The benefits of skipping are plentiful, from improving your cardiovascular endurance, promoting good heart health, to even reducing breakouts.
Skipping is an exercise that requires only a rope, a small amount of space and just 15-minutes of your day to reap the benefits. Say goodbye to paying for a flashy gym membership, as you can get a powerful workout with a skipping rope in the comfort of your own home. We will cover:
- What is Skipping?
- 15 Health Benefits of Skipping
- Precautions of Skipping
- How Often Should You Skip?
- How to Start Skipping?
- Example Skipping Workouts
So, if you’ve ever wondered “what are the benefits of skipping?”, then look no further. Here at OriGym, we’ve compiled our top 15 favourite benefits that you could take advantage of today, but first have you ever thought about a career in the fitness sector?
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What Is Skipping?
Skipping is a great full-body exercise that is performed by jumping over a skipping rope that is swung either by yourself or two other people. You may also come across skipping as its commonly used terms jump rope or skipping rope exercise.
Skipping engages a range of muscle groups:
- Abdominal muscles: For stabilising the body and keeping your posture tall.
- Legs: For jumping over the rope.
- Shoulders and arms: For turning the rope in quick, rhythmic motions.
Skipping is an excellent way of incorporating some cardio into your workout, which is especially useful for those who don’t enjoy running.
Moreover, it's a handy workout that can be performed anywhere. As long as you have a skipping rope and enough space to jump, you’re all set for a sweaty workout that builds your cardiovascular endurance.
Still don’t believe us? Well, just 10-minutes of skipping at 100 skips per minute burns approximately the same amount of calories as running a mile in 8-minutes. While you’re not physically travelling anywhere with skipping, you’re still engaging the muscles, increasing your heart rate and testing your fitness.
The benefits of using a skipping rope for women and men are copious, from improving cardiovascular fitness to strengthening bones and boosting your mood. So, without further ado, let’s regress back to your childhood and find out all of the benefits of skipping.
15 Health Benefits Of Skipping
#1 Burns Calories Quick
Due to the high intensity of skipping, one of its benefits is that it burns calories fast.
The average person can burn between 200-300 calories per 15-20-minute skipping rope session. That equates to up to 20 calories burnt per minute! With so many calories burnt in such a short time frame, skipping sessions are great to add in to a warm-up, cool down or sweaty HIIT workout.
If you’re someone who would like to use skipping to aid weight loss, then you’ll be happy to hear that there are various reasons why skipping promotes weight loss.
Firstly, your whole body is working intently to keep your posture strong and your legs jumping. The more muscles that are engaged in physical activities, the higher your energy expenditure will be, in turn this encourages a calorie deficit that facilitates weight loss.
Secondly, using a jump rope benefits you by increasing your heart rate, this means you’re working out in your fat-burning heart rate zone. This is when your body uses fat stores for energy, rather than basic sugars and carbs which assists the weight loss process.
Skipping also revs up your metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for converting food into energy and the faster that this process occurs, the quicker that your body uses fat for energy. Of course your diet is also an important player in metabolism, so head over to our article on the best metabolism boosting foods here.
However, it is noteworthy that in order to attain these quick calorie-burning benefits, the correct form is essential, fortunately, you can find this in detail in our FAQs.
#2 Promotes Good Heart Health
Another one of the benefits of using a skipping rope for men and women is that it promotes good heart health.
Generally speaking, any form of physical activity has positive effects on the heart. Regular participation in skipping-based exercises, therefore, aids the prevention of illnesses such as coronary heart disease, which over 7.6 million people within the UK are affected by.
Many people participate in regular exercise for muscle hypertrophy, often forgetting that the heart is a muscle too and with regular exercise, can get stronger. You might be thinking, why is this important?
The stronger your heart, the more efficiently it can pump blood around your body and provide ample oxygen to all vital organs and working muscles. Physical activity like skipping also helps to lower your blood pressure and high blood pressure is one of the major factors affecting those with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
Additionally, while skipping can lower blood pressure, it can also prevent blood pressure from developing. As well as this, high cholesterol poses risks of developing CHD. So regular skipping benefits you by reducing these risks and improving your overall heart health.
