Old habits are hard to break, and that's certainly true when it comes to fitness. If your standard cardio is running, cycling, or hopping on the elliptical, it can be difficult to try something new. Jump rope is a cardio workout that's worth trying, though. It may not sound very intense at first, but it packs a big punch, and it's the perfect workout to pick up if you're trying to shed a few pounds. By the way, we're not talking about the kind of jump rope you know from your childhood. This playground staple has gotten a serious upgrade.
When used correctly, jump rope is a powerful cardio tool that can spike your heart rate, induce healthy blood flow, and improve your cardiovascular health. That's why celebrity trainer and fitness instructor Amanda Kloots uses jump-rope workouts regularly for herself and with her clients.
"Jump rope is an effective cardio workout because it literally tones the entire body," Kloots told POPSUGAR. "Jumping rope for 10 minutes is equivalent to running an eight-minute mile."
Kloots said jump rope is a fantastic option for people who are looking for low-impact cardio options. "You barely have to be off the floor to get over the rope, so it's easier on your joints!" she said. Another great thing about jump-rope workouts is that you can do them anytime, anywhere. All you need is a jump rope and a willingness to get sweaty.
If you're not sure where to start, Kloots has got you covered. She recommends jump roping to four of your favorite songs, and this is her favorite format:
"The first song, I'll do a basic jump the whole time. The second song, I add in coordination. The third song, I'll try to do a faster jump for the whole song without messing up. The fourth song, I do sprints!" she told POPSUGAR.
Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. If you feel like you can't get a steady rhythm going the first time, just keep trying. The better you get at it, the more calories you will burn and the more fat you will shed — and it all happens in a short amount of time. Most importantly, try to have fun with it!