How To Jump Rope – Boxing

Jumping rope is a staple in every boxing workout. In every boxing movie ever made (probably) you will see the main character jumping rope (or skipping as some people call it) and there’s a reason for that. It is VERY important, and most people won’t realize they don’t know how to jump rope until its too late.

Most boxing gyms and classes will start with three rounds of jump rope as a warm-up. That’s right … a warm-up. That means you will be jumping for 9 minutes before they consider the workout started. It seems like a simple child’s game, but I don’t want you to underestimate the importance of it.

Before I get into why it’s important, watch one of the greatest of all time show us how it’s done in the video below.

Why It’s Important

Jumping rope improves many essential aspects of boxing, including:

  • Speed
  • Explosiveness
  • Footwork
  • Coordination
  • Endurance

Jumping rope builds speed and explosiveness in your legs and allows you to move your feet faster in the ring. Being able to move explosively not only helps you move into range and land more punches but enables you to get out of the way after landing those punches. It allows you to be light on your feet and use less energy throughout the fight.

Not only does it build explosiveness, but it also improves endurance. Skipping rope at a high intensity for three minutes straight is exhausting. I’ve seen many beginners drenched in sweat by the time the warm-up rounds are finished. Over time, you will start to adapt, and the warm-up rounds will finally begin to feel like a warm-up. Don’t be discouraged if you are worn out after the first couple rounds of your workout. You will improve with hard work and consistency.

Another important benefit of jumping rope is the coordination and timing you develop by performing the same movement pattern again and again. It requires you to repeat the same movement and explosiveness even while fatigued. This is important physically and mentally when it comes to pushing through the last tiring moments in the ring.

Harder Than You’d Think

I’ve seen many students grab a jump rope on the first day and struggle to jump more than a couple of times in a row without tripping. To be honest … it’s harder than it looks and everyone sucks when they start. There aren’t many movements that are similar to jumping rope in everyday life, so there’s no reason you should be good at it right away.

Don’t be embarrassed if you can’t get it right away, every coach has seen people struggle with this, and they will understand. There are a couple of common mistakes that you can fix which should accelerate your improvement and get you skipping like a pro in no time.

Common Mistakes

  • Jumping more than once per pass
    • The double bounce is common and often means you are swinging the rope too slow. Speed the rope up a little bit and focus on only jumping once every time the rope goes around. It will feel weird at first, but before you know it, you’ll forget you ever needed two jumps.
  • Swinging too much with your arms
    • Most of the movement should be coming from the wrists. If you are pivoting at the shoulder, you are doing it incorrectly. The easiest way to fix this is to look in the mirror and try to spin the rope using just your wrists and a tiny bit of elbow
  • Jumping too high
    • Your feet should only come off the ground far enough for the rope to pass under your feet. This shouldn’t be more than about two inches but will take practice. As you improve, you might be able to decrease this distance even more, which will allow you to speed up and increase explosiveness and stamina even more.
  • Using the wrong size rope
    • Most people don’t realize there are multiple sizes of jump rope. Well, there is.
      • Generally, people under 6 feet tall will use a 9-foot rope, and people over 6 feet will need a 10-foot rope. If you are very short and find yourself struggling with a 9-foot rope, you will want to find an 8 footer.

My Advice

Start slow and don’t try anything fancy until you are comfortable. Wear shoes and a shirt because you WILL accidentally whip yourself in the toes and back. Without shoes and a shirt, it will hurt pretty bad and might even leave bruises. So take it easy when starting out, you’ll have it in no time!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below!

Ben