Skipping is a great cardio exercise with a wide range of health benefits. A 14-day jump rope challenge can kickstart or become a great addition to your fitness routine. It can be a workout on its own or simply a fun activity with family and friends.

Bonus: it's also an exercise that can be done safely amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Before beginning the challenge, check out this video showing correct form.

Begin with a warmup

Before you start skipping, do about five to 10 minutes of dynamic stretches such as runner's lunges, inchworms, squats and shoulder movements.

The benefits

Skipping offers a range of health benefits such as:

  • improving blood flow
  • boosting cardiovascular endurance
  • strengthening bone density
  • reducing injury risk
  • burning calories
  • improving co-ordination

It's estimated skipping burns 10-16 calories per minute. After the 14-day challenge, you should feel an increase in cardiovascular abilities, your co-ordination should improve and you should be faster and smoother.

The right equipment

The biggest mistake people make is not having the right size of jump rope.

Ropes come in varying sizes and many can be trimmed. Follow this guide based on height, but opt for a longer rope if you're unsure.

  • 7-foot rope – for someone under four feet, 10 inches
  • 8-foot rope – 4'10” to 5'3”
  • 9-foot rope – 5'4” to 5'10”
  • 10-foot rope – 5'11” to 6'6”
  • 11-foot rope – 6'7” and taller

Check the size by stepping on the middle of the rope and pull the handles up your sides. The handles should sit under your armpits to be the correct length.

If you're an experienced skipper or want to focus on speed, choose a light jump rope. A weighted rope is great if you are new to skipping

Skipping versatility

If skipping becomes your cardio exercise, skip for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times a week, with small breaks when needed and then slowly build up your endurance.