Why Doctors Recommend Jump Rope? – Key Insights

Jump Rope health benefits

Jump rope is an excellent exercise to maintain an active lifestyle and burn a substantial number of calories.

I always recommend it to my clients due to their numerous health benefits. These exercises stimulate the cardiovascular system, which provides an array of health benefits.

To boost your gains, I recommend using a weighted rope. Using weighted rope will improve coordination and add a greater challenge to your muscles.

Now, let us look at the benefits of jump rope exercises, and then cover some basics on how to start.

What are the Benefits?

Jump rope is a versatile workout that can significantly improve your health. I’ve already talked about why it is good to combine it with running.

Before I start making all sorts of claims, let us decipher the scientific evidence that supports the benefits of jump rope:

Improves Cardiorespiratory Health

Jumping rope is an excellent way to boost your cardiorespiratory fitness.

It is an exercise that requires continuous movement, which demands more oxygen and blood to be pumped into your working muscles.

As a result, your heart rate and respiratory rate increase to meet this heightened demand.

Naturally, this is an exercise that requires getting used to. Therefore, it is not advisable to start with the highest possible tempo immediately.

Over time, this consistent challenge strengthens your heart and improves your lung capacity, which allows you to engage in physical activities for more extended periods without feeling fatigued.

Researchers concluded that jumping rope exercises for only 7 weeks increases cardiovascular endurance by up to 10%.[1]

10 minutes of jumping rope is equal to 30 minutes of running at a 5.7 mph pace.

Induces Muscle Hypertrophy

Jump rope fitness

Another useful thing to know is that this exercise provides a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

When you jump rope, your lower body muscles, such as the calves, buttocks, and thighs, are continuously engaged to propel you off the ground and absorb the impact of landing.

Your upper body (e.g., shoulders, biceps) works to rotate the rope, whereas your core muscles stabilize your movements.

It also uses the “stretch-shortening cycle,” which is a process where muscles quickly lengthen and shorten. The exercise helps by enhancing both your power and strength.[2]

As a result, it improves muscle mass and thickness, especially in the quadriceps and calves.

Although traditional weightlifting is known for building muscle, jumping rope provides a unique stimulus through high-intensity and rapid movements.

It triggers increased muscle activation and growth, which makes it an effective and accessible way to enhance muscle development and strength without the need for extensive equipment.

Builds Stronger Bones

Health benefits of jumping rope

One of the lesser-known benefits of jump rope is its ability to strengthen your bones. This high-impact exercise places temporary stress on your bones each time you land, which stimulates osteoblasts (i.e., bone-building cells) to create stronger and denser bone tissue.

Studies found that regular jump rope exercises can significantly increase bone mineral density, especially in critical areas such as the lumbar spine and femoral neck.[3]

In one specific study, researchers inspected the impacts of jump rope exercises on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.[4]

The authors concluded that “the sensitivity of skeletal response to jumping exercise in premenopausal women is significant and site-specific, with significant benefit from high-impact exercise noted, especially at the hip.”

Improves Coordination and Balance

Jump rope exercise insights

Jump rope exercises are fantastic to enhance your coordination and balance.

Mastering the rhythm and timing required to jump rope effectively involves the coordination between your arms, legs, and torso.

The exercise improves neuromuscular coordination, which helps you develop better control over your body movements.

A study that focused on the benefits of jump rope for better balance and motor coordination, conducted by Athos Trecroci and collaborators, states that the ability to maintain your balance as you jump requires a stable center of gravity and strong core muscles.[5]

A study examined the effects of a 12-week jump rope-based afterschool program on middle school students’ fitness.[6]

Sixty students were divided into three groups:

  1. Freestyle rope skipping
  2. Traditional jump rope
  3. A control group.

The jump rope groups showed significant improvements in muscle strength. It was measured by standing long jump and hand grip tests.

The freestyle group also improved flexibility and bone mineral density (BMD) more than the traditional group, which was a particularly interesting thing to see.

On the other hand, the control group showed no significant improvements.

The study concluded that jump rope effectively enhances adolescents’ physical fitness.

How to Start Jump Rope

Jump rope for weight loss

Once you are comfortable with the basics of jumping rope, you will be ready to progress to the actual jump rope exercise.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Maintain a close distance between your feet when you jump – It helps with balance and control.
  • Jump and land on your midsoles – It minimizes the risk of injury.
  • Avoid jumping too high from the ground – Keep your jumps low to conserve energy and reduce impact.
  • Slightly bend your knees – It helps to absorb shock and protect your joints.
  • Ensure your spine is straight to prevent back pain.
  • Lift your chest and keep your head looking forward to promote better balance and alignment.
  • Pull your shoulders back and position your elbows down and back – It keeps your upper body stable.
  • Keep your hands along the midline of your body – It maintains rhythm and coordination.
  • Focus on rotating the rope with your wrists – Avoid the use of your shoulders or elbows for this movement.

Initially, you may find it challenging. But with regular practice, you will master this exercise, have no doubt about it.

The use of a weighted rope can simplify the process by addressing coordination and timing issues.

As an additional tip, consider the use of a mirror to watch yourself as you jump. It can help you correct any symmetry issues and improve your form.

Takeaway Message

Doctors recommend these exercises due to their numerous health benefits. It is a full-body workout that improves cardiovascular health, increases muscular strength, and enhances coordination and agility.

It engages both the upper and lower body, which promotes rhythm and balance. Research shows that jump rope exercises can significantly improve muscle strength, flexibility, and bone density. Additionally, it is accessible, affordable, and enjoyable.

I hope that this insight of mine managed highlighted the benefits and why doctors recommend these exercises.

REFERENCES

  1. Chen CF, Wu HJ. The Effect of an 8-Week Rope Skipping Intervention on Standing Long Jump Performance. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jul 11;19(14):8472. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19148472. PMID: 35886329; PMCID: PMC9323905.
  2. Arntz F, Mkaouer B, Markov A, Schoenfeld BJ, Moran J, Ramirez-Campillo R, Behrens M, Baumert P, Erskine RM, Hauser L, Chaabene H. Effect of Plyometric Jump Training on Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy in Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review With Multilevel Meta-Analysis. Front Physiol. 2022 Jun 27;13:888464. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.888464. PMID: 35832484; PMCID: PMC9271893.
  3. Ha AS, Ng JYY. Rope skipping increases bone mineral density at calcanei of pubertal girls in Hong Kong: A quasi-experimental investigation. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 8;12(12):e0189085. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189085. PMID: 29220384; PMCID: PMC5722366.
  4. Zhao R, Zhao M, Zhang L. Efficiency of jumping exercise in improving bone mineral density among premenopausal women: a meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2014 Oct;44(10):1393-402. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0220-8. PMID: 24981245.
  5. Trecroci A, Cavaggioni L, Caccia R, Alberti G. Jump Rope Training: Balance and Motor Coordination in Preadolescent Soccer Players. J Sports Sci Med. 2015 Nov 24;14(4):792-8. PMID: 26664276; PMCID: PMC4657422.
  6. Yang X, Lee J, Gu X, Zhang X, Zhang T. Physical Fitness Promotion among Adolescents: Effects of a Jump Rope-Based Physical Activity Afterschool Program. Children (Basel). 2020 Aug 14;7(8):95. doi: 10.3390/children7080095. PMID: 32823828; PMCID: PMC7463663.

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