How To Skip

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Can't skip yet? This article will teach you how.

a woman outside in the sun preparing to skip

In my other blog, 5 Best Skipping Ropes, I discussed the health benefits of skipping. But if you haven’t yet read that blog yet, I’ve reprinted those benefits here. (Please excuse the lazy plagiarism.)

Some benefits of skipping

Skipping, or ‘jumping rope’, is a staple of the boxer’s daily training diet. Primarily used as a warm-up and cool-down exercise, skipping confers many physical benefits. Bruce Lee purportedly said that ‘10 minutes of skipping rope is like 30 minutes of jogging.’ Though I’ve yet to encounter any research that supports his statement, anyone who’s vigorously skipped for ten minutes will probably agree with him. So why is such a seemingly simple and, excuse the term, old fashioned exercise so stimulating?

This probably has something to do with the way skipping works the body. When performing this exercise multiple major muscle groups are simultaneously recruited; such as the quadriceps, back and shoulders and of course the heart and lungs (diaphragm). In addition, a plethora of ‘synergist’, or stabilising, muscles are engaged to, well, stabilise the body during the movement. I suppose, in short, I could have just said that skipping in some way activates every muscle in your body. It’s no wonder then that ten minutes of jumping rope gets the blood pumping and the sweat pouring.

But of the benefits conferred by skipping the buck doesn’t stop at augmented physicality.

Why do boxers skip?

Skipping helps to sharpen the boxer’s coordination and agility. Both extremely important pugilistic attributes. Furthermore, unlike an exercise such as running, as good as it is, you can’t ‘switch-off’ when skipping. The moment your mind wanders you’ll miss-time a jump and consequently find yourself untangling the rope – which is highly irritating – or whipping you’re arse – which is painful. Thus this is one of the few exercises that gives your mind a workout as well as your body.

Some other positives attributed to skipping

As exercise equipment goes, skipping, relative to the many benefits reaped, has to be one of the single most inexpensive available. For less than the price of a cinema ticket and small popcorn you could be the proud owner of a skipping rope – and a good one will last years. Moreover, not only are they dirt cheap but they are eminently portable (something that can’t be said of my Concept 2 rowing machine) and require little space to use.

The benefits of regular skipping

· Improved cardiovascular and respiratory performance
· Enhanced muscular endurance across a range of muscle groups
· Sharpened coordination and agility
· Mental stimulation

Skipping – A How to Guide

So now that we have an idea of why we should start skipping the next port of call is How To Skip.

Perhaps one of the primary limitations of skipping – the only limitation – is that to develop sufficient competency takes weeks of dedicated practice. That’s a stumbling block for most people.

If you’ve never skipped before, or you’ve had a go but quickly gave up because you spent more time untangling the rope than you did jumping it, you must begin by acknowledging that proficiency will not come over night. Whereas with rowing or cycling you can get going almost straight away, few people recognise that to skip even moderately well – that is, without the tricks and showboating – can take months. This is why 90% of all people who ever picked up a skipping rope put it down after one session.

Don’t be a quitter! Tell yourself that it takes time, practice and a s$!t load of mistakes, but it’s worth it.

How to skip

You don’t have to be an aspiring boxer to skip. Anyone who enjoys exercise or is taking steps to get active can learn to skip and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer. All you need are three things:

1) A skipping rope (obviously) (if you don’t have rope see the selection of best ropes below)

2) Enough space

3) Patience and perseverance (I’m lumping them in as one)

How to Skip in 7 Steps (jumps)

*Remember*: before skipping spend at least 5 minutes warming up. Warm-up exercises could include mobility movements (ankle rotations), jogging on the spot, double footed jumps. By not warming up you will significantly increase your chances of sustaining an injury – this is the case for all exercise and sporting activities: WARM-UP!

Ok, lecture over, let’s have a look at those steps:

Step 1: WARM-UP!

Step 2: Whilst holding the rope in your hands, practice double footed jumping – you are not jumping rope yet. Spend 1 to 2 minutes doing this.

Step 3: Holding the handles loosely, the rope at rest behind you, turn it over and jump the rope –JUST ONCE!

Step 4: Congratulate yourself

Step 5: Repeat Step 3

Step 6: Again, a bit of self-praise

Step 7: Now that you’ve had a little go at getting over that wily rope it’s time to start racking up personal bests: try to count as many un-broken double footed skips as possible. Every time you clip the rope or whip your arse, stop, take a 3 second count, then back into it trying each time to better your previous PB

Steps 1 to 7 should span the duration of about ten minutes. I would advise against exceeding this. Put the rope away and merrily go about with the rest of your session. Over the course of the week try to get two or three more practice sessions in.

When you notice the sweet boon of improvement it’s time to take your technique to the next level.

Advancing your technique

Step 1: WARM-UP!

Step 2: From double footed jumping now practice single foot jumps – just one or two at the start

Step 3: When you can comfortably jump for multiple turns on both your left and right foot proceed on to the next step

Step 4: You’re going to work through a descending pyramid: 5 jumps on the right foot followed immediately and without stopping with five on the left . . . then 4, 3, 2 . . .

