How to Jump Rope Like a Boxer

Boxer jumping rope is a great cardio workout that keeps your heart rate up while developing coordination, speed and agility. Its one of the more popular forms of boxing training around, but some experts say you might not be using it properly. This guide will show you how to jump rope like a boxer from starting on the ground with two ropes to wrapping them around each other in mid-air.

The “best jump rope” is a piece of equipment that allows users to practice boxing. It is often used for fitness purposes and has been around since the 1800s.

Some Of The Top Jumping Ropes Available

We’ve chosen to reprint a vintage essay each Sunday to assist our younger readers discover some of the greatest, evergreen jewels from the past, with our archives currently totaling over 3,500 items. This story was first published in January of this year.

When you think about boxers’ exercises, you generally think of jumping rope.

Jumping rope has always been a key component of boxers’ training routines, from bare-knuckle brawlers like John L. Sullivan to current champions like Manny Pacquiao, throughout the sport’s lengthy history. With good reason: the advantages of this exercise are many.

You probably don’t think about jump roping very frequently if you don’t intend on getting into a ring anytime soon; to get in your cardio or HIIT exercises, you’re more likely to mount some machine at the gym. Perhaps it’s because you equate jumping rope with primary school, believe you’re too clumsy to perform it well, recall it being extremely tedious, or believe it’s a high-impact workout for your older or larger body.

Today, we’ll teach you how to overcome those obstacles and why you should use the jump rope into your exercise regimen to train like a boxer.

Jumping Rope’s Advantages

Jumping rope improves your fitness, athletic abilities, and even your mental state in ways that few other workouts can. It’s simple to understand why boxers are so enthusiastic about this kind of training when you look at the list of perks below, but these are things that the normal person would benefit from as well:

  • It’s a full-body exercise that works all of the major muscle groups.
  • It engages the body’s anaerobic and aerobic systems, burning calories effectively.
  • Improves speed and agility
  • Balance, coordination, timing, and rhythm are all improved.
  • Increases the strength and explosiveness of the weapon.
  • Reaction time and reflexes are improved.
  • Allows an athlete to get used to being in the “readiness position” – on the balls of his or her feet.
  • Lightness on the feet improves agility and nimbleness.
  • Allows you to practice movement in all directions – up, down, backward, forward, and side-to-side.
  • Improves one’s ability to accelerate and decelerate while staying balanced.
  • Improves bodily awareness and control.
  • Enhances the capacity to coordinate the lower and upper bodies.
  • Hand-eye coordination is improved.
  • Strengthens mental discipline and attentiveness (while using one’s focus abilities)

Jumping rope is an inexpensive and portable exercise that you can perform practically anywhere, and it’s also highly adaptable, with hundreds of variants in methods, patterns, and progressions, so it’s a workout that you can keep perpetually new.

What to Look for in a Jump Rope

The first step in learning how to jump rope is to choose a rope. There are two major factors to consider while making this decision:


Jack Dempsey in black and white illustration with boxing gloves.

In his book, Championship Fighting, Jack Dempsey provided his old school DIY technique for producing a boxer’s jump rope: “You may build a rope by soaking a piece of clothesline overnight in a can of light lubricating oil.” Allow the rope to air dry for a day. Then, using bicycle tape, fold the rope’s ends back and attach them into ‘handles.’”


Jump ropes are produced from a variety of materials and come in a variety of sizes. “Speed ropes” and “heavy ropes” are the two primary categories here. Speed ropes are lightweight, designed for quick turns, and intended for speed, as the name indicates. Heavy ropes are meant to strengthen the upper body by adding weight to the rope and/or grips, turning more slowly, and turning more slowly.

The best option is to use a speed rope. “A jump rope training program is best used for developing speed, quickness, agility, and explosiveness,” says Olympic wrestler and conditioning coach, former Marine, and all-around rope jumping expert Buddy Lee. “A lightweight speed rope enables you to maximize these and other benefits of jump rope training.”

In terms of material, you’ll want to use plastic for your rope. Plastic ropes are strong and reduce air resistance, allowing for faster speeds. Cotton and leather ones drag in the air, don’t spin rapidly enough, and wear out faster.

