Hungry4Fitness is supported by our users. We occasionally earn a commission off reputable affiliate links. You’ll be pleased to know that the additional price of the product is passed on to the company, not the purchaser!
Still struggling to shift that stubborn fat? You’ve tried HIIT, CrossFit, and starvation diets yet your bats, moobs, and muffin top refuse to budge?
Besides sweat and tears, your toil has yielded little fruit.
Now, disgruntled, frustrated, and quite frankly fed up with it all, you’ve started questioning if it’s not ‘faulty genes’ that are undermining your weight loss campaign.
Take solace in the knowledge that this story could be told word for word the world over. Hence the reason why the weight loss industry is a billion-dollar behemoth.
But even though your efforts have not delivered the desired results, don’t give up. At least not until you’ve given skipping a go!
Related: Beast Gear make the best skipping ropes >
Skipping for weight loss
Having tried a panoply of ‘guaranteed-to-succeed’ weight loss interventions, you might be asking – sceptically – what makes skipping different? Why’s skipping more effective at burning fat than those other methods I’ve tried?
Before answering that question, it’s worth dispelling a prevailing myth about exercise and weight loss.
Contrary to common misunderstanding, when it comes to burning fat and improving body composition, not all exercises were created equal. In his book Exercised, Professor Daniel Lieberman outlines a study illustrating this point.
Resistance vs. aerobics
A group of overweight and obese adults were put on a 12-week training program. Half the participants were prescribed resistance exercise and the other half cardio – specifically running.
After the 12 weeks, which group do you think lost the most weight?
Well, according to Lieberman, the study ‘found that individuals prescribed just weights barely lost any body fat but those prescribed twelve miles a week of running lost substantial amounts of fat, especially harmful organ fat.’
These findings justified Lieberman’s candid response to the question which exercise method is more effective at reducing weight? ‘This one is easy,’ he writes, ‘cardio is better than weights for obesity,' (Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest & Health).
Cardio is king of the fat burners
As the study above suggests, if your training objective is to lose weight, you should prioritise cardio over resistance. Kenneth Cooper, who is widely regarded as the ‘father of aerobics,’ supports this advice.
Irrespective of your previous training history and current weight, those that undertake ‘a serious aerobic exercise program,’ Cooper tells us, ‘can tip the balance in favour’ of a healthy body composition.
After discussing the weight-loss effectiveness of cardio, Cooper lists some of the best aerobic exercises for cooking off calories. According to his list, swimming burns more calories than walking while cycling burns more than running.
Essential reading: Aerobics Program For Total Well-Being
Is skipping the best cardio exercise for weight loss?
Surprisingly, though, skipping doesn’t feature in the line-up. However, this is probably because, back when Cooper published his book (1982), skipping wasn’t a popular cardio exercise. Traditionally, skipping has been a training staple of boxers and combat sports practitioners.
But there’s a reason why boxers and fighters of all strips prioritised skipping over other forms of cardio. That reason was brought to our attention by martial arts master Bruce Lee.
Related: Try this Bruce Lee Workout
Jump rope vs running
In his pursuit of physical excellence, Bruce Lee experimented with every available form of training. He was so committed to this goal that he actually contracted a professional metalsmith to construct exercise equipment of his own design.
Of all the cardio exercises that he tried, Lee apparently believed that skipping was superior. He is reported as having claimed that 10 minutes of skipping is the equivalent of 30 minutes of running.
If Lee is right, this would catapult skipping to the very top of Cooper’s list of the best calorie-burning cardio exercises.
Related: This HIIT Skipping Session is a scorcher
Skipping for weight loss
Now that we’ve reviewed the effectiveness of skipping for weight loss, this section shows you how to incorporate it into your training regime. You will learn some simple methods of increasing your daily dosage of skipping.
Also, you’ll see how to structure a skipping workout that delivers results safely and effectively.
Furthermore, in the concluding FAQ, you will be able to access a skipping program along with the links to workouts and technique guides.
Start with 10 minutes of jump rope
One of the surest ways to squeeze skipping into your training routine is by introducing short bouts. If you’re new to skipping or haven’t picked up a rope in a while, it will take you a bit of time to master the technique.
