At a time when you can buy a high-tech indoor cycling bike to have in your house, or install a smart mirror that streams workouts, it's easy to forget about the cheaper, lower-key workout equipment that works just as well. The jump rope, for example, is so old school that you probably haven't used one since you were on the playground. But with the right routine, the jump rope can be an incredible inexpensive cardio tool.
Jump roping is a low-impact cardio workout that engages your whole body, and gets your heart rate up in a short amount of time, explains Amanda Kloots, trainer and creator of AK! Rope, Dance, Body, and Baby Bump, a workout routine that incorporates jump roping. Compared to other machines that you might come across in the gym, the jump rope is pretty easy to pick up, and you can do it almost anywhere. That's why Kloots created this 30-day jump rope cardio workout challenge below. Whether you're traveling out of town every weekend for weddings, or canceled your gym membership for the summer, this jump rope challenge is for you.
Now, if it's been a while since you've jump roped, then you might feel a bit rusty. But jump roping is actually somewhat intuitive. Kloots says the easiest way to start is by putting your jump rope down and bringing your hands by your sides as if you were holding it. "Begin to jump without your rope to get the feel for the jump," she says. "Remember your jump is small, you are only jumping as high as your rope is thick." Once that sensation feels comfortable and familiar in your body, then you can start to jump with your rope. "Don't change anything," she adds.
For this plan, you'll need to know how to do a basic two foot jump, as well as two more advanced moves, "in and out" as well as jumps on one foot. For each day, you'll do a combination of jump roping and planks, but the overall goal is to build stamina and endurance. That means, you'll have to start small and build your way up to continuously jump roping, Kloots says. Jumping for two minutes at a time is a challenge for most people, and hopefully by the end of the 30 days you'll be able to complete 10 minutes, she adds.
Before you jump (sorry) in, you'll obviously need a jump rope. You don't need a fancy jump rope to do this workout, and you can get a one for less than $10 if you're trying to save money on your workout routine. Kloots also designed a lightweight jump rope that's adjustable and has a non-coil rope that doesn't tangle, if you're looking for something more high end. Hers is a little more expensive than one indoor cycling class, but considering how much you'll use it, it might be worth the splurge.