Step 5: When you can alternate single skips right to left you are . . . SKIPPING!

Well Done!

If you’re more of a visual learner check out the video tutorial below

To Finish

My one parting word would be: patience. . . . And: practice. . . . And: perseverance. Ok, so three parting words. We can call them the three Ps of skipping perfection. If you apply them you WILL master the skill of jumping rope. So what are you waiting for, get to it!

Five top ropes

1) The TechRise rope is excellent for beginners. Because it is made from lightweight materials it is not as physically taxing as heavier ropes thus enabling the beginner to focus more on technique as opposed to fighting fatigue. Also, a finer rope is more forgiving when you miss-time a jump and whip the side of your leg.

Product Info

· Anti-Slip Soft Skin-friendly Handle: Equipped with anti-slip and light weight ergonomically shaped handles coated with custom memory foam grips for extra comfort.

· Easily Adjustable Soft Stainless Steel Wire Inside Rope: The rope length adjuster inside each handle let the rope could be quickly and easily adjustable from 9.8ft down to your desired length within minutes. Suitable for all family members.

· Premium Speed Ball Bearing: Featuring high quality premium ball bearing to ensure a smooth and effortless spin making it the perfect addition to any calorie burning workout program.

Click on the image for more information


2) The Bestwon is an extremely well rated rope and for good reason. As far as skipping ropes go this is probably one of the best built products on the market. A praise-worthy feature of the Bestwon is the function that enables you to adjust the rope length. In the olden days we had to settle with tying knots in the rope. Of course it's best to avoid doing this as it can upset the balance of the rope by placing more weight on one side and it hastens wear and tear.

Extremely well rated – nearly 300 5-Star reviews!

Product Info

· With unique self-locking design, you can adjust the 3m long rope to suitable length just in seconds.

· Each handle is equipped with TWO German-made bearings, makes it tangle free and provides more stable & smoother rotation experiences. We designed the BESTWON to be the best Crossfit jump rope.

· Non-slip texture design ensures firm grip and prevents slip effectively. High quality aluminum alloy shell.

Click on the image for more information


3) If customer ratings are anything to go by this rope is better than sliced bread. I know, hard to believe. But it's received nearly 2,500 five stars! Why? Besides the fact that it looks pretty cool the Bemax skipping rope is of superior design and build quality. And, like the Bestwon, the rope length is adjustable.

Immense customer feedback!

Product Info

· BEST PRODUCT (VERY GOOD) | AS SEEN IN MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE: THE #1 JUMP ROPE w 2 ADJUSTABLE WIRE CABLES + BALL BEARINGS + ERGONOMIC ANTI-SLIP HANDLES - Improve your strength, endurance and coordination with the best speed rope on the market. Premium quality, safe and durable.

· SUITABLE FOR ALL – CONVINCE YOURSELF - Man, woman, professional athlete or beginner – our massive 10.3ft non-kinking wire cable can be easily adjusted to any height while the ergonomic anti-slip handles ensure the perfect grip even for intense exercise sessions.

· THE BEST CHOICE FOR COUNTLESS EXERCISE OPPORTUNITIES - Devastating WOD's, Double Down Unders, MMA, boxing, bodybuilding, personal fitness training and home

Click on the image for more information


4) The Valour Strike Leather skipping rope will not only aid you in your quest for augmented physicality but will make you feel like Sugar Ray Robinson in the process. Just look at it, the thing's a veritable work of art! Other pluses include not only that free Allen Key so subtly advertised in the image but also adjustable rope length technology and - yes and! - removable weights. Furthermore, because the rope is made from high-grade leather this product will last for years.

Primium skipping – very well rated

Product info

· Beautiful skipping rope handles that are designed to last and to be a great addition to your gym equipment! 8 vertically grooves strategically placed to improve your grip & prevent sweat interfering your workout.

· [ EXTRA STRONG LONG LASTING LEATHER ROPE ] : Making it extremely durable, you can literally use our jump rope anywhere (unlike cheap speed rope alternatives). This rope really is built to last, strong and resilient!

Click on the image for more information


5) The BeastGear skipping rope has got to be one of the best rated ropes on Amazon. With over 7,000 reviews and still retaining five stars this is one popular piece of exercise equipment that's made a lot of people very happy. Its popularity probably has something to do with its durability and ergonomic design. The premium quality ball bearings improve the spin rate which makes for smooth skipping experience. Furthermore, the rope can be adjusted to accommodate all heights.

5 Star rating with nearly 1000 customer reviews!

Product Info

· This cutting edge speed rope will take your cardio, conditioning and fat loss training to the next level. Ideal for Crossfit, HIIT, interval training, circuits, boxing and MMA,

· Gives you the speed, momentum and efficient rotations you need to smash your goals. We are the speed rope experts. Fast, strong, lightweight, robust, flexible and enduring - just like a top athlete!

· For fitness fans, Crossfitters, boxers, martial artists & anyone who is seeking to achieve their fitness goals.

Click on the image for more information


(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast

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