If you’re still wondering “why is skipping good for you?” Did you know that skipping can improve your endurance level? Read on to discover how.
#3 Improves Cardiovascular Endurance
Improved cardiovascular endurance is another one of the great benefits of skipping exercise.
By definition, cardiovascular endurance is a means of measuring your ability to exercise your whole body for an extended amount of time. Improved cardiovascular endurance means that performing daily tasks such as carrying shopping bags or running up the stairs is done with ease and efficiency.
Many people prefer not to engage in cardio-based workouts such as running as they can often be challenging. However, skipping benefits you by improving your cardiovascular endurance without making you want to give up as quickly as going for a run.
This is vital as having optimal cardiovascular endurance is imperative in ensuring how well your heart, lungs and muscles can operate during exercise and through daily activities. For more cardiovascular benefits, read our article on cardio & aerobic exercise: benefits, risks and frequency.
By increasing your cardio-based workouts, you’re testing your lungs ability to uptake oxygen and how efficiently the heart can supply blood to all working muscles. Good endurance means you can engage in other cardio-based activities such as long walks, hikes, swimming and cycling without feeling exhausted so quickly.
Now that we’ve covered improved heart health and cardiovascular endurance, you might be thinking - “what are the other benefits of skipping as an exercise?”
#4 Improves Mental Health
Engaging in exercise with skipping ropes benefits you by promoting good mental health, similarly to any kind of exercise.
The more regular that your skipping sessions become, the quicker you’ll begin to see results. Seeing results boosts your mood and thus your mental wellbeing. In turn, improved mood alleviates symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Not only that, but regular exercise such as skipping releases endorphins around the body. So, when you feel the post workout “high”, your endorphins are at work.
A 2014 study examined how 30 university students felt after regular participation in aerobic exercises that included running and skipping. It concluded that after 6-weeks of regular exercise, participants felt that their mental wellbeing had improved and that they wanted to engage in exercise more frequently to reap the mood-boosting benefits.
Additionally, using a jump rope benefits you by working your heart, resulting in a greater volume of oxygen reaching your brain.
Why is this important? This improves cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance causes feelings of unease and tension, often making many feel uncomfortable and anxious on a daily basis.
A by-product of increased blood circulation to the brain helps alleviate these symptoms, resulting in a happier and stress-free you!
#5 Improves Coordination
Another one of the useful health benefits of skipping rope exercises is that it improves coordination.
Skipping is a cyclic activity, this means that in order to perform, you must maintain a regular and steady pace. Finding this rhythm when skipping is thought to improve the coordination between your eyes, hands and feet.
Skipping is also known to improve hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is your ability to complete activities that require you to use your eyes and hands simultaneously. Your brain sends nerve signals to the hands based upon visual information.
Optimal hand-eye coordination allows for you to complete activities effectively and efficiently in your daily life, even improving your driving.
Next up we’re going to discuss how using skipping ropes benefits your muscle elasticity.
#6 Increased Muscle Elasticity
If you’re still wondering: “why is skipping good for you?”, did you know that it’s good for increasing muscle elasticity?
When engaging in skipping, your calf muscles are doing a lot of work to keep you balanced and supported with each jump. Regular skipping practice in turn increases your calf strength, thus improving their elasticity. This is due to the fact that you jump on the balls of your feet when skipping, increasing calf engagement.
This improvement of muscle elasticity is a helpful preventative of injury as if muscle tissue becomes too tight, then this increases the risk of attaining injuries in your lower legs.
Another reason why it is important to have elasticated muscles is to maintain a full range of motion when engaging in physical activity and daily tasks. So, the more that you engage in physical activities such as skipping, the less restrictive the muscles range of motion will become.
If you want to find out more about how to work on your flexibility, head over to our article on how to improve flexibility for tips! Next up we’re going to discuss how skipping benefits your skin.
#7 Glowing Skin
Another one of the fantastic health benefits of skipping rope exercises is that it promotes clear and healthy skin.
