Why And How To Jump Rope To Lose Weight: A Simple Guide

Do you ever ask yourself, "how long should I jump rope to lose weight?" Let's take a closer look at how this exercise works.

Jumping rope isn't just a fun pastime for kids. It's actually an excellent workout for people of all ages. By adding high-intensity activity to your routine, rope jumping can significantly help with weight loss.

With over 42% of adults¹ struggling with excess weight, the United States is facing an obesity crisis. Regular exercise is the key to keeping the numbers down. Since many people are pressed for time, they are looking for quick yet effective methods to control their weight.

That's where jumping rope comes in.

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Jumping rope and weight loss

The key to losing weight is creating a calorie deficit. This means you have to burn more calories than you consume. This can be done in two ways:

  • Making serious adjustments to your diet

  • Being more active

Ideally, to achieve weight loss goals, you need to do both. While you are rethinking your caloric intake, take some time to learn about jumping rope. It can help you burn excess calories.

A jump rope-based workout can be considered high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These workouts tend to burn a significant number of calories in a short time.

Depending on the quality of your skipping technique, it's possible to burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes². In comparison, dancing or jogging can help you burn around 300 calories in 30 minutes³.

Of course, the exact figures depend on many factors, including your initial weight, age, pace, and body composition. Here is a simple formula to use:

Calories per minute = (MET x body weight in kg x 3.5)/200

MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent of Task. MET values⁴ for jumping rope vary depending on the intensity:

  • Fast pace (120-160 skips per minute) – 12.3

  • Moderate pace (100-120 skips per minute) – 11.8

  • Slow pace (less than 100 skips per minute) – 8.8

Let's say you are a beginner who weighs 180 pounds (80 kg)⁵.

(8.8 x 80 x 3.5)/200 = 12.32. This means that by jumping rope at a slow pace, you can burn 12.32 calories per minute. That's 370 calories in 30 minutes.

While the numbers sound impressive, you have to keep in mind that jumping for 30 minutes isn't something you can do without training. In fact, not many people can jump rope for that long. Most likely, you'll be able to start with around a minute or two at a time.

How to jump rope to lose weight

If it has been many years since you picked up a jumping rope, don't rush into it. Take this activity one step at a time.

  • Warm-up

  • Grab the rope's handles and try swinging it back and forth without jumping.

  • Jump in place without swinging the rope to get a feel for it.

  • Combine the two actions

  • Cooldown by stretching, to avoid soreness.

Even if jumping goes smoothly, don't overdo it. One minute of continuous jumping is a great first-time result. Make intervals longer as you go.

If your goal is weight loss, jumping rope is an effective exercise. However, it can work even better when coupled with strength training.

Other benefits of jumping rope

One of the main benefits of jumping rope is that it doesn't require any bulky equipment or gym memberships. You can carry a small rope around with you and jump anywhere you see fit.

Here are a few important benefits of jumping rope that you can enjoy during weight loss.

  • Healthier heart – As a cardio exercise, jumping rope can improve your cardiovascular health.

  • Better coordination and balance – according to a study⁶, jumping rope improves coordination and balance, which in turn can be highly useful in everyday life. If you trip, good balance skills can help you stay on your feet instead of falling and getting injured.

  • Improved mental health – when you jump rope, your body releases extra endorphins that improve your mood. For some people, such exercise can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Higher bone density – while more studies need to be done, research shows⁷ that jumping rope can help premenopausal women increase their mineral bone density. Higher mineral bone density makes it less likely for you to break a bone.

  • Full body workout – when you are jumping rope, you use abdominal muscles for stabilization, legs for jumping, and arms for turning the rope. Such a workout increases the muscle tone and boosts resting metabolism that involves burning calories while resting.

You don't need special training to start jumping rope. All you need is a rope and a few spare minutes!

When not to jump rope

While highly beneficial, jumping rope may not be suitable for some people. Speak to your doctor before taking on this exercise if you have any of these problems:

  • Arthritis – high-impact exercises put a severe strain on your joints.

  • Pain – if you have back, hip, knee, or ankle pain, jumping could worsen it.

  • Diabetes-related nerve damage – such nerve damage makes you more likely to sustain injuries during high-intensity and high-impact exercises.

It's imperative to warm up before jumping rope. A simple warm-up routine doesn't just improve your performance by 79%⁸ but can prevent injuries.

The lowdown

So, how long should I jump rope to lose weight?

This depends on many factors, including your initial weight and jumping intensity. However, you can be sure jumping rope can be a great strategy in your weight management as it burns up to 20 calories per minute.

Rope jumping is an excellent cardio exercise that strengthens your heart, improves bone density, and boosts your mood. If you don't have any existing conditions, consider taking full advantage of this exercise today.

Have you considered clinical trials for Weight management?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Weight management, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64

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