This 20-Minute Jump Rope Workout Burns Fat and Tones Every Inch

 by David Hunt

A HIIT jump rope workout is a fun and efficient way to improve your fitness, build your strength and burn calories without a ton of equipment.


Looking for a fun and efficient way to improve your fitness, build your strength and burn some serious calories without a ton of equipment? Then a HIIT jump rope workout is perfect for you! The great thing about HIIT — high-intensity interval training — is that it's so versatile. There are endless ways to build simple and effective full-body workouts that you can do in as little as 20 minutes. Here's a fun workout from the guys at Crossrope that you can do anywhere with nothing but a jump rope and a little bit of space.

1. How to Do This Workout

This fun, 20-minute HIIT workout uses the Tabata workout protocol. You'll alternate between 20 seconds of high-intensity work and 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. So one Tabata equal four minutes. In this workout, you're going to do three different Tabatas and rest two minutes between each. Each Tabata is built around two different exercises — one jump rope exercise and one body-weight exercise — to challenge your strength and endurance at the same time.

2. How to Choose a Jump Rope

You can do this workout with any jump rope, but if you're a beginner, you might want to consider using a heavier jump rope. Heavier ropes offer more feedback while you're jumping so you know exactly when to jump each turn. It makes timing your jumps much easier. Heavier ropes also tend to slow down your pace so you don't get ahead of yourself and trip up. Also make sure that your jump rope is the right length for your body. To do this, hold the handles with both hands and step on the middle of your rope with one foot. Pull the handles up and make sure that they reach your armpits.

3. Jump Rope Warmup

Before you jump (literally) into this Tabata-style workout, it's important that you start with a good warmup. Because you're using the jump rope in this workout, it also serves as the perfect warmup tool to increase your heart rate and get your muscles primed.

HOW TO DO IT: Spend three minutes jumping rope at a light pace. Mix it up with different skills like basic jumps, alternate-foot jumps and jump rope jacks (see the following slides for a more detailed explanation) to really get your muscles firing.

4. Basic Jump (Tabata #1)

Your first Tabata is going to help you build your endurance and core strength. You're going to alternate between 20 seconds of basic jumps and 20 seconds of mountain climbers for the full four minutes, resting for 10 seconds in between each set.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand tall with your chest and head up. Pull your shoulders and elbows back and maintain good posture. Position your hands alongside your hips about eight inches out. Maintain a slight knee bend and stay on the balls of your feet. Push the pace as you start to feel more comfortable.

Read more: A Fat-Blasting Jump Rope Workout You Can Travel With

5. Mountain Climber (Tabata #1)

The mountain climber is a great conditioning and core-strengthening exercise. You want to make sure that you keep your upper body still while driving your knees toward your chest.

HOW TO DO IT: Get into the push-up position and engage your core. You want to keep your back from arching and hips from sagging. Drive one knee up toward your chest, and then bring it back down quickly while simultaneously driving the other knee up. Continue to alternate the knees quickly for the duration of the set. If you're a beginner, try doing the exercise with hands on the bench.

6. Alternate-Foot Jump (Tabata #2)

Your second Tabata is going to help you build your endurance, speed and lower-body strength. You're going to switch between alternate-foot jumps and body-weight squats, keeping the 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off timing.

HOW TO DO IT: This is very similar to the basic jump, only now you switch which foot you're hopping with each time the rope passes under your feet. It's a great exercise to use if you want to increase the pace and intensity of your jumping. Another way of thinking of it is that you're running in place with the rope going around each time one foot makes contact.

7. Body-Weight Squat (Tabata #2)

Body-weight squats are great for building strength in your legs and your glutes.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your butt down and back until your hips are in line with your knees. Keep your weight on your heels and your head and chest up. If you need help with balance, extend your arms out in front of you. And if you'd like to increase the intensity, do a jump squat instead. Same mechanics, only you'll jump on the way up. Just make sure to maintain a soft landing.

Read more: 12 Essential Squat Variations to Try

8. Jump Rope Jack (Tabata #3)

Your third and final Tabata is going to help you build your endurance, coordination and upper-body strength. Alternate between jump rope jacks for 20 seconds and walkout push-ups for 20 seconds, making sure to rest for 10 seconds after each bout.

HOW TO DO IT: The exact same jump rope mechanics apply as with the other jumps, but this time you'll alternate with each jump between having your feet close together and your feet apart. Another way to think of it is doing a jumping jack with a jump rope. If you're a beginner, don't spread your feet too far apart on the outward jump.

9. Walkout Push-Up (Tabata #3)

Walkout push-ups are great for working your mobility while also strengthening your shoulders, arms and core.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet slightly past shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Squat and bend at the waist as you put your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you're in a plank. Do one push-up. If you're a beginner you can come down to your knees before initiating the push-up. Then walk your hands back to your feet and engage your core to come back up.

Read more: 24 Essential Push-Up Variations for Total-Body Strength

What Do YOU Think?

Have you tried this workout yet? What did you think? Are you going to start at the basic level and work your way up? How else will you use this workout? As an active recovery? Are there any other exercises you would recommend to beginners? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below!


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