Jump Rope to Target Fat Loss. How To Effectively Burn Calories Using It

Hi! I am the author and founder of Old School Calisthenic

March 29, 2018

Jump rope can be effectively used as an alternative to target fat loss. It has been a part of my arsenal since I started bodyweight training which also includes the jump rope and running. I think it is a great piece of equipment -cheap and useful to any practitioner, regardless of their fitness level or weight. Rope-jumping activates the cardiovascular system for better performance while at the same time it is an efficient calorie-burner.

Many professional athletes, like boxers and martial arts enthusiasts, use it to build great stamina and cardio, while for fitness newbies it is a powerful tool to lose poundage and build a basic fitness level. I also found the Jump Rope a great substitute for those unable to run and even a great form of exercise to add to any kind of High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.).

I was pleased to find out on the internet that doctors actually recommend jump rope for fat loss and as a way to improve health. Having their endorsement too, you can now stop wondering how efficient it actually is.

Advantages of Jumping the Rope

If it’s done properly, then jumping-rope provides a lower-impact activity than running. By jumping you are placing direct stress on the knees, hips, and ankles. Also, from experience, I know that the trapezes, forearms, and shoulders are getting a lot of work too. 

I usually warm-up to increase blood circulation and to prevent any bad consequences like hurting the Achilles tendons -they are the ones most stressed when jumping. In order to make sure you will be ready for a great jumping-rope session, do some squats, burpees or simulate static jogging for 5-10 minutes. 

As I said, it is lower-impact than running, thus overweight persons and those with knee issues can do it successfully. I remember that I used to coach a 14-years boy that simply couldn’t run because of his knees, and I had him skip rope to replace running. He couldn’t jog 15-20 minutes, but he could skip rope for 30 minutes with short breaks.

I personally use the jump rope as part of my HIIT workouts. On some occasions my legs haven’t recovered properly after a long-distance run, sprint session or a leg workout, so the only thing I can do in this case is rope-skipping.

The beautiful part of rope-jumping is that in 30 minutes you can burn hundreds of calories. As being an aerobic exercise, it relies on oxygen and stored fat as fuel (learn about the mathematics of fat here). How many calories you burn though, depends on the rest time, pace, weight, fitness level, etc. 

So as you can see these are the greatest advantages that a jump rope brings, to either complete a training session or as a replacement in case of need.

Although your purpose might be to lose weight, while you do that, you will also increase your fitness level dramatically. This progress will ensure your goal and besides that, you will be able to jump at higher intensities and for longer periods, resting for less.

Jump Rope and Target Fat Loss. Here is How

A 20 minutes session of rope-jumping will practically burn more calories than 20 minutes of jogging. For this reason, I think that every person with a busy schedule should consider doing it, especially when losing weight is the primary goal. Besides that, whether you believe it or not, jogging will never feel very intense, while a couple of sets of high-intensity jumps can increase your heartbeat high and fast. Just master the double-unders and you will understand what I am saying.

You are constantly burning fat and carbs, even while you are at rest, but it is the length and intensity of your exercise that will determine how much you burn off each. The general rule is that carbs supply us with quick energy boosts and fat supplies us with the energy needed for longer, moderate-intensity workouts. Since carbs are a limited source of energy, if you keep exercising, then the body will switch to using more fat stores as fuel. At what point that switch occurs depends on the fitness level, as elite athletes and very fit people tap into fat stores sooner.

On average, you can expect to make the switch at around 15-20 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (such as running or skipping rope). Theoretically, in order to burn fat most efficiently, you need to get your heart rate up as well as your pulmonary activity. Then keep that steady pace because as you breathe out and sweat, you eliminate body fat.

Now, jumping at different intensities for short intervals is actually a great idea for as long as you maintain good blood circulation and an accelerated heart rate. Only make sure that modifying the intensity will not force you to quit sooner than planned.

There are many ways you can train with the jump rope, but if you plan on relying only upon it, then start gradually and as you hit the target time, modify the intensity level. Challenging yourself is a good way to improve performance aka increase stamina.

If you find it hard to jump uninterrupted, then do not panic and don’t throw it away. From experience, I can tell you that it requires time and a lot of practice to master the jump rope. This is a skill you must unlock by actually performing every day. I remember when I was learning to master it. I couldn’t jump for more than 20 seconds without stopping because of my bad technique. As a consequence, I got really frustrated. But with time, I managed to jump smoothly for sets of 1-2 minutes.

I usually begin by jumping 10 sets of 30 seconds with rests of 20 seconds from one set to another. This method allows you to start gradually. I consider these 5 minutes as a warm-up. Then I perform another 10 sets, but for 60 seconds now, respecting the same break-time. You can jump for 45 seconds if you want. So I add another 10 minutes to those 5. At this point, my heart usually beats faster, and if it doesn’t, I just raise-up the intensity here and thereby jumping faster. After this, if I still have time to train, I add another 10 sets of 2 minutes. The pause between those 2 mins is usually of 30-45 secs. At the end of it, I have performed 25 minutes of continuous workout.

At this point, you can decide whether to continue or not. You can do some extremely high intensity jumps like double-unders or simply continue by performing for a maximum jumping time. So this means that you will aim to jump for 3-7 minutes without stopping. And if you do, then you get back on it immediately until you finish the set.

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