8 Jump Rope Exercises to Improve Your Agility & Fitness

Jumping rope is a great tool for improving your strength & agility because it incorporates so many training elements: conditioning, timing, hand-eye-foot coordination, and the mental focus to access these elements at the same time.

Video: See these Exercises in Action

1. High Knee Steps: This is almost a skipping motion over the rope — you pass one leg at a time over the rope as it comes beneath you. Try to move as quickly as you can and count only every time your right leg hits the ground. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of this drill. This is a great starting point for improving your quickness and developing your aerobic ability.

  • Try This: 10 x 30 intervals with 30 seconds rest.

2. Jump Rope Burpees: Plant your hands on floor, jump your feet back, and lower your chest all the way to floor like doing a pushup. The “pushup” as explosively as possible, ending with a  rope jump. This movement is excellent for developing strength, and it’s an aerobic burner.

  • Try This: 8 x 10 with 1 minute rest between each round.

3. Single Leg Jumps: Jump repeatedly on either the right or the left leg. This is an excellent workout for developing your balance and building up power and elasticity in your legs.

  • Try This: Jump for 2 minutes, alternating 20 jumps each leg. Rest 30 seconds. Do five rounds.

4. Ali Shuffle: With this drill, you will start with your feet staggered (one foot forward and one foot backward). You will then jump up and switch the feet so that you now have your other foot forward. Continue in this pattern working at contacting the ground at the same time with both feet. The Ali shuffle will help greatly improving your coordination … it’s tougher than it sounds.

  • Try This: 6 set sliding scale starting at 300 at decreasing by 50 each round. (300 / 250 / /200 / 150 / 100 / 50). Rest 30-90 seconds in between each set).

5. Lateral Hurdle Step: Move side to side instead of just up and down as you jump. Start with one leg off the ground with the knee up toward waist height. You will hold that leg up and in position while hopping on the other foot. This is very challenging as it incorporates stability in the foot/ankle complex (balance & control). This will also help improve your ability to move laterally.

  • Try This: 10 set x 30 intervals with 30 seconds rest.

6. Criss Cross: Cross one foot in front of the other with each jump, aligning the feet when you land so they are one in front of the other, vs parallel. Jump as quickly as possible Another great movement for improving stability in the foot/ankle complex and your balance & control.

  • Try This: 10 set x 30 intervals with 30 seconds rest.

7. Double Unders: The double under is popular in CrossFit circles because it develops both aerobic ability and explosive power in the legs and arms/wrists. See our double under video.

  • Try This: 5 x 50 Double Unders. Rest 1 minute between sets.

8. The Twist: With this movement you will rotate your hips side to side as you jump, developing core strength and agility.

  • Try This: 10 set x 30 intervals with 30 seconds rest.