Three Cardio Jump Rope Workouts

Think skipping rope is for the double dutch bunch at the elementary school playground? Think again. Believe it or not you can blast up to 750 calories per hour with nothing more than a jump rope-but we bet you won't be able to last a full 60 minutes! The good news is, even a10-minute routine is beneficial. If you're up to the challenge, try one of these three cardio jump rope workouts.

Bunny hop
This routine is to jump rope what the bunny hill is to skiing. Skipping rope is a challenging workout whether you're fit or not, so this routine will help you ease into the exercise and condition you for the other two routines. Skip rope for 30 repetitions in the classic two-foot jump, rope swinging forward style. Rest for 30 seconds. Skip rope for another 30 reps, this time swinging the rope backward. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the entire series 4 to 8 times, depending on your level.

Mix it up
If you're a workout veteran, but a fitness jump rope beginner, turn on some motivating music and try a few different techniques, each for two-minute intervals. Start with the classic two-foot jump to warm up. Then move on to the slalom, shifting your feet in one unit side to side as you jump. Next, give yourself a breather from the bouncing. Stand still and swing the rope in a figure eight motion from side to side. Get back to jumping with a straddle move, hopping your legs in and out over the rope, doing the same leg motion of a jumping jack. End with the slow skip, bring your pace down to half of what you were doing before and really swing that rope in a slow, steady arc. If you're still raring to go, repeat the entire 10-minute series or alternate the order as you like, sticking to 2-minute intervals.

Interval jumping
If you're looking for a longer workout, but want to incorporate the jump rope, try this 30-minute routine. Jump for 3 minutes. Hit the floor and do crunches for 1 minute. Jump for three. Hit the floor and do pushups for 3 minutes. Jump for 3 minutes. Continue alternating between 3 minutes of skipping rope and 1 minute of another exercise. You can stick to crunches and pushups or try squats, lunges, biceps curls, planks or crunch variations.

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