Skipping is a great form of exercise that increases your heart rate and pumps blood around the body. The more that you participate in skipping, the greater volume of blood flows to your skin cells and keeps them vital and fresh.
This works through the blood cells discarding the waste from skin cells, preventing breakouts from occurring.
For those who wear makeup, it is encouraged that it is removed before doing a skipping workout for various reasons: increased body temperature causes sweat to mix with the make-up, and this settles in pores. Acne-causing bacteria can then thrive, resulting in breakouts.
Additionally, when you exercise your pores expand and secrete sebum. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance produced by skin cells that naturally removes dirt from your pores. However, if the pores are clogged with makeup, this process is hindered.
So, sweat is considered to be healthy for the skin, but only when excess makeup is removed.
#8 Boosts Your Immune System
Next up on the list of benefits of skipping daily is that it can boost your immune system.
Having a healthy immune system is incredibly important. The immune system is the body’s defence against infections and diseases, attacking any foreign bacteria that enter the body so that we function healthily and efficiently.
Without a good immune system, you will be highly susceptible to illnesses, experience chronic fatigue and your body cannot perform basic functions efficiently. Increased physical activity is an ideal way of maintaining a healthy immune system, with skipping being a fantastic way of quickly injecting some movement into your day.
Exercise boosts your immune system by causing changes in antibodies and white blood cells - the latter of which are responsible for fighting diseases and foreign bacteria that enter the body. White blood cells circulate the body quickly when they detect that foreign bacteria are multiplying and risking your wellbeing.
When we exercise, our heart rate speeds up and blood circulation occurs faster. This, therefore, means that white blood cells are travelling at a faster rate to ward off any illnesses and diseases that are attempting to penetrate through your immune system.
Overall, another one of the fantastic benefits of skipping daily is that it gives your immune system that extra level of protection. To really see the results of this benefit, pair this exercise with the best immunity boosting foods for optimal health!
#9 Enhances Muscle Definition
If you’re still wondering why it is that skipping is good for you, then did you know that regular participation enhances muscle definition?
Skipping is a great exercise that is known to enhance muscle definition in both your upper and lower body therefore, engaging a range of muscle groups. As discussed previously, these are your core muscles, shoulders, arms, back and leg muscles.
If you’re someone who would like to tone up your physique, then skipping is a great way to lose some body fat and unveil the muscles that lie underneath.
However, to do this, it is important to recognise that nutrition also plays a large role in toning your body. This can be achieved by having a low body fat percentage. For men, having a body fat percentage of approximately 10% is required to unveil muscle, and for women, 15% body fat.
A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise will certainly put you on the right track to attaining a toned physique and showing off your muscular definition! Next up on the list of great benefits of using a skipping rope daily is that it can help strengthen your bones.
For some more tips on great cardio activity, read our articles below:
- Long Distance Running: 21 Tips, Benefits and Risks
- Trail Running: Tips for Beginners
- Cardio & Aerobic Exercise: Benefits, Risks and Frequency
Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!
#10 Strengthens Your Bones
Another one of the benefits of using a skipping rope within workouts is that it can strengthen your bones. Skipping can be very physically demanding since there’s a lot of impact put upon your bones, however, over time, this increases their density.
Bone density and bone strength are the same, but why is a high bone density important?
Having strong bones is a huge factor in determining an individual’s overall physical health. Having low-density bones makes them brittle, and more susceptible to fractures, breaks and disability.
To prevent this, it is encouraged to participate in regular exercise where your bones are put to the test. Where better to start than skipping? A 2006 study aimed to investigate whether jump-based activities improves bone density.
The study consisted of 48 participants who were to jump as high as they could 10 times per day, 3 times a week, across a 6 month period. Their bone density was recorded before and after the 6 month timeframe.
The results outlined that the participants' bone mineral density in their legs and lower spine increased dramatically. This shows that jumping based activities such as skipping will present similar effects.
So, if you’re someone who would like to reap the benefits of skipping for its bone density improving qualities, there’s never been a better time to start.
#11 Improves Concentration
Next up on the list of health benefits of skipping rope exercises is that it improves your ability to concentrate on tasks and activities for longer. Skipping is a rhythmic exercise, this means that certain movements have to be completed in a specific order and to a precise rhythm.
