boxing jump rope workout guide

Workout Guide: Boxing Jump Rope

Jumping rope is not only an intense workout, too. It’s also a lot of fun. If you haven’t tried jumping rope yet, or haven’t factored it into your routine, here are a few reasons why we think you should consider it. First, it’s one of the best workouts for fighters.

Jump rope training is one of the foundations of boxing. A boxer has to have speed, endurance, and agility to succeed in the ring. And skipping is one of the best ways to develop these skills. In boxing, the jump rope is used to warm up, as a part of a conditioning circuit, and as a way to practice boxing footwork.

If you’ve been around boxing for some time, then you’ve seen fighters jumping rope in the gym. And if you’re just getting started, someone’s probably told you to jump rope as a part of your training. Many boxing greats, Ali, Marciano, Tyson, Mayweather, all used the jump rope to get ready for their fights.

The jump rope is one of the most efficient and effective training tools in boxing. However, nothing quite replicates a jump rope workout’s unique cardiovascular challenge and rhythm. Boxers use jump ropes for physical conditioning and for improving coordination. There are both beginner and advanced jump rope techniques, each routine offering a different challenge.

At less than $10, it is also one of the most accessible training tools you can pick up. When it comes to effectiveness and reliability, you won’t find a better training tool than the jump rope. It’s one of the most effective and fun ways to improve your boxing performance! If you’re not jumping rope, you’re missing out on one of the best exercises for fighters.

If boxers are jumping rope as part of their warm-up, they may skip for 10-15 minutes. However, suppose jumping rope is being used to develop aerobic conditioning after a boxing session or standalone session. In that case, a boxer may jump rope for 30+ minutes interspersed with various boxing drills such as shadowboxing.



While boxers will jump rope very often, they won’t jump rope every day. There is no need to jump rope every day as there are other training modalities you need to fit in your training week, and at some point, you need to give your body a rest.

Jumping rope is a low-impact activity. However, there is still an impact from bouncing on and off the ground. So for the overall health of your feet and legs, don’t jump rope every day.

In my opinion, jumping rope is a better option than running as a conditioning tool for boxing. While both running and jumping rope are forms of exercise somewhat far removed from boxing movements, the adaptations from skipping are more beneficial to boxing than those seen from running.

As we know, roadwork doesn’t match the biodynamic structure of boxing, meaning boxing and running are two distinctly different activities. On the other hand, skipping can match the footwork used while boxing. Further, it develops the reactive and explosive qualities needed to be a successful boxer.

As boxers advance their jump rope skills, they learn to be quicker on their feet. Jumping rope also enhances muscle memory over time. In addition, boxers who have incorporated jumping rope in their footwork drills will be more balanced and agile as they move around their opponent in the ring.


Jumping rope is an iconic boxing drill for a good reason. It combines cardio, coordination, skill, and footwork all in one exercise. Jumping rope is all about timing and rhythm. The lightning speed and cool tricks achieved by advanced boxers come with plenty of practice.


A Guide to Jump Rope Workout for Boxing

Boxers shuffle around the ring with the greatest of ease. Their quick-footed movements are partly due to hours of practice with a jump rope. A jump rope is a simple piece of exercise equipment, but it has a variety of purposes in boxing. Jumping rope helps prizefighters improve their cardiovascular endurance, coordination, footwork and balance.

There are few better ways to get in shape than with an intense boxing workout when it comes to fitness training. Hill runs, sweat-inducing pad workouts, heavy sparring sessions, and speedball work can help boxers keep in shape. But for balance and workout purposes, the jump rope is an excellent tool in itself.

Spending 5-10 minutes jumping rope is a great cardio workout, but it’s more than that. Jumping rope can be a great tool for improving your footwork and focusing your mind.

Do you need to hit the heavy bag to be a good boxer? Or speedball? Probably not, but they are great tools to develop particular areas of your boxing.

The same goes with jumping rope. Could you become a great boxer without skipping? Sure. But jumping rope is a great tool for boxers that have been around for decades to prepare boxers for fights.

How to start jump roping for beginners?

Skipping is a complex movement, and if you haven’t done it before, you should be patient. Some people learn it quickly, particularly somebody with some sporting background. For others, it takes weeks or months. But, it’s worth the effort since it’s an enjoyable and effective way to train and not just for boxers.

Before talking about how to do it, there are three typical mistakes.

  • Don’t look down. We’re willing to check our feet how they move, but that spoils the posture.
  • Be relaxed. Lose your muscles (that’s important for boxing as well.)
  • Keep a healthy posture.

Here are some of our favourite jump rope exercises to master if you want to add this aerobic essential to your boxing training equipment arsenal. You can combine any jump rope exercise to create a fun, high-intensity routine tailored to you.

Boxer Shuffle

Sometimes referred to as the boxer skip or the boxer step, the boxer shuffle is a super-simple move you can use to improve your footwork and rhythm. You can perform the shuffle with or without a jump rope, but adding the rope helps you sharpen your coordination and turns the step into a full-body workout.

