Rope skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise
according to the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine
Council. It is far less hard on the muscles and bones than
While running or jogging, each foot absorbs up to 5 times
the body weight from the force of the impact as the foot
hits the ground. This force of hitting the ground can cause
damage to the feet, ankles, hips and knees. But in rope
skipping, the shock of hitting the ground is absorbed by
both feet allowing the calf muscles to control and absorb
According to the American College of Sports Medicine,
skipping rope is among the activities it recommends for
aerobic conditioning. In order to improve heart and lung
health, it must be performed 3 to 5 times per week for 12 to
20 minutes an hour, and at an intensity that will get the
heart rate into training range.
To find your training range subtract your age from 220.
Multiply that figure by .9 to get the high range. Multiply
by .6 to get low range. With this formula a person 25 years
old must keep their aerobic heart pulse between 117 and 176
to be gaining benefit. Aerobic benefits do not diminish or
decline with training as in other aerobic activities.
From an energy standpoint, jumping rope at about 130
revolutions per minute is similar to running at 6 miles per
hour or cycling 12 miles per hour. Just 10 minutes of rope
skipping is equivalent to a one-mile run.
When choosing a rope, hold the rope and stand with your feet
on the middle. If the length is correct, the handles should
just reach your armpits. Handles should be thick and
Look for a cushioned surface to jump on. A large
rectangular carpet remnant is ideal. Hard surfaces like
concrete should be avoided.
Choose well-cushioned athletic footwear just as you would
for walking or running.
Start slow by gradually increasing session time over 2 to 3
weeks to let your leg muscles get accustomed to the extra
Many adults give up rope jumping because they are
uncoordinated and miss too many steps. But this improves
with time and practice.
More information on jump ropes may be found at: