Jump Rope Skills Tutorials for Beginners: Forward Shuffle (Running Man)

The forward shuffle step is arguably one of the coolest-looking jump rope skills. It looks a little like break dancing, especially as you get more fluid with it. It’s also called the running man by some people.

This skill is the combination of two other skills, the high knee and the forward straddle. If you’re following these steps in order then you know both of these. It’s just a matter of putting them together and being able to alternate feet.

Facts About The Forward Shuffle

  • Difficulty: This skill ranks a 3 out of 5 in terms of difficulty.
  • Best Rope: The best rope to start with is a beaded rope OR a light weighted rope. These ropes swing a little slower. Once you can get the steps down, it’s fun to do the shuffle faster with a PVC rope.
  • Prerequisites: The prerequisites for this skill are high knees and the forward straddle. You have to be able to jump on the same foot twice before switching to the other side.
shuffle step

Tips and Drills To Learn the Shuffle

Learn With No Rope – Learn the footwork without the rope. Don’t just do it in slow motion, really get the footwork down before you add in the jump rope.

Keep Weight Centered – Just like with the forward straddle, try not to shift your weight forward and back. Keep it in the middle over your legs.

Keep Elbows In – You are more likely to get tripped up by the rope if you let your arms and elbows drift away from your sides. There are lots of steps to think about, but make sure you’re thinking about your arms too.

Drills – Try putting a basic bounce between each side. Straddle-knee-bounce and then the other side.

You can see the video tutorial here.

What’s the Difference Between Running Man and Shuffle?

To answer this question I had to seek out the experts, break dance instructors. This video explains the difference.

Basically, they are the same sequence of steps. The difference is which of the two moves you do first. For the running man, you do the straddle first. If you are doing a count of four jumps start with the straddle on count one. For the shuffle you raise your knee on the count of one and then move to the straddle. This is really splitting hairs, but I was curious.

If you have any questions about how to get starting with the shuffle running man, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help you.

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