Six Ways to Use a Jump Rope

One sure-fire way to spike your heart rate and carve your calves: jump rope. But single unders can get a little, well, redundant. Here, Nike Master Trainer Brian Nunez shares six creative ways to use a jump rope—his mix targets everything from your shoulders and abs to your glutes, hammies and quads—and each will challenge your cardio capacity and coordination.

Before you get started, double-check you have the right-size rope for your height. Stand on the middle of the rope and make sure the ends hit right around your armpits. To ace your form, keep a loose grip on the handles (holding them too tightly will tire your forearms) and focus on quickly turning your wrists with your elbows near your sides.

Try doing each of these moves for 30 seconds to 1 minute; aim for 1 to 3 rounds for a quick burn, or tack your favourites onto any workout.

1. Heel and Toe Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Each time you land, switch your feet so that the ball of your back foot and the heel of your front foot tap the ground. Stay light and move with control, working to develop a smooth rhythm.

2. Single-Leg Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, calves

Keep one foot about 15 centimetres (6 inches) off the floor so the rope doesn't hit your foot, and jump on only the opposite foot. Keep your eyes straight ahead and shoulders back. Halfway through, switch sides and repeat.

3. High Knees

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Alternating one leg at a time, drive one knee up towards your chest as the rope swings around. As you start to feel comfortable, pump your knees upwards faster and turn your wrists quicker.

4. Lateral Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, inner thighs, calves

Bounce from side to side as you jump, keeping your feet close together (widen them, and your feet could hit the rope).

5. Criss-Cross Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, calves

Cross your arms in front of you every other rep (think of giving yourself a big hug) and raise your knees up higher during the criss-cross to clear the rope.

6. Lateral Quick Feet

Muscles worked: shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Place the jump rope on the floor in a long U shape, with the two ends spaced about 30 centimetre (1 foot) apart. Start on one side of the rope and step your feet, one by one, into the centre of the rope. Then, step them out, one by one, to the other side. Immediately reverse that movement, then repeat. Pump your arms while you step to rev up the intensity.

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Tap into the ultimate training resource with the Nike Training Club App. From expertly designed workouts to holistic tips on nutrition, mindset, recovery and sleep, NTC has everything you need to perform your best.

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Six Ways to Use a Jump Rope

One sure-fire way to spike your heart rate and carve your calves: jump rope. But single unders can get a little, well, redundant. Here, Nike Master Trainer Brian Nunez shares six creative ways to use a jump rope—his mix targets everything from your shoulders and abs to your glutes, hammies and quads—and each will challenge your cardio capacity and coordination.

Before you get started, double-check you have the right-size rope for your height. Stand on the middle of the rope and make sure the ends hit right around your armpits. To ace your form, keep a loose grip on the handles (holding them too tightly will tire your forearms) and focus on quickly turning your wrists with your elbows near your sides.

Try doing each of these moves for 30 seconds to 1 minute; aim for 1 to 3 rounds for a quick burn, or tack your favourites onto any workout.

1. Heel and Toe Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Each time you land, switch your feet so that the ball of your back foot and the heel of your front foot tap the ground. Stay light and move with control, working to develop a smooth rhythm.

2. Single-Leg Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, calves

Keep one foot about 15 centimetres (6 inches) off the floor so the rope doesn't hit your foot, and jump on only the opposite foot. Keep your eyes straight ahead and shoulders back. Halfway through, switch sides and repeat.

3. High Knees

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Alternating one leg at a time, drive one knee up towards your chest as the rope swings around. As you start to feel comfortable, pump your knees upwards faster and turn your wrists quicker.

4. Lateral Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, inner thighs, calves

Bounce from side to side as you jump, keeping your feet close together (widen them, and your feet could hit the rope).

5. Criss-Cross Jumps

Muscles worked: shoulders, abs, glutes, quads, calves

Cross your arms in front of you every other rep (think of giving yourself a big hug) and raise your knees up higher during the criss-cross to clear the rope.

6. Lateral Quick Feet

Muscles worked: shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Place the jump rope on the floor in a long U shape, with the two ends spaced about 30 centimetre (1 foot) apart. Start on one side of the rope and step your feet, one by one, into the centre of the rope. Then, step them out, one by one, to the other side. Immediately reverse that movement, then repeat. Pump your arms while you step to rev up the intensity.

Come Train With Us

Tap into the ultimate training resource with the Nike Training Club App. From expertly designed workouts to holistic tips on nutrition, mindset, recovery and sleep, NTC has everything you need to perform your best.

Related Stories

Six Do-Anywhere Resistance Band Moves to Boost Strength

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6 Yoga Poses that Benefit Every Athlete

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Three Easy Ways to Create Your Own HIIT Workouts

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