a mix of exercises that you enjoy. Luckily, there are so many different exercises to pick from — and jumping rope is one that, for many adults, will bring back some feelings of joy, fun and nostalgia from childhood.

One major benefit to using a jump rope is burning calories. The movement and cardio output of jumping rope knocks those calories out fast. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn approximately 750 calories by jump roping for an hour — or 250 calories for a 20-minute jump rope workout. This happens because so many muscle groups are engaged when you’re jumping rope. Additionally, the high calorie burn happens because jumping rope is a thermogenic exercise. This means it generates a lot of body heat, which translates to more calories burned.

Other benefits to having the jump rope as part of your regular exercise routine may include:

  • Improved coordination, since several body parts are communicating in unison to complete the movement of jumping rope
  • Better agility and body awareness
  • Enhanced cardiovascular endurance during exercise, which can lead to better heart health
  • Increased bone density and lower risk for osteoporosis

The intensity of jumping rope, and the high-energy workout it gives you makes it a great addition to a high-intensity intervals (HIIT) exercise routine.

How to Jump Rope for Beginners

If you’re new to jumping rope, the best type of rope to begin with is a beaded rope. It’s easier to control and will hold its shape better. Jump ropes aren’t sized for individuals, so you’ll need to adjust your jump rope to make sure you’re working with the right length. To do so, you want to stand on the center of the rope and hold the handles up to your armpits. This is the ideal height for your jump rope.

You also want to make sure you have enough space to jump rope. Unlike stretching or exercising with free weights, jumping rope has you flinging your equipment over your head, behind and in front of you. To avoid hitting anyone, or anything, give yourself a 4-foot by 6-foot area with about 10 inches above your head.

It’s also important to think about the surface you’re jumping on. Soft surfaces such as carpet or grass are not ideal. Your foot can easily slip. Alternately, concrete and asphalt are too firm. Impact can put too much stress on muscles and joints. Instead jump on a wood floor, a piece of plywood or an impact mat.

When you’re ready to jump, there are few different ways to use your jump rope. You can go traditional, swinging the rope over your head, around your whole body, using both feet to jump at just the right time, but you can also:

  • Alternate heels and toes
  • Jump with one leg at a time
  • Lift those knees up extra high
  • Bounce from side-to-side with each jump
  • Crisscross your arms as you jump

Working in more complex jumps as you get more comfortable with the workout can help keep the exercise fresh and interesting.

Wearing the Right Shoes

Once you’ve gotten your jump rope technique down, and found the ideal spot for the exercise, it’s time to think about what’s on your feet. The exercise itself can put a lot of stress on your knees and ankles, and the right shoe can help relieve these joints.

To address these issues, the right shoe for jumping rope should have the following features:

  • Great arch and ankle support. This means a little bit of cushioning in all the right spots.
  • Flat and rubber sole. You want your jump rope shoes to not have an elevated heel. This is purely for safety reasons, since an elevated heel can make you less stable when landing from a jump. Your ideal jump rope shoe should be flat and have a rubber sole that will prevent you from slipping, but also absorb some of the impact.
  • Breathability and flexibility. These features are important because jumping rope is high-impact and can cause you to start sweating pretty quickly.

Overall, the best type of shoe to capture most, if not all, of these features are those categorized as training shoes. This particular type of shoe is designed for the type of movement you do inside the gym, whether you're lunging, lifting or jumping rope.

Grab a Jump Rope and Get to It

You know what jump rope to use and how to set yourself up for success with this sweat-inducing, high-impact exercise, so what’s holding you back? Grab your sneakers and start jumping.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Workout Routines Typically Include Jumping Rope?

A great way to incorporate jumping rope is by using this exercise as part of your HIIT workouts. It's a nice addition to the lunges, squats and jumps you’ll typically do with this type of exercise routine. If you’re a runner and you’re looking to strengthen your calves to reduce the risk of shin splints, inserting a jump rope warm-up into your pre-run routine can help make a difference.

What Kind of Jump Rope Exercises Do Boxers Use?

Many boxers incorporate jumping rope into their warm-up routine. This can mean jumping for 10-20 minutes straight or breaking up the time into shorter sets with a resting period between.

Should I Jump Rope Barefoot?

When you jump rope barefoot, every time you land, your feet, ankles and even your knees absorb the shock. That’s a lot for your joints to endure. For that reason, you should really only think about jumping rope barefoot once you’re sure you’ve got the proper form down. Beginners should always wear shoes. For experienced jump-ropers, jumping rope barefoot can help make your feet stronger and improve stability and mobility since your feet are coming in direct contact with the ground.

Originally published: December 27, 2021

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