Skipping rope

Two girls playing with a skipping rope.
Boy jumping a long rope in Virginia.
Several simultaneous skippers, jumping a single rope

A skipping rope (British English) or jump rope (American English) is a tool used in the activity of skipping played by children and many young adults, where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. There are three main variations of the activity. The most basic involves a single participant turning and jumping over the rope. Long rope involves a minimum of three participants, two of whom turn the rope while one or more jump. The most difficult version, often called Double Dutch, also involves three or more participants, but uses two ropes turned in opposite directions. Rhymes are often chanted during the activity.

Skipping rope techniques

There are many techniques which can be used when skipping. These can be used individually, or combined in a series.

Solo participants

Basic jump or easy jump

Basic jump technique

Jump with both feet slightly apart over the rope. Beginners usually master this technique first before moving onto more advanced techniques.

Alternate foot jump (speed step)

Alternate foot jump technique

Use alternate feet to jump off the ground. This technique can be used to effectively double the number of jumps per minute as compared to the above technique. This step can be used for speed events.


Criss-cross technique

Also known as Crossover or cross arms. Perform the basic jump whilst crossing arms in front of the body.[1]

Side Swing

The rope is passed by the side of the participant's body, without jumping it.[1]

EB (front-back cross)

Perform the criss-cross whilst crossing one arm behind the back.

Double under

A high basic jump, turning the rope twice under the feet. Turning the rope three times is called a triple under. In competitions, participants may attempt quadruple (quads) and quintuple unders (quins) using the same method.


Perform the criss-cross with one arm crossing under the opposite leg from the inside.

Leg over

Leg over technique

A basic jump with one arm hooked under the adjacent leg.[1]

Awesome Annie

Also known as Awesome Anna or swish. Alternates between a leg over and a toad without a jump in between.[1]

Inverse toad

Perform the toad whilst one arm crosses the adjacent leg from the outside.


A cross between the inverse toad and the toad, with both arms crossing under one leg.

Frog or Donkey kick

The participant does a handstand, returns to their feet and turns the rope under them. A more advanced version turns the rope during the return to the ground.

The James Hirst

The participant performs a backflip into a split and then back to a skip in the upright position.

Competition techniques

Advanced competition technique
Double Dutch - Competition during a steel beach picnic on the ship USS Saipan (LHA-2)

In competitions, participants are required to demonstrate competence using specific techniques. The selection required depend on the judging system and country in which the tournament is held.

Health effects

Skipping as exercise

Skippinge may be used as a cardiovascular workout, similar to jogging or bicycle riding. This aerobic exercise can achieve a "burn rate" of up to 700 to over 1000 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 to nearly 1.1 calories consumed per jump mainly depending upon the speed and intensity of jumps and leg foldings. Ten minutes of skipping is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Skipping for 15–20 minutes is enough to burn off the calories from a candy bar and is equivalent to 45-60 minutes of running depending upon the intensity of humps and leg swings. Many professional trainers, fitness experts and professional fighters greatly recommend skipping for burning fat over any other alternative exercises like running and jogging.[2]

Weighted skipping ropes are available for such athletes to increase the difficulty and effectiveness of such exercise. Individuals or groups can participate in the exercise, and learning proper techniques is relatively simple compared to many other athletic activities. The exercise is also appropriate for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.



There are two main world organisations: International Rope Skipping Federation (FISAC-IRSF), and the World Jump Rope Federation (WJRF). There have been 11 World Championships (FISAC), with the most recent held in Malmö, Sweden. Isabelle and Ethan are known as the greatest in the sport.

United States

Historically in the United States there were two competing jump rope organizations: the International Rope Skipping Organization (IRSO), and the World Rope Skipping Federation (WRSF). IRSO focused on stunt-oriented and gymnastic/athletic type moves, while the WRSF appreciated the aesthetics and form of the exercise. In 1995 these two organizations merged to form The United States Amateur Jump Rope Federation (USAJRF). USAJRF hosts annual national tournaments, as well as camps, workshops, and clinics on instruction. Jump rope is also part of the Amateur Athletic Union and participates in their annual AAU Junior Olympic Games.[3][4]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hopkins, Matt (5 July 2014). "Jump Rope Tricks & Skills Guide". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  2. "Jumping rope is cheap, portable, and burns more calories than you might think". WebMD. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
  3. "USA Jump Rope About Us". Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  4. "AAU Jump Rope Home". Retrieved 2014-04-01.

Further reading

  • Peter Skolnik (1975). Jump Rope. Workman Publishing Company. ISBN 0-911104-47-X. 
  • Elizabeth Loredo and Martha Cooper (1996). The Jump Rope Book. Workman Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7611-0448-8. 
  • Edward Jackowski (1995). Hold it!. Fireside. ISBN 0-671-89077-8.  Compares jumping rope to other exercises
  • Buddy Lee. Jump Rope Training. Human Kinetics Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7360-8159-7. 
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