You know you want to give it a try.
Jumping rope seems to be making a comeback as a fitness trend lately, thanks to the rope being so easy to transport as well as an efficient calorie burner and a ton of fun. This old-fashioned aerobic exercise from our playground days boasts big health benefits, working every muscle from head to toe. It provides a low-impact way to keep the heart rate up between various cross-training moves, helping you achieve your cardiovascular endurance goals.
Check out the video above for four different footwork styles to try the next time you grab a jump rope for a workout. Mixing up your moves in this way helps challenge the muscles in your legs and core in different ways, all while keeping the upper body active and engaged. And don't worry -- none of them require fancy movements with the rope itself, so keeping those rotations going should be a breeze.
What are you waiting for? Start jumping around! Below are explanations for the four moves in the video above, plus three bonus jumps.
Begin jumping rope in place to find your rhythm. Once you feel comfortable with the cadence you've set, begin shifting your feet further away from your midline with each jump, alternating from left to right. The lateral movement doesn't have to be dramatic to benefit you!
Return to your standard jumping pattern. As you hit your groove, begin alternating between jumping with your feet together and jumping with your feet wider apart (just as you would with a jumping jack). Keep light on your toes, and make sure your feet don't move so wide that they catch on the sides of the rope as it rotates.
It's your favorite cross-training drill, with a jump rope thrown in for an added coordination challenge! Once you're on a roll with your standard jump, begin alternating your hops using one foot at a time. Then start hiking your knees to your chest with each jump, forming a right angle with the lifted knee. You'll want to really engage your core here for balance and endurance.
From your standard jumping position, begin separating the feet vertically with both of them landing within the same jump at the same time. Remain on your toes as you move your feet further and further apart until you're creating a scissor motion with the legs in the middle of each jump.
Double Single-Foot Jumps
Time to challenge one foot at a time! From your standard jumping position, shift your weight to your right foot and hop twice, leaving your left foot in the air. Repeat on the left side and continue alternating. The more comfortable you get with this one, the more single jumps you can add in for each foot to test your balance and single-leg stamina.
Let's pick up the pace. From your standard jumping pattern, begin alternating feet until your movement resembles a jog. Start spinning the rope faster and increase the speed of your feet simultaneously. You'll really be working your cardio endurance, and clearly your coordination.
Last but not least, really work that core into your jumping session. Keep your feet moving in the standard jumping form, and rotate approximately 90 degrees to the right from the hips, your shoulders remaining squared to the front of the room (which keeps the rope in place) and your feet together. Then jump 180 degrees toward the left. Continue switching directions, really feeling it in your obliques.
Video produced by Eva Hill and Marielle Olentine
Also on HuffPost: