How To Jump/Skip Rope Like A Boxer | A Helpful Guide

HOW TO JUMP ROPE LIKE A BOXER

When you think of boxer training, one of the first things that will pop in your head is how good they are at jumping rope! (Skipping if you’re from the UK)

It has been regarded as a well-known practice for boxers and for good reason due to the benefits it offers them in their daily training routine. 

When I first started boxing, jumping rope was one of the first things I wanted to master. Having seen how good the professionals and advanced boxers were in the boxing gym.

Just like with anything new it took a while to get there, but with some persistence and knowledge, I was able to jump rope with ease, just like the pros! 

In this blog, I want to give you a useful guide on how you can jump rope like a boxer and feel confident in your training. Even if you are not interested in boxing itself and you just want to jump rope. 

This article will break down all those questions you may have to become a jump rope boxing pro! 

Jumping rope benefits 

First and foremost, let’s look at the benefits of jumping rope and how it can actually help you generally speaking in the long run: 

  • It gives you full body workout 
  • Helps to lose weight 
  • A new skill
  • Increase calorie burning 
  • Improves cardio
  • Something different to typical cardio workouts 
  • Great warm up and warm down tool 
  • Helps develop mental sharpness and focus
  • Improve coordination 

So as you can see from the above there are actually quite a few ways it can help your general fitness as a whole!

Why do boxers jump rope?

So why do boxers jump rope then? Well, there are actually a few reasons for this which some will seem obvious to you. But there are some actual boxing-specific benefits to using a jump rope as part of their training. 

Improves Cardio and Stamina 

Now, this is the most obvious reason and it helps to improve your overall cardio. Boxers need good stamina and as much as running can benefit you. Jumping rope gives you another form of getting your cardio workout in. 

Trust me! Try doing 10-15 mins for each training session over a week and you will see a massive difference in your stamina.

Helps Footwork

Good footwork is key in boxing and being able to stay light on your feet is a key skill all boxers must incorporate as part of their training! 

Generally, you should always be on the balls of your feet within your boxing stance, and being able to move around the ring smoothly could be the difference between winning and losing. 

Jumping rope requires you to stay on the balls of your feet so that you’re not flat-footed. It also helps to conserve more energy jumping this way and naturally moving over to their footwork. 

Improves Coordination 

Coordination is another aspect in helping boxers improve their mental sharpness when in the ring. Jumping rope requires you to use both use your feet and hands at the same time while training with it. 

This in essence is similar to throwing technically perfect punches, the coordination of throwing a punch needs your feet and lower torso to have the power behind it.  By jumping rope you are helping your coordination improve each day. 

Gives and Improves Rhythm

Something that doesn’t really get talked about enough in boxing, and that is having a good rhythm. It sets the tone of the fighter in the ring in terms of movements and who is more dominant. 

One of the best boxers of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson, said so himself:

Your rhythm should set the pace of the fight. If it does, then you penetrate your opponent’s rhythm. You make him fight your fight, and that’s what boxing is all about.”

‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson

In the case of jumping rope, this certainly helps with this! It creates a bouncing rhythm while giving you timing for each time you jump over the rope or do a certain technique. 

I have always felt my rhythm improve once jumping rope, it’s also even better when you listen to music.

When do Boxers jump rope? 

Boxers generally use jump rope or skip as a warm-up tool before their training session for 10-15 minutes. It helps to warm up the body, before what is usually a really tough boxing workout session. 

I have also used it as an additional cardio workout or warm down exercise as well which is very useful for them.

If you are a complete beginner, try doing this 3-5 minutes at the beginning or end of your workout or do 3 x 3-minute rounds so you build up your skill and stamina over time.

Choosing a jump rope

Choose a jump rope

Here is an overview of the type of jump rope and what rope you should use below.

Types or rope 

Now, believe it or not, there are in fact a few different versions of jump ropes you can use. Each one has its own unique benefit, but if I’m being completely honest. A simple basic jump rope is really all you need to jump rope like a boxer. Yes, the other versions of rope allow you to do different things, but it’s always best to start off simple.  

Basic (PVC Plastic) Rope 

The most common ropes you will come across are the basic PVC plastic ropes. These are definitely where I think you should start off if you want to learn the fundamentals first. They are also cost-effective and will save money rather than spending on more expensive advanced jump rope at first. The handles usually don’t have the best grip, but you will be holding tight onto them regardless of the grip. 

Check options on Amazon here.

Weighted Rope 

A weighted rope could be another solution if you are wanting to get a greater workout session! This definitely helps burn the calories quicker if you are looking to lose weight fast. 

I recommend you check out Crossrope which offers a variety of weighted rope options here. You may want to read and watch my video and written Crossrope review here to get my full take.

Speed Rope 

Well, I think you can guess from the name what the purpose of this rope is and that is SPEED! These are made with a very thin rope cord and I recommend those that are more advanced!

They are great if you want a really intense workout or want to do some quick fancy techniques such as double unders. 