So what does this mean for your concentration? You are required to time the rotation of the rope from the wrist in accordance with your jump while controlling your breathing and the rapid continuation - all of these things require concentration
When it comes to concentration to benefit you in day-to-day life, it is closely interlinked with reaction time, and reaction time is the time taken for you to respond to a stimulus. For example: the receiver of a serve in tennis must have a good reaction time to know what side of the court to travel to, to reciprocate the ball.
So one of the most valuable benefits of skipping daily is the improvement of your ability to concentrate, transpiring into everyday activities such as driving.
#12 Reduces Risk of Ankle-Related Injuries
If you’re still wondering “what are the other benefits of skipping?”, then regular participation reduces the likelihood of you getting ankle-related injuries.
Foot and ankle-related injuries in sporting activities are incredibly common. So whether it’s running across a pitch, jumping for a ball, or performing a deadlift, each activity requires the active engagement of the feet, making them more susceptible to injuries.
So, you’re probably thinking, how does skipping prevent these risks?
Skipping is an activity where users are to jump on the balls of their feet rather than with the heel. As you’re on your toes for the duration of your workout, this inadvertently improves agility when moving around.
Skipping helps to develop a slight bounce in your step so less pressure is being put onto the ankle, thus reducing the likelihood of acquiring ankle-related injuries in the process. For some more useful tips on how to prevent any unwanted accidents, read our article on how to prevent ACL injuries here.
#13 Boosts your Mood
As mentioned previously, one of the great benefits of using a skipping rope daily is that it reduces anxiety and depression symptoms, so this inadvertently boosts your mood!
Skipping is thought to be a great go-to exercise for relieving stress. You can go as relaxed or aggressively as you want to relieve any pent up stress that might be residing inside.
Additionally, more often than not, you’re by yourself when skipping., because of this, many enjoy putting in their headphones, cranking up the music and getting to work. This also means that you get some quality time by yourself and working on your health.
Generally speaking, participating in regular exercise has many stress-relieving qualities. An increase in heart rate and more blood pumping around the body and the brain, elevating feelings of stress.
The more endorphins circulating the body also boosts your mood, promoting a positive post-workout perspective that is taken into the rest of your day.
Finally, over time, you will begin to recognise that the benefits of the skipping exercise outlined in this article are having an effect on you. Whether it be your heart getting healthier, you notice your coordination has improved or even that you’re losing weight, reaping the benefits will make you think more positively about exercise and your overall health.
#14 It Works the Whole Body
Did you know that one of the great benefits of skipping daily means that you’re working your whole body during each workout? Skipping works a range of muscles from your core, back, arm and leg muscles when performed.
But which muscles specifically are being worked, and why is it useful?
- Core: Your rectus abdominis are working hard in keeping your body tall and strong with every jump. This enhances muscular definition, edging you closer to attaining a physique with visible abs.
- Back: The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle in your upper body which is engaged when skipping due to the jumping, and also accompanies the core muscles in keeping you tall and strong. This inadvertently improves your overall posture, in aiding you sitting and standing tall outside of working out.
- Shoulders: A range of shoulder muscles are at work when skipping (deltoids, trapezius and rhomboid minor and major, just to name a few). The shoulders also help to keep your upper body strength with each jump.
- Legs: Your calves are one of the most stressed muscles when skipping and they take on a lot of your body weight with each explosive jump. So as you’re now well aware, skipping improves the calves muscular endurance.
- Glutes: Your gluteus maximus helps to maintain stability when working out with jump ropes, and becomes stronger the more that you train.
By working out with a jump rope, the benefits you can reap are by engaging a diverse range of muscle groups, which increases your energy expenditure and improves your overall health.
#15 An Ideal Warm-Up
Last but not least of our top benefits of skipping exercises is that it is a great warm-up activity. Skipping is a low time-consuming activity and can activate muscles quickly and efficiently before a main workout and of course, warming up is vital in reducing the risk of injury and muscle soreness.