Long sessions can be frustrating for beginners because they spend more time untangling their feet than jumping the rope. Also, even low-intensity practice sessions, where the focus is on technique and not whipping up a sweat, can still cause DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).
To reduce the frustration that comes with learning a new skill, start off with 5- to 10-minute bouts. Here are three ways to integrate these short skips into your routine:
Use skipping as your workout warm-up exercise
Buy a skipping rope and start jumping rope at home
Conclude your workouts with a 5-minute low-intensity skipping cool-down
Related: Follow these 7 Simple Steps to Skipping and start jumping rope like a pro
Skipping workout plan
Okay, so we’ve covered a few simple strategies of how to shoehorn skip sessions into your training routine. Of course, there are more but I’m conscious that I’ve taken up too much of your time already. And you’re probably desperate to untangle your rope and start jumping.
That’s perfect because now I’m going to outline a skipping workout plan. This is the bit in the blog where you can actually start skipping!
But before you do, though, just give me a couple more minutes to explain safe training principles. Because skipping is a plyometric exercise (albeit a low-intensity one), the risk of incurring an injury is higher than it is with other cardio exercises.
So, before you start jumping rope, ensure to loosen up your legs first. Also, after completing a series of mobility exercises, work through a series of progressive-intensity plyometric skips, hops, and jumps.
Or make things really easy for yourself and follow the skipping workout plan below.
Skipping for weight loss FAQ
At this point, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of skipping in facilitating weight loss. In addition to reviewing the fat-reduction benefits of skipping, we’ve also reviewed some of the best exercises for burning calories.
The final part of this blog aims to answer a range of frequently asked questions about skipping. Some of the questions clarify what has been covered above. But others outline the methods of how to develop a skipping program.
Is skipping cardio?
It most certainly is! Skipping is a low-resistance exercise that stimulates the cardio-respiratory system. Like running, when skipping you work against the weight of your body. However, unlike running, skipping simultaneously engages both the lower and upper body muscles.
This arguably makes skipping a more effective exercise for facilitating weight loss. Of course, so the logic goes, the more muscles involved in an activity the more calories consumed. And, to follow the logic one step further, the more energy-intensive an exercise the more fat it burns.
Thus, those wanting to lose weight would be wise to prioritise whole-body aerobic exercises – such as rowing, airdyne cycling, and skipping.
Related: Build strength and burn fat with this Skipping & Kettlebell combo
How should I schedule a jump rope program?
Before scheduling a jump rope program, strength and conditioning expert Nick Grantham advises that you first consider your lifestyle, exercise experience, and fitness levels, (Strength & Conditioning Bible)
The reason is that these factors can influence your capacity to commit to a program.
For example, a program for a complete beginner will be less extensive than one for an experienced exerciser. The same can be said of someone with low levels of fitness, is overweight, or can’t skip for toffee.
So, when programming skipping, be realistic about your ability. With this box ticked, your next task is to start plotting skipping sessions into your routine. As mentioned above, the easiest way to do this is to make skipping your go-to warm-up activity.
Alternatively, you could conclude your workout with a relaxed 10-minute skip. In addition to serving as a cool-down, which is an integral phase of the workout process, a post-session skip provides you with a reduced-pressure opportunity to practice your technique and hone your skills.
What are the best jump rope workout routine
In my experience, the best jump rope workouts don’t just involve skipping. Unless you are fit and can skip with proficiency, an entire workout of jumping rope is physically draining and mind-numbingly boring.
To break the monotony and give the calves and shoulders rest, you can interlace bouts of skipping with other exercises.
For example, a super-simple jump rope workout might look like this: 5 to 10 min warm-up → 2 min skipping → 2 min resistance → 2 min skipping → 2 min resistance → repeat for desired duration → 5 min cool-down → 5 min stretch → hit the showers.
What are the benefits of skipping
Burns lots of calories
Can improve body composition
Facilitates weight loss
Engages the lower and upper body muscle groups
Develops multiple components of fitness – muscle endurance, cardiovascular, coordination, agility, and balance
Requires minimal kit and can be conducted almost anywhere
Related: Best Skipping Ropes >
Need weight loss workout ideas?
Then get your copy of the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits and Workouts Volume 3 >
About Adam Priest –
A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and wellbeing practitioner. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam via LinkedIn or email@example.com.