Often, in our quest to lose weight and become healthier, we do a lot of different things. We buy expensive protein powders for smoothies, go on unnecessarily restrictive diets, and even undergo elective surgery to literally remove the fat from our bodies! What if there was a simpler, less expensive way to lose weight?
Jumping counts as exercise. Though it’s often overlooked, it’s an effective way to burn calories. It helps improve your strength and balance and is good for your heart. Whether you’re jumping with a rope or jumping in place, jumping is an inexpensive workout to add to your routine.
In this article, we’ll talk more about the benefits of making jumping part of your daily routine. I’ll also break down precisely what jumping does to your body. By the end of this article, I think you’ll gain a new appreciation for how amazing jumping can be.
Is Jumping Good Exercise?
When you want to lose weight and get in shape, supplements are good. Having the most innovative and up-to-date fitness equipment is even better. However, you can start your fitness journey without any of that stuff. Just start jumping.
You read that correctly.
If you want to be more active, lose weight, and start taking steps towards a healthier, better you, simply jumping up and down can help. Jumping up and down is just jumping rope without the rope.
True, you’re not getting the arm workout you would from swinging the rope, but the cardio benefits are still there.
It’s wonderful to have the money to buy high-quality jump ropes, mini trampolines, sweat-wicking fitness apparel, and other fitness accessories, but don’t let not being able to afford those things be your excuse.
The ability to jump is all you need.
Can You Lose Weight by Jumping in Place?
Losing weight occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. With that in mind, would it be possible to lose weight just from jumping?
According to Harvard Health, it’s possible to burn over 1,000 calories in one hour of jumping rope. Assuming a daily caloric intake of 2,000 and that the body burns 75% of that to maintain normal bodily functions and processes, yes, you could lose weight by jumping in place.
However, jumping is a vigorous, high-impact activity that isn’t as easy to do as other exercises. Jumping up and down for a solid hour would be difficult. Still, jumping for a certain amount of time each day in conjunction with performing other types of low-impact exercises is a solid weight loss plan.
Eating a diet of healthy, organic food and drinking plenty of water would also aid in your weight loss goals.
Is Jumping a Good Form of Cardio?
We’ve heard for years that running is one of the best forms of cardio there is, but what about jumping?
Jumping, whether with a rope or in place, is an excellent form of cardio. According to a study conducted at Harvard, ten minutes of jumping gives you all the same cardiovascular benefits as jogging for half an hour. That means you’re getting the same excellent cardio workout in a third of the time.
What Jumping Does to the Body
Jumping is a form of aerobic exercise, and aerobic exercise does many beneficial things for your body.
When you jump, your breathing and heart rate increase so that they can deliver more oxygen to your muscles. In turn, this strengthens your heart and lungs and teaches your body to use energy more efficiently. As your body uses more energy, it burns more calories, as well.
In addition to burning calories, helping you lose weight, and improving your cardiovascular health and lung capacity, jumping does a lot of other excellent things for your body. For example, jumping:
- Improves your metabolism
- Increases your overall strength
- Improves your balance
- Helps to improve bone density
- Improves your posture
- Improves your coordination
- Helps you relax
Who would’ve thought jumping could be so helpful?
Non-Health-Related Benefits to Jumping
There are plenty of non-health-related benefits to jumping, as well. Most importantly for some people is that it’s free. Jumping costs you nothing, although you might want to invest in a good pair of athletic shoes to help cushion the impact.
It’s also a flexible workout. You can jump anywhere – outside, at the gym, in your bedroom, office, or garage. Even going on vacation won’t hinder your routine. You can jump just as easily on the beach or in the mountains as you can anywhere else.
Do You Need Equipment To Jump?
If you want to invest in jumping equipment to help improve your exercise routines, you can. Amazon.com sells both mini trampolines and weighted jump ropes at relatively reasonable prices. However, you don’t necessarily need any of those things.
There are plenty of jumping exercises you can do without a single piece of additional equipment. In fact, there’s a whole workout routine that’s built mainly around jumping. It’s called plyometrics.
Push-ups, running, kicking, and throwing are all forms of plyometrics, but jumping also plays a significant part. Some of the most effective jumping-related plyometric exercises include the following jumping-in-place jumps:
- Counter-movement jumps
- One-legged countermovement jumps
- Split jumps
- Split jumps with cycle
- Squat jumps
- One-legged squat jumps
- Split squat jumps
- Snowboard hops
- Tuck jumps
- Single leg jumps
- Ankle hops
- Plyo jacks
- Rim jumps*
Plyometrics also encourages you to jump while moving, using these jumps:
- Standing broad jumps
- Triple jumps
- Forward bounding jumps
- Forward hops
- Standing lateral jumps
- Single or multiple cone hops*
- Single or multiple hurdle jumps*
*Jumps marked with asterisks (*) may require additional equipment.
If you’d like to see some of these exercises performed, check out this informative plyometrics video:
Is Jumping Bad for Your Knees?
As long as you’re jumping correctly, jumping isn’t bad for your knees. However, many people don’t know how to jump safely. According to The Jump Rope Coach Chris, which is the go-to website for all things jump rope-related, there are five things people do that damage their knees when jumping:
- Jumping on hard surfaces (concrete, gravel, stone, etc.)
- Improper form and technique
- Overdoing it
- Advancing to more complex and challenging routines too quickly
- Not cross-training
According to Coach Chris, these five things are the most common cause of jumping-related injuries. So what can you do to avoid injuring yourself and putting undue pressure on your knees and other joints? Try these five things:
- Always jump on softer surfaces with some flexibility; if your only option is concrete or something hard, invest in a jump rope mat like the Launch Fitness Indoor/Outdoor Jump Rope Mat from Amazon.com.
- Learn the proper form and technique for jumping and stick to it.
- Start slow and work your way up gradually; don’t assume you can start jumping for an hour straight seven days a week.
- Don’t try advanced jumps until you’ve mastered the basics, and don’t push yourself into exercises you’re not comfortable doing yet.
- Cross-train, cross-train, and cross-train some more!
*Note: Coach Chris’s suggestions are specifically for jumping rope, but they apply to any type of jumping or plyometrics exercise, as well.
Jumping is an excellent form of aerobic exercise. It burns calories, improves muscle strength and balance, and is a great cardiovascular workout. It requires little to no additional equipment, and you can do it practically anywhere.
With all that in mind, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t start jumping today. Just be sure to brush up on the proper technique so that you don’t damage your knees. Check out some of the numerous plyometrics videos and routines available online if you need help getting started.
- Harvard Health Publishing: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Harvard Health Publishing: Exercise and Weight Loss: The Importance of Resting Energy Expenditure
- SHAPE America: Comparison of Rope Skipping and Jogging as Methods of Improving Cardiovascular Efficiency of College Men
- PubMed: Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
- 12 Minute Athlete: 15 Awesome Reasons to Add Jumping to Your Regular Workout Routine
- PubMed: Minimum Level of Jumping Exercise Required to Maintain Exercise-Induced Bone Gains in Female Rats
- Jumpstart by WebMD: Plyometrics
- Western Washington University: Plyometric Fundamentals
- Youtube: Plyometric Exercises – 23 Plyo Variations
- The Jump Rope Coach Chris: Is Jump Rope Bad for Your Knees?
- The Jump Rope Coach Chris: The Top Ten Tips for Beginners