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Kick & Punch / March 2021
Maureen Quirk, Reebok

7 Jump Rope Warmups

Whether you’re an avid boxer or get all your boxing knowledge from the movies, you know that boxers jump rope. A lot. 

But how does swinging a plastic rope up and down prepare one for a blow to the jaw?

Emily Samuel , who teaches boxing classes at New York City’s celebrity-fave The DogPound, says there are more synergies between the two than first meets the eye. 

“In live boxing, you need to be prepared to last multiple rounds which requires endurance and a lot of energy. When you jump rope, it gets your heart rate up quickly and builds up that endurance you’ll need for the ring,” she says.

Samuel and her fellow trainers at The DogPound begin every class with a lengthy jump rope segment—five minutes of jumping rope, followed by a short stretch and then more jumping.

But if you think they spend that entire time performing the traditional jump rope – bouncing up and down in place on two feet, which Samuel refers to as “neutral,” think again.


There are many variations of jumping rope, each of which isolates different muscle groups, and all of which add new challenges and difficulty to a seemingly simple movement.

Samuel gave us a sneak peek at her seven favorite jump rope variations. Her biggest tip as you give these a try: “Work your way up. Master one variation before moving onto the next.”

1. One Foot

This technique is the most similar to neutral so it’s a great one to start with when you begin to crave variety. Jump up and down just as you would in neutral but only use one foot; have the other foot lifted above the ground. This technique strengthens each leg. Prepare to feel the burn in your calves! 


2. Alternating Legs

Alternate the foot you use to jump off the ground. This technique is typically faster than neutral so push yourself to increase the number of jumps you’re able to do in 1 minute. 


3. High Knees

This technique takes alternating legs one step further, adding more core muscles into the mix. As you jump, raise your knee to your chest. On the next jump, do the same with the other knee, continuing this alternating cycle.


4. Shuffle

Stand on the balls of your feet with one foot out in front of the other. With each skip, switch which foot is in front.


5. Jumping Jack

Think of a traditional jumping jack. With this technique, your foot work will be exactly  like  a traditional jumping jack, but you’ll be swinging a jump rope instead of moving your arms. Jump out so your feet are spread to shoulder width, then bring the feet back together on the next jump.


6. Cross Overs

While performing the neutral jump, cross your arms in front of your body and then quickly return your hands back to your sides where they started. This technique is all about coordination so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right away.


7. Hip Twists

While performing the neutral jump, turn your lower body to one side, then the other, keeping your weight on the balls of your feet throughout. This variation will engage your oblique muscles more than normal jumping rope would.


Did you put these variations to the test? Tweet @Reebok to let us know which one you’ll be incorporating into your workout routine moving forward.

Kick & Punch / March 2021
Maureen Quirk, Reebok