To do the boxer shuffle, you shift your weight from one foot to the other, side to side, every time the rope comes around. It looks a little like you’re hopping from one foot to another. You can add a weighted jump rope to the mix to spice things up.

Basic Jump (single 2-footed bounce)

This is the most basic jump and serves as the foundation for all the other jumps. Beginners will trip and whip their feet a lot. You may even get frustrated and cry. Whatever you do, try again.

  • Jump with both feet together
  • Land on the balls of your feet

Try to get to 10 jumps without messing up. Then try to do 20. Eventually, you’ll reach 100, and you’ll feel like it was the hardest thing in the world. (The basic jump will eventually be as easy as breathing.)

Fast Skip

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If you want to advance from your basic jump—that is, swinging your rope over the head and hopping with both feet off the ground at the same time—then the fast skip is the perfect next step, as it’s what many advanced tricks are built on. The fast skip is essentially just skipping quickly while you jump, so only one foot is off the ground at any given time.

Run in Place

Running in place with the jump rope might be technically easier for some people, but it’s physically more challenging, especially when you go fast. It’s a better workout if you try to lift your knees higher (so that your upper thighs are parallel to the floor).

  • Jump over the rope with your left knee up
  • Jump over the rope with your right knee up
  • Keep jumping over the rope as you run in place
  • Lift your knees high to make it more challenging

Some boxers will prevent themselves from tilting backwards off balance by leaning their upper body slightly forward. To add some intensity to your jump rope routine, try doing the “run in place” rhythm as fast as you can for the last 10 seconds of every round.

High-Knee Jumps

High-knee rope jumping takes your everyday jump roping movement and makes it a little more high-intensity. Working to strengthen the leg muscles while burning some serious calories, this exercise requires you to lift your knees high on the jump, working out the muscles in your core and legs.

Side Swing

This is a great way to rest your shoulders or give your legs a break. You can walk during the side swings or keep jumping to maintain that rhythm; we prefer the latter.

put your hands together and swing the rope down on one side

  • Now swing the rope to the other side
  • Just spread your hands to jump again
  • You can do the side swings while jumping or also while walking around (for resting)

You can also be fancy by using the side swing to speed up the rope before you do doubles or triples. The side swing is also a good way to recover if you mess up; keep bouncing and side swing the rope until you’re ready to jump again.

Crisscross Jumps

After your basic jump, the crisscross jump is one of the simplest ways to skip rope. During this exercise, you start with a basic jump and then cross your arms—and the rope—every other skip. The benefit of this hop over others is that it helps boost hand-eye coordination and agility. It will also engage your shoulders a bit more into your workout.

Boxing Jump Rope Tips

Some useful jump rope tips for beginners:

  • Breathe only through your nose (this calms your breathing and increases endurance).
  • Land on the balls of your foot with your knees slightly bent.
  • Stand straight without curling into a ball in the air (this helps balance).
  • Shorter, faster jumps are easier than higher, slower jumps (also better for developing rhythm).
  • Spin the rope using your arms, not your shoulders (this keeps your shoulders and traps loose).
  • Let the rope hit the floor gently, so you have an audible rhythm to follow.
  • Don’t stop during the rest periods (or try not to).
  • Stop jumping if your calves are hurting (you risk shin splints).
  • The goal is to jump as little as possible (the higher you jump, the more energy used).

Why Add Jumping Rope To Your Boxing Workout?

Better Coordination and Footwork

Jumping rope requires you to master rhythm and timing. It forces you to time your jumps while at the same time spinning a cable around your body at a fast but steady rate. Because of this, it is one of the best tools for improving your overall coordination. If you incorporate a technique like the Boxer’s Skip, you’ll also be taking steps to improve your footwork as you rapidly train your body to shift weight from one foot to another.

Interestingly, the activity can also help decrease foot and ankle injuries by boosting coordination and helping to strengthen the inner muscles that help keep your feet strong and stable.

More Rhythm

The jump rope is a great exercise for fight training because it mimics the fight rhythm better than other exercises. You’re forced to be in constant motion and always maintain a minimum level of awareness. The problem with fighters that don’t jump rope is that they aren’t used to being in constant motion and don’t have a constant awareness. As a result, they’re slow at transitioning from stillness to movement.

The jump rope always improves your mental awareness. You’re no longer “sleeping” during fights because you’re used to always having to watch out for something (like the rope). In the ring, this increased mental awareness helps you avoid incoming punches or find countering opportunities. 

At the very least, your increased awareness helps keep your mind calm so that you don’t panic during sudden exchanges. The jump rope fighters do a better job of maintaining a constant rhythm (physically and mentally) even when they’re not actively moving.

Develop your Mental Toughness

Keeping your rhythm while spinning a rope around your body looks easy. But to do it well, you need to be 100% present in the activity. The moment you let your mind wander away from what you’re doing is the same moment that rope slams into your shins. Or your crossover turns into a mess of tangled rope.