These days, you can have jump ropes that monitor your skipping statistics and link to an app and all that stuff, but you don’t need that. “I don’t need the weighted jump rope or the one that tells you your cholesterol or informs you about your love lines,” Jay Deas, trainer/manager of heavyweight title Deontay “the Bronze Bomber” Wilder and owner of Skyy Boxing Gym in Alabama, stated when we asked him for some rope jumping suggestions. A nice fundamental jump rope is one of my favorites.”


Jump ropes are available in a variety of sizes. The ideal length for you is determined by your height and ability to jump rope.

A rope that is excessively long will be less aerodynamic and will tangle and snag more easily. If the rope often smacks the ground, it’s definitely too lengthy. At the same time, you don’t want it to be too short, because you’ll be “all hunched over like an old guy trying to jump rope,” as Deas puts it.

Man measuring the jumping rope.

To determine the proper jump rope length for you, place one foot in the center of the rope and pull both handles up along the side of your body until the rope is tight and straight.

The handles should extend to the shoulder for a novice. When leaping, allow roughly a foot between your head and the rope, and the rope should just skim the ground as it passes under your feet.

You may shorten the rope till it reaches your armpit or perhaps upper chest as your leaping skills improve (with 2-6 fewer inches of clearance above your head). Shortening the rope may improve the advantages you receive from jumping, as Lee explains: “With a shorter rope, you have less room for error and are forced to move your hands and feet quickly, increasing rotational speed substantially.” This method boosts your response speed by increasing your overall awareness and helping you create lightning-fast reflexes.”


Most individuals will benefit from a jump rope that climbs to somewhere between the shoulder and armpit, and it’s preferable to have a longer jump rope than a shorter one. You can make a long rope shorter by shortening it, but you can’t make a short rope longer.

Setting the Stage for Success

Jumping that is effective, efficient, and injury-free starts with how you set up for the activity, both in terms of where you jump and your body’s position/posture while doing so.

Choosing the Right Location

Many men avoid jumping rope because they believe it is too taxing on their bodies. However, you may lessen the impact by selecting a jumping surface with a bit more rebound (for when you take off) and a little more force absorption (for when you land). When possible, avoid surfaces that are very hard, such as asphalt or concrete, and instead choose for surfaces that have a bit more give while remaining solid. Wood flooring, hard rubberized floors or mats, artificial turf, thin carpet, short grass, and solid, level soil all fall into this category.

When choosing a location, make sure there’s adequate space all around you so your rope doesn’t hit an item or a person.

Posture of the body

Man poster for jumping rope.

Your posture has a significant impact on your jumping performance and injury risk. To maximize your efficacy and efficiency, follow the steps outlined above.

A handful of common blunders made by newbie jumpers are worth mentioning:

The first blunder is overusing your arms. “The essential thing is to utilize your wrists — you don’t want your arms swinging in enormous windmill movements,” Deas explains. You should let your wrists do the work.”

The second blunder to avoid is leaping too high, which puts too much stress on your body; you only need to jump 1/2-3/4″ off the ground to clear the rope. When Pacquiao leaps, notice how low his feet come off the ground:


Various Jumps to Include in Your Exercise Routine

Many people avoid jumping rope because they believe it is too boring. This is most likely due to the fact that they only learnt one or two leaps and then repeated them over and again.

In actuality, there are a plethora of various leaps you may take to keep your practice fresh and avoid boredom. Jumping rope, as Deas puts it, “should be something you look forward to, and that can only happen if you’re doing a lot of creative things with it… that’s what’ll make it enjoyable.”

The Bounce Step (your fundamental, two-footed up and down leap) and the Alternate-Foot Step are the two basic jumps to learn initially (like running in place). You may test out a variety of additional abilities from there. Here are a dozen of the most important:

  • Boxer’s Skip [a low-impact, low-energy approach to maintain hopping for extended periods of time and develop the rhythm that a boxer need in the ring]
  • Heel-toe Step of a Boxer
  • Knees that are too high
  • Saddle on the front
  • Straddle on the side
  • Jumping Skier
  • Jumping Bells
  • Crossing on Foot
  • Jumping backwards
  • Crossed Arms/Criss-Cross
  • Swing your arms to the side.

Most of them may be turned into what Lee refers to as a “Power” variant, in which you do the same leap but swing the rope below you two (or more) times before landing. The Double Under — a Bounce Step in which the rope passes under your feet twice in one step — is the most renowned of these types of jumps.