Skipping kick-starts your cardiovascular system, and so incorporating just 10-15 minutes worth of skipping before a full gym session is a great way to get all your muscles ready to go.
You can use skipping as a high intensity warm-up that will increase your heart rate, increase blood supply to all your working muscles - so that by the time you move onto the main event, oxygen is circulating your muscles.
As mentioned earlier, skipping for just 15-minutes can burn approximately 200 calories. Burning that many calories before your main workout is definitely a fantastic place to start!
So, there we have our top 15 favourite benefits of skipping as an exercise. Don't forget for more tips on warming up , read our article on the benefits of dynamic stretching here.
Next, you can find an outline of some risks involved in skipping, how to attain the best form and some workout examples so you can get started as soon as possible!
Precautions of Skipping
As with any physical activity, there’s always a risk of injury. Here we have 3 possible risks and how you can prevent them from happening.
- Incorrect form: Correct form in any exercise is very important. Incorrect form can result in muscle pulls, sprains and soreness. To attain the correct form, stand tall with your arms down either side of your body and hands out slightly. When jumping, do so on the balls of your feet, as jumping on your heels increases ankle-related injuries. A comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to attain the correct form will come shortly.
- Getting whipped: If you jump a little late or your foot gets caught in the way of the rope, it can whip against the skin; unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do to prevent this other than practising. If you’re new to skipping, it is recommended that you start off by skipping slowly until you get to grips with the rhythm. Eventually, you’ll be able to skip quickly without getting caught under the rope.
- It can worsen joint problems: If you’re someone who is susceptible to injuries in your joints, it might be advised not to engage in skipping exercises as your symptoms could worsen. The shoulder, wrist and knee joints all play a key role in skipping, and so engaging in physical activity that predominantly engages these joints may increase your soreness.
How Often Should You Skip?
In order to reap the benefits of skipping exercises, you must skip often. But, how often is best? Unfortunately, there isn't a one-time-fits-all when it comes to most exercises.
According to the NHS, it is encouraged to engage within 150-minutes of exercise per week. This equates to just over 20 minutes per day or 30-minutes for 5-days.
Skipping is a physical activity that can certainly contribute towards your 150-minutes, as it trains your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Moreover, if you’re new to skipping, consider beginning with 10-15 minutes of skipping 3-4 times a week to get used to motion and rhythm.
Once you feel more comfortable and confident using a jump rope, opting to use your full 30-minutes over 5-days might be favourable to you; don't forget to take breaks in between your active days too, find out about rest days and how many you should take here.
Ultimately, engaging in 150-minutes of physical activity a week is all that is needed to ensure that you’re leading a healthy, active lifestyle. It is, however, recommended to listen to your body, if your muscles feel sore or stiff, make sure you allow for the muscles to rest.
Overworking muscles will do more harm than good!
How To Start Skipping
Now that we’ve covered some of the great benefits of using a skipping rope, you’re probably wondering how to get started.
Here we have a guide on how you can begin your jump roping journey as soon as possible.
Find the right skipping rope: Determining the correct skipping rope benefits your practice and is one of the most important factors of the exercise. Having a skipping rope that is too short can result in you whipping your feet and legs, and a skipping rope that is too long makes it difficult to skip efficiently and get the rope off the ground.
To test the length of the rope and whether it’s suitable, hold the skipping rope by each of the handles. Step onto the middle of the rope with one foot and pull it upwards towards your shoulders. The end of the handle should align with your armpits.
Space: You are going to need an area with adequate room around and above you to swing the skipping rope. It doesn’t matter whether this is indoors or outdoors but if indoors, be careful of light fixtures and ensure that any valuable items are stored away or at enough distance from your workout spot.
Form: As mentioned earlier, adopting the correct form when skipping is very important. Incorrect form can result in muscle pulls, joint pain and soreness so follow the tips below in order to prevent this as much as possible.
- Find a suitable space to begin skipping, and hold your skipping rope by each of the handles. Make sure that you’re standing in front of the dangling rope.
- Symmetry is important in skipping. Ensure that your arms fall down either side of your body, with your hands at a 45-degree angle out from your hip, this should be approximately the same distance outward from the centreline of your body.
