The jump rope dates back to the 1600s—at the latest—and it isn’t going anywhere. Using it can burn around 700 calories in an hour, and a 2013 study in Appetite found that rope skipping suppresses hunger better than exercise on a stationary bike. There’s simply no simpler tool out there for burning fat and improving agility.
The only thing is, you suck at it. Maybe you can only do some basic jumps or a double under or two, but you want to be able to do the jump rope tricks you’ve seen in the movies. We’re talking Rocky IV montage-type stuff. And there’s no reason you can’t with a little practice.
My business partner Dan and I started as fat guys. We lost 130 pounds collectively by putting the jump rope at the center of our training, and now we both maintain 6–8% body fat year round.
We run zendudefitness.com, which is designed to help people like you get in amazing shape with rope jumping.
So without further ado, welcome to the Zen Dude Dojo!
First off, if you’ve never picked up a jump rope before, or it’s been years since you’ve done it consistently, check out our tutorial on How To Jump Rope HERE.
Once you’ve got the basics down, we can talk tricks.
There are 4 cool tricks we’ll teach you below, and each one is a combination of two or three basic moves stacked together.
It’s difficult to explain in writing how to execute each jump rope movement, so we created a video tutorial you can watch. However, written directions do appear below to help you further.
(Notice that the vid shows these tricks in a slightly different order than listed here. We reordered them after we shot them, from easiest to hardest, and we suggest taking them on that way.)
Jump Rope Tricks Tutorial
Trick 1: Double Under + Run In Place
Trick 2: Double Under + Side Swipe
Trick 3: Double Under + Criss Cross
Trick 4: Side Swipe + Criss Cross + Run In Place
Jump a bit higher than usual, about 4 inches above the floor, so you can get two revolutions before your feet touch down. Don’t try to swing the rope twice—just swing hard once when you jump and let the momentum carry it around for the second spin.
Run In Place
Alternate high knees as you swing the rope. You should look as though you’re running in place. Keep your torso upright and make sure you land on the balls of your feet.
Swing the rope to your left side, bringing your hands close together to point 90 degrees out from your left hip. At the same time, pick your left foot up off the floor and shift your weight onto the right foot. Let the momentum spin the rope for one full revolution.
Now swing the rope across your body, bringing your left hand over your right until you’re pointing your arms out 90 degrees from your right hip and raising the right foot. Continue swinging the rope side to side in a figure-eight pattern as you lightly bounce off one foot at a time.
Jump and cross both hands in front of your body so your right hand points left and your left points right. Imagine putting guns into your holsters on each hip. Land, jump again, and unfold your arms to return to your sides (draw the guns out). The motion is a figure-eight. Be careful not to pull your arms apart too quickly or you’ll snare yourself in the rope.
BONUS TIP: If my blinding speed and cat-like reflexes make it too difficult for you to see what I’m doing, slow the videos down to 0.25 speed.
After you’ve watched the video, and you’re all kinds of jacked up on jump rope, make sure to go check out ONNIT’s new speed rope. It’s what we use for doing ticks and what we recommend for anyone getting started with jumping rope.