How many calories does the jumping rope exercise burn ?

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Last updated on February 12, 2023

How many calories does Skipping Rope burn?

Skipping rope is one the most famous exercises to burn a few extra calories. The exact amount of calories burned will depend on a host of things such as your weight, age, sex, and of course how high you jump. Regardless, a Harvard Health article found that you could burn between 226 and a whopping 503 calories in half an hour of skipping; depending on how vigorously you go about it.


* The exact amount of calories burned will be other variables such as weight, age, and sex.

How to Skip Rope

The image of Rocky training for his fight with that Russian guy jumps in your mind, and you just know that rope skipping is one hell of an exercise.Surprisingly, it dates back to the Egyptians who apparently used it in 1600 B.C. as part of their conditioning routines.


Get yourself a skipping rope – preferably one that is weighted to your liking. The weight of the ends and the rope itself can vary greatly with make, type, and age even. Thus, it is important that you get a rope that suits your body.

  1. Stand shoulder width apart, and grip the rope firmly at the two ends.
  2. Start with the rope behind your legs, and start by swinging the rope over your head and towards your feet. Once the rope is just about to hit your feet, jump over it.
  3. Continue the natural momentum of the rope and swing it over your body again, just to jump over it again. This will take some coordination and some time getting used to.


Which muscles does Skipping Rope work?

Skipping rope is predominantly a lower body movement, and will only make use of other muscles for stabilization or support.


  • Calves
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Abdominals
  • Transverse Abdominals
  • Shoulders
  • Biceps

Common mistakes to Avoid

There are quite a few. Because of the fact that you’ll be jumping, you do run the risk of falling over the rope, as well as injuring your ligaments.


  • Wear supportive shoes. Constant strain on your ligaments and joints can cause injury over time, a supportive shoe can lessen the impact.
  • Not jumping high enough. To avoid falling over the rope, you’ll need to jump high enough to get over it. Again, this might take some time getting used to, so do not be discouraged if you fail (even for a long time).
  • Using the wrong rope. It is essential that you use a rope that is suited to you in regards to length, weight and composition. Failure to do so could lead to injury.
  • Not keeping good posture. It is important to remain upright as well as loose and nimble to jump freely.



Variations of Rope Skipping

There are quite a few nifty tricks that you can employ to really ramp up your training session.


1) Double Unders

This one is definitely not for beginners. Essentially, you swing the rope underneath your body twice in one jump. Sounds a bit extreme, but once you’ve been skipping for a while you’ll be doing Double Unders in no time. They can burn slightly more calories per jump, 20-30% more.


2) Rope Jumping Jacks

As the name suggests, you combine Rope Jumping with Jumping Jacks. Instead of landing with your feet next to one another, you spread them apart as you would when you do a Jumping Jack. Once the rope passes underneath you, you simply return your feet to their original place. This variation might only burn a few more calories than the normal, maybe 5% more, however it is a nice change to the original.


3) Single Foot Jumps

This one is a whopper. You simply jump with one leg instead of two. This will burn a significant amount of calories, about 20% more than the normal variation. It must be said that this one is extremely difficult and can be harder on the knees and ankles.


About the author  Steve

Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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