Question – Why is Jumping Rope the Best Cardio?

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Answer – I doubt most people would consider it the best, but I do — providing you have no joint injuries and no significant weight that could impact your joints. Also, it’s mostly high-intensity exercise, so contraindicated for some conditions.

Jumping rope has all the advantages and only one disadvantage. The disadvantage is the risk of overuse/joint damage from the impact.

The advantages are:

  • You’re moving your whole body using only your body, so it’s functional movement (movements you would perform in your daily routine)
  • You can modify or progress the intensity simply through adjustments to speed or using one leg or split leg.
  • Because it’s high intensity, you can do more work in a shorter time.
  • You work eye-hand coordination and athletic movement and can modify or progress your agility practice with different rhythms and rope configurations.
  • Jumping is aerobic and plyometric. This kind of explosive exercise develops fast twitch muscle fiber more than most other aerobic activity. Fast twitch is often underdeveloped and needs greater force to develop. Plyo has been shown to help keep calcium in bones and stimulate hormones like hGH and testosterone.
  • Easy equipment to take with you (even the “equipmentless” activity of running usually requires special shoes).
  • Fun. Many of us did this on playgrounds as kids. I’ve had clients who got their kids into exercising with them making it a friendly competition.

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