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Today we want to go over the fundamentals of how to jump rope. You need to get these skills down before we can move to the more advanced stuff. You can’t ninja if you can’t walk.

Follow these six basic steps to get a handle on the basics.

1. Sizing Your Rope

You need to make sure your rope is the right size. The right rope for the right jump. This will keep you from making unnecessary mistakes while guaranteeing your progress moves in the right direction.

To see if the rope length is right, step on the middle of the rope and pull the handles straight up at an equal height. As shown below, the handles should be just below your armpit.


You can also use your height to determine the best rope length:

  • Height of 5’ 10” and above: Add three feet to your height to determine the rope length (minus the handles)
  • Height below 5’ 10”: Add two feet, ten inches to your height to determine the rope length (minus the handles)

For example, if you are 6’ 3” tall, you would want a rope that is 9’ 3” long without the handles.

2. Holding the Rope

Getting the wrong hold is one of the top jump rope rookie mistakes. To take your jumping from rookie to ninja, you you want to hold your rope in perfect, zen symmetry. Your wrists will jut out to the sides as shown here:

This means that your wrists should be roughly equidistant from your toes to the top of your head so the clearance happens the same in each spot.

Jumping rope is about doing less. By keeping your wrists at the center of the spin, you eliminate unnecessary movements with your arms and body.

3. Knees Bent

It’s imperative to have your knees slightly bent while you’re jumping rope, as shown here:

If your legs are straight and your knees are locked, you run the risk of injury. Also, the bad form will just make jumping rope that much harder. Both not good.

Of course, you don’t want to bend your knees too much because that will also make everything more difficult. A nice, slight bend of the knee is all you need.

4. Up on Toes

You want to stay on your toes at all times when you’re jumping rope. This means you’ll never be flat-footed.

Your feet should never come up more than two inches whenever you’re doing a standard jump rope routine. Staying on the toes of your feet in more than adequate for getting those two inches of lift.

However, as you begin to move faster, you won’t need to get two inches above the ground. You’ll usually only need one inch or less.

5. Spinning the Rope

Like we mentioned earlier, jumping rope is all about doing less. You want to remove any and all unnecessary movements.

When it comes to spinning the rope, your wrists control everything. Your shoulders and everything above the elbows should have no movement.

You want to keep everything tight. Keep your head up, back straight, and always stay on your toes.

6. Practice

We always say it: practicepracticepractice. Don’t worry about being good right now.

You’ll see great improvement by putting in just a little bit of time. We recommend that you spend three to five minutes each day to get the fundamentals down. That’s it.

Doing this, you’ll improve enough to get going faster and get a good workout. Then, you can move on to tricks and more difficult routines to give you more of a challenge.

If you put in the practice every day, you’ll master the fundamentals in no time.