Check options on Amazon here.

Alternative Ropes

Beaded Ropes

Beaded ropes were something you would probably see when you were kid on the playground. Now they have become extremely popular and are associated with competition and dance jump rope jumping. It is actually pretty cool watching the highly skilled people with these! However, if you are a beginner stick with the basics. 

Leather

Now the leather rope is obviously a bit heavier and is an alternative to the basic and speed ropes. I have only used these a few times and you certainly feel like you are back in the 1950s! These usually have that old-school look with wooden handles and can be used by beginners. See options on Amazon here.

Length or rope 

So now that you have chosen your jump rope, it’s important to have the right length whilst using it. 

The rule of thumb is you step on the rope in the middle, pull the rope up on either side so that that rope reaches your armpits (not the handles). See the example of me below.

If you get a basic rope to start off with that is too long, do not worry! For most rope, you are able to tie a knot in them which can reduce the size. Some of the speed rope brands also have adjustable length features at the handles. 

Tips for Jumping rope 

Now that you have picked your rope, here are some handy tips I recommend you consider before you get started. 

Jump surface

via GIFER

Now before I go on, whatever surface you end up jumping rope on, will impact your body in some way. For example, a very hard surface like concrete can take the toil over time especially if you have bad knees. 

Softer or spongier firm surfaces are always recommended if you plan on jumping rope long term. Examples of this would be:

  • Wooden floors
  • Artificial grass/turf
  • Rubber layered floors or mats
  • Carpet 
  • Very short grass

If you plan on jumping rope on a harder surface, I recommend you get yourself a jump rope mat, which will also protect the rope from getting damaged. Crossrope has a great jump rope mat option here.

Posture for jumping rope

via GIFER

Having a strong posture is absolutely key if you want to jump rope properly without tiring yourself out too quickly or causing injury. 

There are a few key things a lot beginners don’t consider when jumping rope! This includes:

  1. Using your arms instead of your wrists
  2. Jumping too high off the ground 
  3. Jumping on the balls of your feet

If you can avoid doing these three at first it will be so much easier for you to progress quicker. Check out the image below of former world champion Amir Khan to see key areas to consider in your posture while jumping rope.

How to jump rope like a boxer | Amir Khan

Boxer Jump Rope Basics

Now that you know the general techniques you should incorporate above, it is now worth trying out the basics to get you started. 

Boxer Jump Step 

Now the most obvious and common of all the techniques is very simple and easy to get hang of. Most beginners make the mistake of trying to jump too quickly and high, while all that is required is a bit of patience and to not rush.  

Here is a great video by Jump Rope Dudes demonstrating this technique and how you can quickly learn the technique using that bouncing rhythm movement like a boxer. 

Side to side jumps 

The other technique you will see a lot of boxers do is the side to side jump. This is where you swing the rope either side of your body before jumping over the rope. This is quite a cool technique to do instead of just boxing just steps and is also quite easy to do!  

Cross Overs 

Next up and probably the most difficult in the basics and this is Jump rope crossovers. Here you will cross over your arms as you jump over the rope. But honestly, I can say from experience, once you get this you won’t forget. It takes a little bit of practice obviously, but it is a lot easier than the double unders in my opinion.  

Boxers Heel Toe Jump Rope

This was something you would often see Manny Pacquiao doing in his jump rope warm up. It looks a lot more complicated than it is, but it is really just a little step up from the Boxer jump step. Check out this great video by the way of the jump rope who demonstrates how to do this properly. 

Advanced boxer jump rope techniques to use 

As you progress and get more familiar with the basics of jumping rope you can try out some of these more advanced techniques below: 

  • Double unders 
  • Side to side squat jump
  • Cross Over
  • High Knee Crossovers
  • Shuffle jumps

I recommend you also check out this great video by FightTips below. He goes through 16 beginner to advanced boxer jump rope techniques. These are probably the most common jump rope techniques you will see boxers or advanced skippers practice and use.

This will give you a good idea of how you can develop your jump rope skills over time and to change up your workout.

Final thoughts 

Jumping or skipping rope is vitally important to anyone who plans on doing boxing training. 

For those who just want to jump rope like a boxer, following the steps above and watching some of the videos provided will definitely get you there quicker! 

For any beginner just starting out, all I will say is this isn’t something you will master overnight. This will take a lot of patience and persistence before you are jumping rope like a boxer.

Once you get there it feels all so natural and is almost like when you learnt how to ride a bike – you won’t forget. 

I highly recommend you try it out so you can add a new form of cardio into your skill set!

Thanks for reading!


For more Boxing training articles check them out here or look at some other related articles below:

Jamie - Boxing Life

I'm a boxing analyst, amateur boxer, and blogger looking to pass on my boxing experiences and passion to anyone looking to learn or find out more about the sport of boxing. Whether that be gear reviews, fighter analysis, news, training tips, or my own personal journey, I'll be covering it on 'Boxing Life'.

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