Jumping rope has its advantages but it is not for everyone. Find out what alternatives to jumping rope you can consider doing.
Some of the main benefits of jumping rope include improving coordination, bone strengthening, improving cardio health, burning calories, and engaging your leg muscles.
Luckily there are alternatives to jumping rope that implement some or all of these aspects.
Whether you don’t enjoy jumping rope, you want a low-impact alternative for bad knees, or you want an alternative for any other reason, these jump rope substitutes can help you train similar components.
1. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are done by alternating between 2 stances by jumping. You start off standing with your 2 feet together and your arms down by your side.
In the second stance, your 2 feet are apart slightly further than shoulder-width and your hands are above your head with stretched arms. During the entire movement, you keep your arms stretched.
Jumping jacks, also known as star jumps, are an exercise that many people know but few do. This is unfortunate because there are a variety of benefits to doing jumping jacks.
Some reasons why this exercise is a great jump rope alternative include that it strengthens your bones, burns calories, engages your upper body, improves cardiovascular health, and trains similar leg muscles.
One downside is that it is harder to do jumping jacks at the same cardiovascular intensity as jumping rope.
This makes it so jumping jacks burn fewer calories and train your heart muscle to a lesser extent. One upside of jumping jacks is that they require absolutely no equipment.
Running is one of the most popular aerobic exercises out there. It is also just an aspect of many sports.
One of the reasons running is such a popular workout is that you almost need no special equipment to get started. Once you have a good pair of running shoes you are good to go.
Running is a great alternative to jumping rope because it is similar in many ways. You can burn a lot of calories with running, you don’t need a lot of equipment, it improves cardiovascular health, and you will strengthen your bones.
One downside of running as a replacement for jumping rope is that it is harder to do at home. In areas like a busy city, going for a run is not as easy as stepping outside the door. You are also more dependent on the weather for your workout.
3. Step aerobics
Step aerobics is a type of workout where you do sequences of steps on and off a raised platform, usually with music in the background. Many people consider this exercise as a fun way to get in some extra movement.
One of the reasons step aerobics stands out as a great alternative to jumping rope is that it implements a lot of coordination, especially when doing certain types of movements.
On top of that, step aerobics also allows you to burn a lot of calories, train your leg muscles, have fun during your workout, improve cardiovascular health, and engage your upper body.
Something that is different to step aerobics is that it is not as rough on your knees as jumping rope. If you have weak knees this can be a benefit but also keep in mind that this also means less bone strengthening.
Another very popular exercise is swimming. Especially for people who have weak knees, swimming can be a great alternative to jumping rope since the water carries a lot of your body weight.
Some reasons why swimming is a great jump rope alternative include: burns a lot of calories, works out muscles over your entire body, improves cardiovascular health, and improves coordination.
A downside is that you do have to find a swimming pool or other body of water to be able to do this exercise. This can require more time and money. You also get less bone-strengthening from swimming.
Lunges are a strength training exercise to engage your leg muscles. In a very simplified way, you can describe this exercise as taking big steps.
Lunges can be a great alternative to jumping rope because they help you build leg muscle, are a no-equipment at-home workout, burn calories in the long term and improve your balance.
Some downsides are that lunges don’t train your cardiovascular endurance as much and that they do not really engage your upper body. Lunges do strengthen your bones but not as much as jumping rope.
6. High knees
High knees are a type of exercise where you basically run in place while lifting your knees high with each step. You can also do this exercise with a jump rope but it is also a possible workout option on its own.
Some reasons why high knees are a great jump rope alternative are because they: strengthen your bones, burn calories, are a no-equipment at-home workout, improve cardiovascular health, engage your upper body, and train similar leg muscles.
One downside is that some people consider high knees to be a lot more boring than jumping rope. On the other hand, an advantage of high knees is that they require absolutely no equipment.
7. Elliptical trainer
The elliptical trainer is a relatively popular cardio gym machine. Using this machine may look a bit complicated at first but this exercise is actually very beginner-friendly.
Because the elliptical trainer improves your cardiovascular health, burns a lot of calories, engages your upper body, and trains similar leg muscles it can be a great alternative to jumping rope.
One potential downside is that you need an elliptical machine to do this exercise. That means either investing in your own elliptical machine or joining a gym.
You will also strengthen your bones less on the elliptical machine compared to jumping rope.
In return, you are able to get in a good cardio workout without putting too much pressure on your knees.
Another very popular exercise example is cycling either outside on an actual bike or at home or in the gym on a stationary bike.
Some reasons why cycling is a great jump rope alternative include: it improves balance and coordination, trains similar leg muscles, improves cardiovascular health, and burns a lot of calories.
Cycling generally requires a bigger budget than jumping rope. If you cycle outside you are also more at risk of traffic accidents and dependent on the weather. Cycling also improves your bone strength to a lesser extent
On the other hand, cycling is a good alternative to jumping rope if you have weak knees and if you are interested in an active mode of transportation.
The StairMaster is a gym machine that simulates the movement you would make when climbing an endless flight of stairs. If you have a large flight of stairs available you can use that instead.
Just like jumping rope, some of the benefits of using StairMasters are that you engage your leg muscles, burn a nice amount of calories, improve balance and coordination, and improve your cardiovascular health.
The StairMaster may be a possible alternative but it is not as good as jumping rope for improving bone strength and engaging upper body muscles. Jumping rope will also burn more calories.
That being said, the StairMaster is generally more suited for individuals with weak knees.
Burpees are a combination of a squat, pushup, and a little jump into one exercise. If this does not sound intense enough you can even do burpees with external weights like a weighted vest.
Some reasons why burpees are a great jump rope alternative include: they help you burn calories, engage your upper body, improve your leg strength, are a no-equipment at-home workout, require coordination and balance, and improve your bone health.
One way burpees are slightly different from jumping rope is that it is possible that your other muscles get tired before your cardiovascular system when doing burpees.
This means burpees may be less helpful for improving cardio health than jumping rope.
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