No boxing movie is complete without a workout scene accompanied by loud pump up music. Almost always we see them dripping sweat while jumping rope. This isn’t for dramatic effect. The exercise benefits the body in many ways and it isn’t just for boxers. A rope is generally less than twenty dollars and can be taken anywhere. It is an excellent calorie burner and works your heart while challenging most of the major muscles in your body.

Kick those calories to the curb with just a few minutes of jump roping. The exercise is just as beneficial as running when it comes to working your heart. Ten minutes of jumping is equivalent to running an eight minute mile. A 200 pound person burns approximately 15 calories for every minute jumping rope. Determine how many calories you’d burn based on your weight using a calorie counter. In fact, the activity is so good for the heart, the American Heart Association created Jump Rope for Heart, a fundraiser to fight heart disease.

This one fairly simple activity works most of your body. Calves reap the biggest benefit from propelling the body off the ground over and over again. Quads and hamstrings get some use as well. Keeping a straight and stiff body posture and engaging the core can work your chest, abs and back muscles. Biceps triceps and shoulders are worked as well while turning the rope.

Fit young woman with jump rope in a park

The real reason boxers jump rope is to improve agility and be quick on their feet. A few minutes jumping on the balls of your feet will make balancing and moving quickly easier over time. Try slalom (jumping side to side), one footed hops, or other jump rope techniques to avoid a monotonous routine, and to improve your footwork even more.

The exercise also improves hand-eye coordination. Trying to jump rope for the first time in years can be surprisingly difficult. After a few minutes of practice, it will be easier. Like all things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Incorporating activities that require mental and physical exercise affects cognitive functioning more than simply running or lifting weights.

The best part of jumping rope is affordability and accessibility. A rope can be bought nearly anywhere inexpensively. Throw it in your glove box or bag for a portable workout.

There are a few potential downfalls to the activity. The movement puts stress on knees and hips. However, if performed correctly, jumping rope has less impact on joints than running.

No one can go wrong adding a jump rope to their workout. There are so many benefits for such a simple activity. Even if you only have five minutes, grab a rope and you can burn nearly 100 calories.