- Bend your knees slightly. Rigid knees make jumping more difficult, and overbent knees engage too many muscles that may result in injury.
- Ensure that your feet are hip-width apart, with the rest of your body tall and upright.
- Begin by using your forearms and wrists in swinging the rope up around the back of your feet, over your head in one large circle.
- As the rope is around eye level, jump with both feet.
- Practice this a few times before doing consecutive jumps as you may whip yourself if you go too fast too quickly.
Example Skipping Workouts
Now that you have practised the correct form, skipping on the spot with both feet can get a little monotonous. So, here are 3 examples of skipping workouts that might interest you in injecting some versatility into your regime.
- Start by doing 30 seconds with a basic two-footed jump at a moderate speed.
- Next, skip for as fast as you can, alternating feet with each rope rotation for 30 seconds.
- Go back to the basic two-footed jump at moderate speed for 30 seconds, before going back to as quickly as possible.
- Do 3 sets of 5 minutes.
- Start by doing a basic, two-footed skip for 10 jumps.
- Next, do a single leg skip on your right foot for 10 jumps, and then move onto the left for 10 jumps.
- Then start a series of double-footed jumps 9 times, before moving onto the right for 9 jumps and then the left for 9 jumps.
- Repeat these steps with 8 jumps for each, then 7 and then 6 until you reach 1.
- Have a 30-second rest before repeating a full set 3 more times.
High-Knee Star-Jump Alternates:
- With each rotation of the skipping rope, alternate each leg with a high knee for 20 seconds.
- Next, in between each rope rotation, jump your feet outwards as you would when performing a star jump. With the next rotation, bring the feet back together. Do this for 20 seconds.
- For an active “break”, do a basic two-footed jump for 20 seconds.
- Repeat this set 5 times in total for 5-minutes worth of jumping.
Can skipping reduce belly fat?
One of the benefits of using skipping ropes for women and men is that it can reduce belly fat.
Skipping engages a range of muscle groups simultaneously, so the harder they work together, the greater your energy expenditure. This makes you closer to achieving a calorie deficit each day, thus promoting weight loss.
However, skipping alone cannot reduce belly fat as a healthy, balanced diet must accompany regular exercise, however once you have the diet in place, the benefits of skipping certainly puts you on the right track.
What happens if you skip every day & what is the best form?
Should you want to reap the benefits of using a skipping rope, daily exercise is definitely recommended. The NHS encourages you to participate in exercise for 150-minutes each week, equating to just over 20-minutes per day.
Skipping every day can provide so many benefits; from improving your cardiovascular endurance, to encouraging clear skin.
However, you should listen to your body. If you feel muscle soreness, any aches or pains after exercise, taking a day of rest is recommended. Overworking your muscles will likely put you out of the game for longer than you hoped.
To do this, aim to keep your knee, shoulder and wrist joints relaxed so that you bounce when jumping. The turning motion of the rope must also come from your wrists - keep your shoulders firm and rigid. Elbows should stick out slightly, approximately the same distance outward from the centreline of your body and finally, keep your feet hip-width apart.
Is skipping good for you?
If you’re still on the fence on whether skipping is good for you, the answer is a simple yes, absolutely.
But why is skipping good for you?
As you are now aware from this list, there are ample benefits of using a skipping rope for women and men than you ought to take advantage of. From physical benefits such as improved muscle definition to health benefits such as promoting good heart functions, there’s no better time to invest in a rope and get jumping.
Before You Go...
Using skipping ropes benefits you in so many ways, so if you approached this article wondering why it is that skipping is good for you, then hopefully now you have found the answer you were looking for.
Skipping ropes are very affordable and require minimal space and time in the completion of a workout. So, if you’re considering investing in a jump rope today, go for it!
Just before you leave us, have you considered a career in the fitness industry? Because if you have, you may want to head over to our site and check out our diploma in personal training to get work ready in as little as 4 weeks. Or, you can always sift through our plethora of fitness courses in our downloadable course prospectus here.
Written by Professional S & C Coaches
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches