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The Jump Rope Reel

This training tool is making a major comeback. Watch instructor Jude Lizama’s jaw-dropping routine.

Formerly relegated to boxing studios and blacktops, the basic jump rope is back. And with good reason: The training tool offers exercisers an enormous payoff, burning serious calories and building functional strength. “Ten minutes of jumping rope elicits a similar calorie burn as 30 minutes of jogging and can be biomechanically safer on the joints while still functioning as a pathway to building bone density,” explains Lisa Wheeler, senior national creative manager for group fitness at Equinox in New York City.

To top it off, research has shown that the cardiovascular and rhythmic nature of jumping rope stimulates brain health and increases rhythmic patterning that benefits language skills and mental alertness,” which helps explain why the jump rope is gaining a greater presence in group fitness classes as well as on the training room floor.

“The jump rope is an incredible tool for cross-training across all disciplines and can provide the edge to push a workout into the land of high-intensity-metabolic-kick your-butt,” says Lashaun Dale, senior national group fitness creative manager. “We are using a combination of speed ropes and weighted jump ropes to get our signature classes summer-body ready and definitely including them in our on-the-go travel workouts for training outside and on the run as we hit the season of sun.”

In his Jump and Pump Class, instructor Jude Lizama, who teaches in Beverly Hills, focuses on both cardiovascular payoff and improved technique. “I make sure that every student learns at least two simple moves and one advanced move before the end of class,” he says. “I like people to get in a quick cardio workout but then be able to jump rope on their own within their other workouts.”

Even if the jump rope conjures memories of grade school, Lizama’s tricks, demonstrated in the video above, are definitely not for kids. But there are some basic moves you can incorporate into a ten-minute routine, described in the slideshow below.

Click to view the slideshow.

Before starting a workout, Lizama recommends doing a few dynamic warm-up exercises, such as jumping jacks, jump squats, mountain climbers, and high knees. “With the moves in the slideshow, start out doing each exercise for 30 seconds,” Lizama says. “As your endurance increases, take it up to one minute. This sequence, plus the warm-up, can make the perfect 10-minute cardiovascular workout to complement your strength routine.”

Lizama’s Top Technique Tips:

(1) Bounce Softly: “You should be landing softly on the balls of your feet—like a ninja!—and jumping no higher than an inch off the ground.”

(2) Spin Your Wrists: “Keep your arms relaxed at your side and spin your wrists, not your arms or shoulders.”

Article by Sheila Monaghan for Q by Equinox. Video directed by Mike Rosenthal; Art Direction & Styling by Ashley Martin; Grooming by Christina Henry.

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