Jump Rope Cardio Challenge

by Marianne  - January 30, 2010

Hi everyone,
This is a very basic workout, but it can burn some serious calories.  The aim is to do as many rounds of 4 types of skipping in 15 mins.  Skipping can burn as many calories as running, but I think it’s more fun.  There are many tricks you can learn to give yourself a challenge and they just look cool.

Right before I started this workout I was trying the criss-cross for the first time.  During my practice I managed to literally whip my own ass lol, then my arm several times, then my ear!  I tried this move for the first couple of rounds in the workout, but soon had to give up and do jacks instead. I wasn’t getting a good enough run to keep my heart rate elevated due to all the stopping and starting.

Hope you like the end clip? You see, Andrew is usually way too good at everything – except skipping lol – ha haa I found his weakness!   When you’re trying skipping at first, it can be very frustrating, but keep a cool head and stay focused, it will become easier soon enough.



The workout

Here is one round:

  1. 25 reps Feet Together Single Jumps
  2. 25 reps Alternating Feet Single Jumps (fast pace)
  3. 25 reps High Knees (faster again)
  4. 25 reps Jump Rope Jacks (or if you want Criss-cross)

I completed 13 3/4 rounds in 15 mins, that’s 1,375 reps, not bad. I will add skipping in to my training from time to time for variety, plus it gives your calves a hell of a workout!

Let me know how you get on



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  1. Hi Marianne,
    I am starting to do skipping, having never done it since I was a little boy!!
    I also bought some 20 mm foam mats to skip on to protect my knees and I can already feel the good it is doing me. I am doing it using a tabata timing of 10/20 secs and 20 secs is enough of a straight session for me just now.

    I really hope to be able to get up to the standard to do your session, but that may be some way off for me.

    Cheers, Peter

    1. Peter, I think anyone’s “standards” are relative to your individual journey. For example, you don’t have to deadlift 300lbs to be considered strong. If you have goals and you are progressing and enjoying your confidence that comes from training, then you have reached the standards of my sessions. Because that is all I do. I strive to be a better/stronger/more confident version of myself 😀

  2. I could not stop laughing at the Andrew segment, it was just too silly. I definitely feel his pain there though, as I look exactly the same when I try to jump rope with high knees.

  3. Don’t do skipping outside with a plastic rope when it’s near -20 degrees…I broke my new good rope, it just snapped. Don’t know where was my common sense at the time, but surely I will remember how (some)plastic reacts with cold from now on. 🙁 But I loved the challenge as long as it lasted. I did the rest just jumping without a rope but it wasn’t as fun as it would have been with a rope.

  4. I love my skipping rope, my neighbor doesn’t 🙂 I payed 4euro for it and it’s my favorite piece of equipment with my gymboss.

    I do a similar workout but I use my interval timer
    6 rounds of 3 minutes of straight skipping, a total of 16 minutes,
    within those three minutes I change from high knees, jump rope jacks, feet together etc.

    It is a killer cardio workout. I’ll have to try that criss cross it looks so bad ass.

  5. I’ve got the double unders down, but can’t do some of the others. Maybe it just depends on the day! ha ha and the sunshine! I know, it’s sad to wear wristwraps for whip burns from jumprope and not need them for kettlebells! ha ha

  6. that’s awesome! definitely going to try this one this week. Do you ever do double unders? I can do those but never tried the criss cross. Maybe I should invest in some knee pads for when I hit the concrete! ha ha

  7. Hi Marianne,
    I think you’re skipping workout is amazing! And if you think Andrew is bad you should see me!! I bought a skipping rope recently and after watching your video I was inspired to go out the back to try some new moves…well I lasted all of 30 (rather slow – compared to you) jumps and was totally out of breath in under a minute! I swim regularly but the skipping was much more taxing.
    How long did it take you to build up to where you are now?? Any tips – I should say btw that I’m a good bit older than you – probably old enough to be your mother – so have I any chance of keeping up?

    To keep myself fit I was thinking of combining swimming, walking and skipping – is this a good mix or can you suggest a better balance?


    1. Hi Phyllis welcome to my blog. I am happy to hear that I have inspired you to take up skipping. I was very bad at it too when I first started, but it just takes practice and patience. It maybe took me 3-4 separate attempts to get it right, but I still get my bad days lol. You’re never too old to skip. It’s a great addition to your current exercise routine as it provides variety to your activities. This will prevent you hitting a plateau as the body can become accustomed to the same exercises. Skipping also provides a higher impact activity compared to walking and swimming, and this impact can be good for your bones. It may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis problems as we get older. It is also excellent cardio (as I imagine you’ve discovered). Swimming and walking are good low impact cardio and they can be sustained for longer. Swimming is also a great way to relieve your joints as well as incorporating more muscle groups such as the arms, shoulders, chest and back. Overall you’re doing very well.

      In addition, you might consider some body weight resistance work in order to tone and sculpt your muscles. Building not bigger or bulky muscles, but denser muscles, providing support for your joints and enabling you to burn more calories. I will post some workouts in the near future concentrating on body weight resistance exercises.

      Hope this helps

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