Skipping as an alternative to Running

Karen Parnell - Head Coach Chili Tri 

If you can’t get outside for your regular runs then using a skipping rope or jump rope is a great alternative and takes up little room.

Jumping rope will primarily work your calves, glutes and quads, but shoulders, chest, back and triceps will assist in constantly turning the rope. According to the International Sports Conditioning Association, or ISCA, jumping rope will improve your speed, agility, power, endurance, balance and coordination, all of which are pertinent while running.

The fast footwork in jumping rope can improve a runner's performance and distance runners can benefit from the posture work that jumping rope creates. Runners should never run while hunched over or with rounded shoulders as this is inefficient. Jumping rope requires a long, straight spine, which can translate to your running motion. While jumping rope is a weight-bearing activity, it provides far less impact than jogging or sprinting, allowing your muscles and joints to bear less intensity on the days that you don't run.

A study by the University of Michigan found that jumping 10 to 20 times a day with 30 seconds of breaks in between jumps significantly improved hip bone mass density (BMD) in women age 25 to 50 after 16 weeks.

Jumping rope can help with:

  • Your general posture by opening up your chest automatically
  • Work the muscles used during running like calves, glutes and quads
  • Improve your speed, agility, power, endurance, balance and coordination
  • Jumping on two feet reduces the impact by half that of running
  • Jumping improves bone density
  • Jumping aids in the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain, which further enhances spacial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert


Jumping rope needn’t be expensive as you can use washing line or standard rope and even if you buy one it needn’t break the bank.

Here’s a workout you can try. Don’t worry if you don’t complete the full workout (5 rounds) first time as jumping rope is tough! Just do as many rounds as you can and work up to 5.


Jump / Skipping Rope Workout:

Time: 27.5 minutes


Skipping rope / jump rope


5 min dynamic stretches.


  • Standard jumps - 20 seconds
  • Rest - 10 seconds
  • Right foot hops - 20 seconds
  • Rest - 10 seconds
  • Left foot hops - 20 seconds
  • Rest - 10 seconds
  • High knee jumps - 20 seconds
  • Rest - 10 seconds
  • Standard jumps - 20 seconds
  • Rest - 10 seconds
  • Rest one minute.

Repeat the circuit five times



5 min static stretches.



Karen Parnell - Head Coach Chili Tri 

Bio: Karen Parnell is the owner and Head Coach of Chili Tri in Andalusia, Southern Spain. She is a keen triathlete and has competed in events in the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain and the UK. Her passion is to motivate, guide and coach people to achieve their own health, fitness and race goals.



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