If you want to get started with jump rope there isn’t much you need. In terms of equipment, you really only need a basic jump rope.
Here is the jump rope I started with. You can start with any jump rope because at the beginning you are building up stamina and coordination. The rope doesn’t matter that much.
Why Jump Rope Is The Perfect Exercise
Jump rope is a great exercise for people over 50 (and people under 50) and here’s why.
- It burns more calories than running.
- You can do a complete working in 20 minutes.
- It’s lower impact than running.
- It’s good for bone density because it’s a weight bearing exercise.
- You can do it anywhere and easily travel with your jump rope.
- Because you can do it indoors, you can do it in any weather.
- You don’t have to have a dedicated space for your workout to happen. You can jump anywhere.
- It’s a full body workout.
Beginner Interval Training with A Jump Rope
I will talk more about HIIT training in another post, but the best way to get started with skipping rope is with intervals.
What is interval training? It just means you exercise harder for a period and then you have a recovery period. There are many apps that allow you to set up custom intervals. You can set the number of intervals you want and change the amount of time in each interval.
I use an app called “Interval Timer” and it’s free. You can see a screen shot below of my beginner settings.
If you are not used to vigorous exercise, start with 20 seconds of high intensity and 10 seconds of rest. Do 10 repetitions. This only lasts 5 minutes!
If you have trouble skipping rope for 20 seconds, just jump a few times and if you miss start again. In the first week you might feel like “I can’t do this”, but you get better. Don’t try to do anything fancy, just do a double foot jump.
Start with 10 intervals. As soon as you find that you can do this pretty easily, start increasing the interval times. Move the high interval up 10 seconds and start again.
How Do I know If I am Working Out Hard Enough?
You can tell if it’s a struggle for you do jump for 20 seconds. BUT if you need a third party to tell you, you need a heart rate monitor.
I started using the polar app 6 months into my jump rope journey because I was curious. I felt more confident as I kept creeping up my jump times (10 seconds at a time). When I got the heart rate app and hooked it up to my phone it was enlightening.
I no longer had to wonder, am I really working out at a level that is improving my fitness or burning fat? The app tells you. I don’t look at it while I’m working out, but afterward if you look at the results you can start to FEEL what it’s like to get to the right level of intensity.
Side note: I was a life long walker, and I really like to walk. BUT what I learned when I started jumping is that in my 50s, this was not making me more fit or helping me to burn fat.
What’s Your Exercise Goal?
I didn’t realize this at first, but the heart rate monitor showed me what I was working on – burning fat or gaining fitness. These are two different goals.
Is your goal to burn fat? If so, you start to see what it feels like to be exercising in the fat burning zone. If your goal is to gain fitness you can see that too.
Do You HATE to Exercise?
Disclaimer, I have never been a really “FIT” person. I hate exercise, I was a walker. I discovered I like jump rope mainly because it’s over quickly.
I like to listen to music while I do it because it distracts me and makes the time fly by. I recommend finding the music to exercise with that makes you feel energized. For you that music could be hip hop, bible, reggae, disco. It doesn’t matter, there’s a music that makes you feel alive. Use that.