It’s very important to remember what our bodies need rather than what we want. As adults, the ACSM recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate a week. Luckily, you choose when and how you exercise, and if you are looking for a fast way to clock those minutes, it’s time to reintroduce a childhood favorite — the jump rope.

Jump roping is one of my favorite exercises because it is convenient, quick and effective. Carry a rope in your bag or car and complete a quality workout anywhere in 10 minutes. It’s considered a vigorous activity if you can perform it continuously, but don’t be frustrated if it’s harder now than it was on the playground. Favored by boxers (and models), jump roping requires reactionary movement and a lot of coordination, which most cardio exercises exclude. Be patient. Practice and proper technique will quickly improve your training.

Remember these tips before you try the workout.

Tips for Jump Roping

  1. Get the right rope. A good jump rope will cost about $10. Look for a plastic version that turns freely inside the handles. Beginners should avoid lighter versions, which will increase intensity and speed. To measure the rope, stand on the middle and raise the handles. It is the correct size if the handles reach your armpits.
  2. Keep the movement in your wrists. Use your wrists to generate the rope movement. Swinging your arms is unnecessary. Keep your wrists at hip level and your arms close to your sides.
  3. Focus on small hops. The action of jump roping is more of an ankle hop rather than a jump. You should only be jumping to clear the rope. The heels should never touch the ground. Stay on the balls of the feet and keep a slight bend in the knees.
  4. Swing then jump. Avoid swinging and  jumping at the same time. Only jump after you see the rope approach your feet.

The Forward Jump: This is the most basic jump. Jump with both feet on every turn. Keep the arms close to the sides, the wrists at hip height, and the shoulders back. 

The Forward Jump: Remember to jump low and stay on the balls of the feet.

The Single-Leg Jump: Jump continuously on one leg. Use the same motion and form as the forward jump.

If you’ve mastered these tips, check out my jump-roping routine below.I alternate core and arm exercises between jumps to increase recovery time. Feel free to substitute exercises or take rest between jumps.

1000 Hops Workout

1. 100 forward jumps

    10 push-ups

2. 100 forward jumps

     25 bicycle crunches

3. 100 single-leg jumps (right leg)

     10 push-ups

4. 100 single-leg jumps (left leg)

     15 toe touches

5. 100 forward jumps

     10 push-ups

6. Repeat