Time is valuable. Why expend time and energy practicing one form of fitness when a more efficient workout yields the same or better results with a lesser time commitment? One area where this applies is jump rope vs running.
Read on to learn about the many benefits of jump rope.
Jump Rope Or Jogging: Which Should You Choose?
If you’re looking for a super-effective cardiovascular fitness activity, jump rope is a great choice. In fact, it may be one of the most effective exercises of all to help support heart health. However, this skipping is not the leisurely schoolyard jump rope pace you may recall from your childhood. This is focused on speed and coordination.1
Running has its benefits as well. It’s an efficient way to build muscle in your lower body, including your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Most people associate building muscle with strength training, but if you follow the right training and nutrition plan, you can be quite successful with a running regimen.2
Which Activity Burns More Calories?
On the surface, it may appear as though jogging is the better workout. But when you look at the data, a different picture emerges.
Briskly jump roping for 15 minutes burns about 249 calories (based on a 170-pound person).This is based on turning the rope about 120-140 turns per minute. Faster rope turning or heavier weight will burn more calories.3 By contrast, the same person jogging for 15 minutes would burn 198 calories.4 This is based on a 10-minute mile.
After looking at the data, it turns out that jumping rope may burn calories more quickly than running.
Which Activity Has A Lower Risk Of Injury?
Running entails a high risk of injury due to impact activity on the lower extremities of the body, such as the knees and the heels. For the average recreational runner, injuries occur between 37% and 56% of the time in a given year. Even more concerning: up to 75% of all running injuries are the result of overuse injuries caused by repetitive stress on those same body parts. Additionally, previous injury reoccurs 20% to 70% of the time.5
On the other hand, jumping rope takes less time than running to achieve a similar result, and it doesn’t place as much stress on the back of your foot. As a result, your body experiences higher intensity and less stress from the low-impact workouts caused by jump ropes.6
Which Activity Takes Less Time?
Jumping rope takes less time than running to achieve the same benefit. So, if you’re pressed for time, consider jumping rope vs. running. It’s a more full-body exercise that involves more muscles, which could lead to more calories burned in less time.7
Which Activity Helps Strengthen Your Lower Body?
The repetitive motion of jump rope exercise strengthens the lower body by working the muscles of the lower legs. The strength that gets built up from jump rope workouts may help prevent injuries.8 Jump roping also builds strength in your core muscles, including the abdominal muscles.9
Running also strengthens the lower body, although in different ways: In addition to having stronger leg muscles, one study suggests that runners’ lower backs may benefit from the activity.
Running also has other potential benefits, including support for cardiac health, a healthy weight, and better balance and mood.10
Of course, always consult with your physician before beginning any kind of new exercise regimen, including jumping rope or running.
Which Activity Supports Coordination?
Jump roping may also help to support better coordination. In order to successfully jump rope, your mind and body need to be tightly in sync. As you practice, you may notice improvements in your balance and motor coordination.11 Practicing with jump ropes even contributes to athletic conditioning in sports such as soccer.12
Jump Rope: A Great Cardio Workout
Why Is Cardio Health Important?
Participating in regular physical activity has long been associated with better overall health. Physical activities such as running, jump roping, swimming, and cycling may provide cardiovascular health benefits, including an improved quality of life. On the flip side, being inactive or sedentary is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events and shortened lifespan.13
What Is Cardio Exercise?
The CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine define cardio exercise as at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, as many days of the week as possible. This physical fitness regimen should incorporate range-of-motion exercises, resistance training, and an aerobic workout.14
Three Types Of Cardio Workouts
- Range-of-motion exercises are aimed at supporting the movement of specific joints.15 They consist of stretching exercises, like yoga, as well as neck, shoulder, hip, and knee exercises.16
- Resistance training is aimed at supporting muscular strength and endurance. Resistance exercises include free weights, weight machines, and resistance bands that work on the major muscle groups.17
- Aerobic workouts are aimed at supporting cardio-respiratory fitness. Activities include swimming, walking, hiking, jumping rope, and running.18
How Effective Is Jumping Rope Compared With Running?
As an aerobic workout, jumping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do. According to the Harvard Step Test, a notable aerobic fitness test, rope jumping daily at a 10 minute mile pace is as efficient for cardiovascular efficiency as jogging daily for 30 minutes.19
So, when you choose to jump rope vs running, you’re opening up time for other activities.
Four Ways To Improve Cardio Endurance With Jump Rope
1. Master The Basics
There are two types of jumping rope. The most commonly practiced rope exercise is based on frequency of skips within a specified amount of time. The goal is for rope practitioners to make as many jumps as possible within a specified period of time, developing a steady rhythm and strengthening endurance.20 The other is to practice high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, which alternates between short bursts of intense jumping (30 seconds) and lightly longer periods of recovery (30-90 seconds).21
2. Record Your Baseline
Skipping rope is not a difficult cardiovascular activity to master. However, it does require proper technique to reap the potential health benefits. You’ll also need to pace yourself to achieve the desired cardiovascular levels.
Practice progressive rope skipping. Start with a baseline of, say, 100 revolutions within a certain period of time. Then gradually increase your skips by 25 reps every 15 days until you hit 200 per workout period.22 And again, make sure you get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new sort of exercise routine.
3. Maximize The Intensity Of Your Workouts
Jumping rope is also highly effective because it may raise your heart’s pulse rates up to three times faster than other exercises. By getting to the maximal heart rate very quickly and maintaining it there for 10-20 minutes, you can reap enormous potential cardiovascular benefits. However, because of this intensity, people who are just starting out, or those with underlying cardiovascular issues, should approach rope jumping with caution.23
Again, you’ll want to consult with your physician or medical care provider before you undertake any rigorous new exercise routine.
4. Establish A Routine
There is more than one jump rope technique. You can alternate between multiple types during your workout time. However, start simple. One you’ve mastered the basics, you can work up to a more challenging and complex rope-jumping routine. Work up to 5-10 minutes of continuous jumping.24
Once you get very good at the basics, you could ramp up to practicing HIIT, or high intensity interval training. This consists of periods of intense anaerobic exertion, followed by periods of slower recovery times. The purpose is to burn fat, build muscle, and jumpstart your cardio fitness.25
Consider A Regular Jump Rope Routine
If you’re considering adding a new form of exercise to your training routine, consider jump rope vs. running.
Also, unlike many other forms of exercise, jumping rope is a social opportunity: Two keys to a successful jump rope routine are getting a workout buddy and having fun.