Nope, it isn’t just for the schoolyard. Jumping rope can be a workout powerhouse since it helps maintain—and improve—your cardiovascular fitness while strengthening your muscles to help reduce injury risk.

If you want an example of the crazy, topsy-turvy world we live in, consider the jump rope, the preserve of boxers and small girls. A skipping workout is a cardio and toning essential that’ll boost your gains double-quick.

It may look simple, but, when used in the right way, it can provide a full-body cardio and strength session that targets your biceps, triceps, deltoids, and chest, as well as toning your thighs, hips, and glutes.

Do each movement for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second break. Repeat each movement six times before moving on to the next.

1. Hopping Skip:

How to:

  • Engage your core and hold a handle of the rope in each hand.
  • Keep your hands out to the side, elbows tucked in.
  • Swing the rope above your head and hop over it on your right foot.
  • With each arc of the rope, switch feet so you land on a different foot each time.

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2. Classic Skip:

How to:

  • So, engage your core and swing the rope over your head.
  • But this time, jump over it with both feet instead of hopping. In other words, your classic skip.
  • Steadily increase the speed at which the rope swings, then, when your heart is pumping, add in a second jump as it passes over your head.
  • Now, catch your breath.

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3. Side-To-Side Skip:

How to:

  • Holding the rope, begin with your hands together at one side of your body.
  • Moving your hands in a figure of eight motion across your torso, swing the rope so that the midpoint reaches above your head before hitting the floor at the opposite side of your body.
  • Repeat this motion four times.
  • On the fifth swing, separate your hands so they are at each side of your body in classic skipping position, skip over the rope, then return to the start and repeat.
  • Don’t forget that core.

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4. High Knee Skip:

How to:

  • Start with hands on either side of your body ready to swing the rope over your head.
  • Now, instead of jumping over the rope, alternate high knee hops.

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5. Crossover Skip:

How to:

  • Start in the classic skipping position with your core engaged.
  • Begin to do your first skip, but, as the rope swings above your head, cross your hands over your torso.
  • As you do your second skip, uncross your arms to return to the classic position.
  • Then do it all over again, alternating with each jump.