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Jumping Rope

Using the Jump Rope for Boxing Training

Jumping rope is an essential component of training for boxing. While as a child you might have strolled through the schoolyard and laughed to yourself that you’d never be caught dead jumping rope with all the little girls, from the first moment you ever step foot in a boxing gym you realize that there’s nothing girly or foolish about it. Just leave the songs and chalk and toys in the yard, and pick up a jump rope without long plastic beads, and you’ll be all set. Take a look at this quick guide about jumping rope for boxing training to see why it’s so important, how it can benefit you, and how to go about incorporating it into your training routine.

Before you get started with your jumping rope routine for boxing, first get acquainted the basic types of jump rope that you’ll come across. The standard jump rope is made from a cable or lightweight plastic/rope material. These will commonly be called either cable jump ropes or speed jump ropes.

You’ll also be able to find weighted jump ropes. Weighted jump ropes have an extra pound or two of resistance built in to provide you with that much more of a rigorous workout. You never have to make the switch to these, it will come down to personal preference and style, as well as your own goals.

Also be aware that jump ropes come in different lengths, such as 8 foot or 9 foot ropes. Again, this is a matter of personal preference, along with the pure logistics of the size of your body and the rope that will be best to use to accommodate your frame and your limbs.

Benefits of Jumping Rope for Boxing Training

  1. Cardio Conditioning: Jumping rope is a fantastic tool for cardio conditioning. This might surprise you, but the first time you pick up a rope and try to reel off 60 second or two minutes straight of using it, you’ll be surprised to see how tired you get. Working your way up to being able to seamlessly complete several consecutive rounds of jumping rope training will be a challenge, but it will pay off with your fitness level.
  2. Coordination: Boxers rely heavily on their coordination, of course. It’s more than just hand-eye coordination, it’s hand-eye-body-legs-arms coordination, because a boxer needs everything in sync in order to be successful in the ring, and deploy proper offense and defense at the same time. Jumping rope is great for training this, and will help you to get your body in tune with itself as you plan your timing, arm turns and jumps accurately together.
  3. Muscle Strength: Jumping rope isn’t really for strength training, however, one of the most important sets of muscles in a boxer’s body are his calf muscles. You’ll need that for your footwork, for generating power on your punches, and generally staying active and swift in the ring. The constant up and down of jumping rope is a very effective way to boost the muscle strength and stamina in your calves, and that will translate directly to your performance.
  4. Warming Up/Cooling Down: Jumping rope also happens to be great for warming up at the beginning of a workout, and cooling down at the end of a workout. Throw in two or three rounds at the start and end of your workout and you’ll be boosting your training while also helping to prevent injury, prepare your body for more rigorous and contact-oriented aspects of your routine, and more.

—> Check out the rest of our boxing training section for more training tutorials, how-tos, tips, and everything you need to know to hit the gym.

How to Jump Rope for Boxing Training

As mentioned, jumping rope is best done at both the beginning and end of your training routine. Warming up with 2-3 rounds of jump rope training and cooling down with the same will be great bookends for your training session.

Hold an end of the rope in each hand in front of your body, with your palms facing up. Your grip should be loose, as really the only motion you’ll be doing is a flick of the wrist for every turn of the rope. Using more of your arms is a mistake and will only slow you down.

Take a small jump and turn the rope backward, jumping over it and continuing from there. In other words, you jump rope, the rope goes underneath your feet, behind your body, over your head, and then back down as you jump over it once again. The goal is to not touch the floor with the rope at all, or to do so just barely. The small, constant whack of the jump rope on the gym floor, combined with the whoosh sound as you move it overhead is a constant soundtrack of a boxing training routine at the gym.

Don’t be embarrassed if you struggle with this more than you might imagine at first. It just takes time to get used to, and like with speed bag training, you have to start slowly and incorporate basic movements before you can get more advanced or complicated. Soon, instead of messing up once every 10 jumps or rotations you’ll be able to go 60 seconds smoothly, and more from there.

Adding More to Your Jumping Rope Routine

You don’t have to just jump straight up and down with both feet, and most of the time, you won’t be…

  • You can try running in place for periods of time, bringing one knee high up with each pass.
  • You can also begin to master the basic boxing cadence of jump rope, which is basically two small jumps with your left foot followed by two small steps with your right foot. The continued pace of this will see you barely jumping or raising your feet up at all in what should become a very natural and smooth rhythm.
  • From there, incorporating double jumps – two passes of the rope under your feet during one jump up – and more complicated arm motions, criss-crosses and jumps can be done as well. Some of these are beneficial, while some of them are for your own enjoyment and to pass the time as you spend 10 minutes at the open and close of every workout doing the same things over and over again.
  • Many boxers or trainers also set up little mini-games or challenge while jumping rope. So you can’t end your workout until you jump 200 times without making a mistake and needing to start over, for example.

Hopefully by now you’ve gotten a better idea about jumping rope for boxing training. No, there’s nothing girly or weak about. It boosts your coordination, conditioning and strength, and it’s a perfect beginning and end to any training session or routine. Start with the basics and work your way up and you’ll see for yourself the impact that jumping rope can have for boxers.