The Ultimate Jump Rope Workout

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With all of the fancy fitness classes, trends, high-profile gyms, and workout equipment out there, it's easy to overlook the efficacy of the most basic tools to help you shape up, such as the jump rope.

This highly portable piece of equipment recruits core and leg muscles in an explosive manner, thus burning a lot of calories during and after your workout. Keeping your core engaged to stabilize your spine also forces those muscles to work as one unit, thereby improving posture.

Reap all the benefits of this simple tool with this full-body workout that I've designed below. Do your best to remain relaxed while performing the exercises. Jumpers who become anxious tend to kick their heels up toward their glutes, which will hurt your form and slow down your jumps. Keep your wrists close to the sides of your body to make jumping easier. 

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How it works: Perform as many jumps as possible with each exercise, resting 30 seconds between each move. Perform 1 to 3 sets of the workout, depending on your fitness level and energy, resting 60 seconds between sets.

You'll need: Jump rope

1. Jump Around the Clock: Stand tall with feet together, holding the ends of the jump rope in hands with rope resting behind heels. Keep chin parallel to the floor and a natural arch in lower back as you brace core and raise left foot slightly off the floor. Swing rope overhead and jump rope with right foot. As soon as it passes under right foot, jump clockwise to your right. Continue jumping rope on right foot as you trace a large circle in a clockwise direction. Once you have completed the circle, switch feet and begin jumping in the opposite direction. Continue, alternating feet for 60 seconds.
Coach's tip: To encourage proper form, aim to keep your jump height to a minimum.

2. Starting Blocks: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding the ends of the jump rope in hands with rope resting behind heels. Keep chin parallel to the floor and a natural arch in lower back as you brace core. Swing rope overhead and sprint 10 feet forward, simultaneously jumping rope, bringing knees up to high knee position. Turn around and sprint in the opposite direction. Continue, alternating directions for 60 seconds.
Coach's tip: As you lean into the sprint, create an invisible line from your shoulders to your heels. (Do not lean from your hips.)

3. Jump Rope to Single-Arm Burpee: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding the ends of the jump rope in right hand. Keep chin parallel to the floor and a natural arch in lower back as you brace core. Count to 10 while simultaneously performing quick high-knee lifts and spinning the rope as fast as possible in a forward motion. (The rope should be swinging on the outside of right shoulder.) Once you reach the number 10, drop into a deep squat. Place left palm on the floor in front of feet and jump both feet back into a single-arm plank position with right arm reaching out to the side. Quickly jump feet back under hips and jump up toward the ceiling, extending both hands overhead. Do 10 reps, then switch sides to complete set.
Coach's tip: If you are new to single-arm burpees, perform a few without the rope to perfect your form first. When doing the burpee, your palm should land directly under your shoulder to ensure proper form and stability.

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4. Rocket Jumps: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding the ends of the jump rope in hands with rope resting behind heels. Keep chin parallel to the floor and a natural arch in lower back as you brace core. Swing rope around body, simultaneously hopping both feet slightly off the floor to allow the rope to pass under. Perform 5 total passes. On the sixth pass, quickly jump both knees up as high as possible. Continue for 60 seconds.
Coach's tip: Jump knees as high as possible upward, limiting the height your head takes.

5. Ski Jumpers: Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding the ends of the jump rope in hands with rope resting behind heels. Keep chin parallel to the floor and a natural arch in lower back as you brace core. Lift left foot off the floor and raise knee up toward navel until it forms a 90-degree angle. Swing rope around body and jump on right foot for 10 passes. On the eleventh pass, jump laterally as far to the left as possible. Repeat this sequence on left foot, jumping righton eleventh pass. Continue alternating for 60 seconds.
Coach's tip: Avoid dropping chin when you land, as this will cause an immediate break in form and posture.

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