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Jumping rope more than a game — it’s a great workout

Your heels should not touch the ground when you’re jumping rope for maximum workout effectiveness.

Using a jump rope is more than just a fun game to play as a kid. You can use a jump rope to up the intensity of your cardio workouts. Plus, it’s easy to stash a jump rope in your suitcase or even purse if you’re traveling.

First, how do you pick out the right jump rope? The rope should hit the ground right in front of you. If it’s doesn’t, tie a knot in the rope up by the handle. Start the movement from your wrists, and stay on the balls of your feet. Your heels should not touch the ground when you’re jumping rope.

First, how do you pick out the right jump rope? As Stephanie Mansour demonstrates, the rope should hit the ground right in front of you. If it’s doesn’t, tie a knot in the rope up by the handle.
First, how do you pick out the right jump rope? As Stephanie Mansour demonstrates, the rope should hit the ground right in front of you. If it’s doesn’t, tie a knot in the rope up by the handle.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

Finally, jumping rope takes minor coordination, especially if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while since you last tried. When you see the rope in front of you, jump!

Here is a three-minute jump rope workout you can use to get your heart rate up and get in shape.

The Basic Jump

Jump rope on your toes for 60 seconds. Breathe in though the nose and out through the mouth to help with cardio endurance. Remember to jump as soon as you see the rope in front of you as your wrists whip the rope around faster than your legs are able to jump!

Cross Over Jump Rope

Crossing the ropes while jumping takes more coordination.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

This is an old trick from the playground. Continue with your basic jump, but this time cross the wrists in front of your body to create a criss cross with the rope in front of you. This one takes a lot more coordination. Repeat this for just 30 seconds.

Double Jump

For this one, you’ll try to jump once for every two turns of the rope! So you’ll try to stay in the air longer and whip the rope around faster. This is the equivalent to a sprint if you were running. You’ll also have to turn your wrists super fast to increase the rope speed. Repeat this 10 times.

Do these three jump rope moves and you’ll have yourself a three-minute cardio burst! Your calves will be burning and your heart will be beating!

Stephanie Mansour wants you to ‘“step up” your fitness regimen. Mansour coaches private clients in weight loss, provides fitness/health/lifestyles advice on national TV shows, and offers her free 21 Day Challenge online. Check out her fitness tips every Thursday in the Well section of the Chicago Sun-Times. And visit her website at stepitupwithsteph.com.