Jump Rope Exercises to Build Lean Muscle

Not only does jumping rope help shape the lower half of the body, it can also tone the arms, chest and shoulders. Because jumping rope uses all of your muscles and joints, lean muscle can be built quickly. In fact, the Men’s Health website states that 10 minutes of jumping rope is equal to 30 minutes of running. There are many varieties of jump rope exercises; all designed to get the muscles moving.

Figure 8

According to the Fitness website, the jump rope exercise, “Figure 8” can help build muscle while burning calories fast. To do this exercise, stand with feet shoulder-length apart. Grip the handles of the jump rope together, holding both hands in front of the body. Trace a sideways figure 8 shape, going from your right shoulder to your left hip, then to your left shoulder and right hip. Shift your weight from left to right foot as you make the shape.


To do the “Twister”, the Bally Total Fitness website recommends starting with the jump rope handles grasped at your sides. Keep the middle of the rope slack before your ankles. Swing the rope forward overhead and keep the feet close together as you jump over the rope. After 10 consecutive jumps, stop to rest. Start again, but this time, twist your lower body to the left as you jump. Then swing the body to the right. Alternate left and right for 10 jumps and then rest. Continue for as long as is comfortable.

Step Touch

The Fitness website explains that this exercise is performed by grasping both of the jump rope handles together. Swing the rope to the left and then turn in 2 circles as you step to the left. Tap your right toe by the left heel. Repeat on the right side.

Jogging Step

In the “Jogging Step” exercise, the Bally Total Fitness website says to start with the jump rope handles firmly grasped in your hands at your sides. Allow the middle of the jump rope to rest at your feet. Swing the rope up over your head and jog or walk over the rope when it reaches your feet. Switch feet and increase speed as you feel comfortable.

Criss Cross

The Bally Total Fitness website recommends doing the “Criss Cross” by swinging the rope over your head. Keep your feet close together as you hop over the jump rope. Cross your arms over your chest—your right hand should touch your left side and your left hand should touch your right side. Jump through the crossed rope and open your arms again.

About this Author

Rose Erickson has been a writer for 20 years. She has written five novels, the first completed when she was only 15 years old. She was published in the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans.