Two exercises that will definitely burn tons of calories during any workout are burpees and jump rope. But working out takes time from your already busy life, so you’ll want to incorporate the exercise that will burn calories the quickest and most efficiently. So, which is it, burpees or jump rope?
Burpees will burn more calories in a workout than jump roping. For every one burpee, you would have to jump rope 15 times to burn the same number of calories. This is because burpees are a full-body calisthenic exercise that forces you to use your own body weight for resistance, whereas jump rope is a cardio exercise that relies on long sessions to burn calories.
Read on to learn how many calories you can burn from a burpees workout versus jump roping. We’ll also discuss why burpees allow you to burn more calories and the potential risks of this exercise.
Calorie Comparison, Burpees Vs. Jump Rope
When it comes to working out, both burpees and jump rope are exceptional exercises you can incorporate into any high-intensity routine daily. However, if you’re really striving to burn as many calories in likely as little time as possible, you’ll want to opt for burpees over the jump rope.
For a clear comparison of the two exercises, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reported in The Compendium of Physical Activities that one burpee burns about 1.5 calories versus one jump rope only burns about 0.1 calories.
Now, to be fair, burpees aren’t necessarily the fastest exercise regardless of how in shape you are. Essentially, to fully perform a burpee, you need to leap in the air, squat, perform a pushup, and then return to your start position.
For the average individual, this takes them about 3 seconds, in which time you could likely perform at least three full jump ropes.
Of course, working out isn’t all about quantity. In fact, the quality of your exercise will typically make or break any workout session, and the calorie battle between burpees and jump rope clearly demonstrates this.
Jump rope might be a much faster exercise than burpees, but on average, you’ll only burn between 15 to 20 calories per minute. Alternatively, at 3 seconds per burpee, you could potentially perform about 20 burpees per minute, and at 1.5 calories per burpee, that’s 30 per minute.
It would be unrealistic to say that speed and intensity don’t play any role here. If you are new to working out or don’t have a strong foundation for burpees, you’ll likely perform fewer in a minute, and therefore, you might burn fewer calories than if you’d opted for jump rope.
However, in terms of ultimate calorie-burning potential, burpees have jump rope beat.
Why Burpees Burn More Calories Than Jump Rope
It’s certainly important to know how many calories you’ll potentially burn in a daily workout, especially if you’re pairing this with a particular diet or supplements. However, it is arguably equally if not more important to know why one exercise is more effective in this regard than another.
This will help you to build the best routines that yield maximum results without risking injury or over-exhaustion.
So, why do burpees burn more calories than jump rope? Essentially, it all comes down to the type of exercise and what body parts it is engaging.
Burpees and jump rope are two completely different types of exercises. A burpee is considered a full-body calisthenics exercises, whereas jump rope is considered a cardio exercise. The table below demonstrates how each of these categories differs and what body parts both exercises engage.
|Type of exercise||Body parts engaged|
|Burpees||Calisthenics, defined as: |
Relies on a variety of movements.
Focus is to exercise large muscle groups.
Intended to increase strength, fitness, and flexibility.
Exercise is performed rhythmically.
Requires minimal to no equipment.
Utilizes movements such as pulling, pushing, bending, jumping, or swinging, while using one’s body weight for resistance.
Assists in muscular and aerobic conditioning.
Often high intensity.
|Jump Rope||Cardio, defined as:|
Also referred to as aerobic exercise because it relies on the aerobic energy-generating process and the aerobic metabolism.
Exercise is performed by repeating low-to-moderate intensity activities for an extended period of time.
Typically low intensity so that carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy via mitochondrial ATP production.
Strong emphasis on sufficient use of oxygen to support energy demands when exercising.
Requires minimal to no equipment, although many exercises require facilities (ex. swimming).
As you can see, there are many similarities these two exercises share in terms of body parts they workout or engage. However, the descriptions regarding the type of workout for each differ widely.
Because burpees are a full-body calisthenic exercise, they will burn more calories because they engage more body parts than jump roping.
Although both exercises are technically considered “full-body,” burpees undoubtedly engage upper body parts, like your deltoids, pectorals, and triceps, far more than jump roping due to their pushup element.
Burpees also rely on using your own bodyweight for resistance versus jump roping, which has no weight resistance unless they use a weighted rope.
Cardio is certainly a staple of workouts, but unless it is a significantly high-intensity cardio exercise, it will take some time before you’re really burning calories. In fact, many cardio exercises, like running, are best performed at a slower pace for longer periods of time or in extremely short, fast spurts.
Therefore, if you’re looking to burn more calories in a short period of time, you won’t want to settle for a cardio exercise like jump roping.
The Risks of Burpees
You might be reading this and think that it’s time to incorporate burpees into your regular workout routine so you can more effectively burn some calories. Although burpees are certainly an exceptional exercise that will help you do this, it comes with a warning label like many other high-intensity exercises.
It is inherently far more difficult to injure yourself jump roping than doing burpees when comparing the two exercises. The most significant concern with jump roping is jumping too high and causing shin splints. Burpees, on the other hand, can do far worse damage in a very short span of time.
The major concerns with burpees are:
For the most part, these injuries are caused by the nature of burpees that forces you to drop to the ground from a standing position only to throw yourself into a standing position and then repeat these actions as quickly as your form allows.
Because burpees are high-intensity workouts that can burn many calories, people will likely push themselves to the limit to perform as many as they can, often at the expense of form.
Although burpees can work out most of your body when done properly and performed virtually anywhere, there is a serious risk of injury here that should not be ignored. And unfortunately, much of this risk is simply inherent to how the exercise is constructed.
Contrary to belief, burpees require a significant level of strength and coordination to be performed properly and aren’t a beginner-friendly exercise.
That being said, anyone performing burpees, beginner or otherwise, should prioritize form and muscle engagement over speed no matter what.
Once you have a solid base and your burpees start to feel easy, then you can increase speed. Even at a slower pace, you’re still likely to burn more calories than jump roping, but if you severely injure yourself trying to speed through the exercise, you won’t be burning any calories at all.
If you’re looking for an exercise that will help you get in shape quickly and potentially lose weight fast, both burpees and jump rope will get you there faster than most stand-alone exercises.
However, of the two, burpees have the power to burn nearly 1.5 more calories a minute than jump roping and are the more effective choice.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that burpees have the potential to cause significant injury if performed improperly. Although essentially all exercises have their risks, this one is cause for significant concern in the world of certified trainers because of how commonly people make injury-inducing mistakes.
Therefore, start slow to build your strength and form before striving for those 30 per minute sessions.