Punk Rope is truly a group fitness experience with lots of interaction. We split into teams and performed a relay race where we ran across the gym dropping cones one way and picking them up on the way back. Classmates offered support in the form of cheers and high fives.
Between each drill we returned to jumping rope, integrating different techniques, such as skiing, where you hop from side to side. Don't worry if you're not very good at it (I hadn't done it since elementary school!); the instructor is happy to help with technique.
The variety of exercises in the class not only keeps things interesting, it also provides interval training. Jumping rope at a moderate pace burns the same number of calories as running a 10-minute mile. For a 145-pound woman, that's about 12 calories per minute. In addition, the class improves your aerobic capacity, bone density, agility and coordination.
The final drill was a freestyle jump circle, where we took turns leading our group through moves of our choice. People were laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun exercising—it may have been when I was a kid.
Where you can try it: Classes are currently offered in 15 states. For more information, go to punkrope.com.