Maintaining awareness of your body and your surroundings with the jump rope, for one minute or ten, translates to your presence in the ring. Knowing where your feet are, how much room you have behind you, and what tactics your opponent favours are all things you need to keep track of during a match. If you’ve trained yourself to be present, even if it’s just on the rope, it will help improve your ability to focus on all your boxing efforts.

More Power

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This might be a surprising fact for some, but the jumping rope truly does increase your punching power. As we said before, when jumping rope, your body is forced to make many repetitive movements quickly, and in rhythm, so your body naturally learns how to move efficiently. This same skill will transfer over to affect the way that you punch.

And the jump rope won’t only improve your power of the punch but also your power of movement. You will be far more powerful in any movement because you’re now a more efficient and more coordinated machine. We can look at fighters moving in the ring and tell which ones jump rope and ones don’t. Once you’ve learned how to jump rope yourself, you will be able to see what we mean. There’s a difference between fighters with a natural relaxed bounce vs an energy-wasting muscle bounce.

Good Warm-up for Muscles and Joints

Jumping rope is one of the best warm-ups for any boxing workout. The activity itself raises your core temperature without leading to excess fatigue. And when you raise your core temperature, you improve your blood flow and increase how efficiently your muscles operate.

Additionally, suppose you’re incorporating many different movements into your jump rope routine (see below for some great movements to add). In that case, you’ll be working all the same muscles and joints (hips, ankles, wrists, shoulders, etc.) you’ll be using when you work the bag or spar in the ring. Getting these joints loosened up leaves you better able to punch and move properly while avoiding injury.

Cardiovascular Endurance

The main purpose of jumping rope in boxing is to improve cardiovascular endurance. A boxing match can last up to 12, 3-minute rounds. During this time, boxers constantly throw punches, get punched, and move around the ring. This rigorous activity requires incredible endurance. 

Jumping rope at a brisk pace raises your heart rate and prepares your cardiovascular system for the demands that boxing places on it. The more jumps you perform per minute, the more intense the workout. Occasionally perform two rope rotations with just one jump to further increase the intensity. To simulate a boxing match, try jumping rope for several 3-minute rounds with short breaks between each round.

It’s Easy to Carry With You

One of the best features of the jump rope is that it is small, easily portable, and amazingly affordable. So you can integrate it into your routine without much effort or investment. You can also take it with you when you have to be on the road, so you can get a good workout in, no matter where you are.

The Basics

The best way to learn how to jump rope is to get right into it. Remember, constant daily practice is key. So strive to put in a 15-30 minute jump rope session, whether as a warm-up or a cool down. The more you practice, the better you will get.

When you get tired, take a break. It can get very frustrating for beginners, but taking physical and mental breaks can help ease the frustration. Just keep trying. It will get easier once your coordination improves and the repeated motions are stored in muscle memory. The sense of fulfilment when you finally “get it” is amazing.

Skip Like A Boxer In A Boxing Workout 

To skip rope like a boxer, it’s important to master the basics first.

  • Beginner basics. Patience is key when learning to skip rope. Mastering the fundamentals and increasing stamina is key before attempting more complex jumps.
  • Initially, aim for jumps of 20-second intervals. As you become more proficient, jump for one-minute intervals, then two, and finally three-minute intervals. Resting for 30–60 seconds between each set will simulate rounds.
  • Resist the urge to swing your arms. Keep your arms close to your sides and use your wrists instead.
  • Stand up straight and look forward. Some beginners hunch over because they feel the rope will hit them in the head. A properly sized rope will go over a person’s head easily.
  • Jumping a few inches off the ground is ideal. Jumping too high may put unnecessary stress on the knees and other joints of the lower extremities such as the ankles, hips, and feet.
  • Avoid the double bounce. The double bounce occurs when the rope skipping is too slow. Eliminate this bad habit by speeding up the rotation of the rope.
  • Land on the balls of your feet. Do not let your heels touch the ground while skipping. The phrase “keep you on your toes” means staying alert, thinking, and moving quickly. The same applies to skipping rope: Staying on the balls of your feet allows you to jump quickly and effortlessly.
  • Relax your upper body. Keeping the upper body relaxed will minimize any undue stress on the back and shoulders.

There are NO SUBSTITUTES for jumping rope for a boxing workout.

Running is a dummy exercise that can be done with zero awareness. Ladder drills are better, but they still don’t force you to have that perfect rhythm and efficiency the way the jump rope does. Likewise, jumping rope requires you to maintain that minimal level of awareness and coordination that helps you stay calm and relaxed when making quick movements in the ring.

The level of awareness you use for clearing the rope could also be used as offensive or defensive awareness in the ring. A boxer who jumps rope will be far more alert at his resting rhythm and move with a more natural quickness than one who doesn’t. The jump rope is a great exercise for developing your overall athleticism and cannot be substituted with anything else.


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