You may create an infinite number of distinct rhythmic progressions and sets by combining these diverse leaps. Mix it up, knowing that mastering all of these approaches will take time and effort. “Don’t be afraid to attempt things like crossing the rope and double leaping,” Deas urges. You’ll make mistakes over and over again; just keep trying new things. You’ll get them eventually, and once you do, it’ll be like riding a bike.”

Exercises for Boxers

John L. Sullivan portrait.

In between championship defenses, John L. Sullivan would grow grotesquely out of shape, only to whip himself (or rather, be thrashed by trainers) into shape as the battle neared. Jumping rope was part of his routine, which he first found uncomfortable and unpleasant at 220 pounds. He got the idea of the rhythm after being able to complete a few consecutive skips without tripping, and would do 10 sets of 100 leaps every session, proud of how the activity strengthened and trimmed his physique.

Jumping rope is used by boxers in a variety of methods throughout their exercises.

It’s often used as a warm-up and/or cool-down, with 10-20 minutes of continuous, but not very difficult, jumping (incorporating various kinds of jumps).

It may also be utilized as pure cardio, such as three sets of ten minutes of continuous jumping with two minutes of rest in between. Alternatively, do two sessions of 15 minutes of continuous jumping. Or, if you’re very skilled, 30 minutes or more of nonstop leaping.

Jumping rope may also be utilized to organize the high-intensity phase of a workout to resemble the demands of a genuine boxing bout. Each round in a professional bout lasts three minutes, with a one-minute break in between. So Deas has his fighters practice rounds like these to imitate these conditions:

  • 3 minutes of “very, extremely rapid” leaping
  • 1 minute active rest with slow leaping
  • Repeat

Make as many rounds as possible.

Everlast suggests doing an HIIT exercise like this:

  • 15 seconds on the jump rope (maximum pace)
  • 15 second shadow box
  • 30 seconds of rest

You may complete more rounds of this exercise the fitter you are; choose a level from Beginner to Champion:

  • 4 rounds if you’re a beginner.
  • Level of Competitor: 8 rounds
  • Level of Champion: 12 rounds

Finally, Lee offers this 24-minute boxing exercise (after warming up) in his book 101 Best Jump Rope Workouts:

Round 1

  • 3 minutes alternate foot step with arm cross over
  • 1 minute speed bag
  • 1 minute of rest

Round 2

  • 3 minutes of alternating between Basic Bounce and Alternate Foot Step
  • 1 minute of bicycle crunches
  • 1 minute of rest

Round 3

  • 3 minutes of alternating between Arm Cross Over and Side Swing to Jump
  • 1 minute speed bag
  • 1 minute of rest

Round 4:

  • 3 minutes of alternate high step with arm cross over and double unders (arm cross over).
  • 1 minute of leg raises
  • 1 minute of rest

Round 5:

  • 3 minutes of Forward Shuffle and Backward Shuffle alternated
  • 1 minute speed bag
  • 1 minute of rest

Round 6:

  • 3 minutes of alternate backwards jumping and alternate foot step
  • 1 minute Russian Twist

Deas advises including jump rope training into your routines three times per week, with a novice beginning with once or twice. Work your way up to 5-10 minutes of jumping rope a few times a week so you don’t damage yourself while building endurance and practicing technique. You’ll be skipping rope like a warrior in no time, and you’ll be able to go the distance.


Deas advises including jump rope training into your routines three times per week, with a novice beginning with once or twice. Work your way up to 5-10 minutes of jumping rope a few times a week so you don’t damage yourself while building endurance and practicing technique. You’ll be skipping rope like a warrior in no time, and you’ll be able to go the distance.

Thanks to Jay Deas for his suggestions.

Additional Information:

Buddy Lee’s 101 Best Jump Rope Workouts

Buddy Lee’s Jump Rope Training



Jumping rope is a great exercise that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Jumping rope benefits people of all ages and levels of fitness. Reference: jump rope benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I learn to jump rope like a boxer?

A: The best way to learn how to jump rope is by shadow boxing.

How long does it take to learn to jump rope like a boxer?

A: It takes a lot of hard work and practice to learn how to jump rope like a boxer. However, it is worth the time and effort invested as youll be able to keep up with your friends in no time!

Why do boxers jump rope so much?

A: There is no specific reason for this. They may be practicing their speed and agility, or maybe taking part in a tradition based on the sport of rope jumping.

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