How to Jump Rope

Three Methods:Jump by YourselfDo TricksJump with Rope Turners

Jumping rope is a fun playground activity as well as a great way to get some exercise and impress your friends. Whether you just want to learn how to jump rope, pick up some new tricks, or want to double-dutch, you can follow these easy steps to achieve your goals.

Method 1
Jump by Yourself

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    Choose the right rope. You should find a rope that reaches nearly up to your shoulders when it's folded in half. This will give you enough room to comfortably jump over it, but not so much that you trip over the rope.
    • The rope should have handles that are easy to grip and shouldn't be too light or too heavy.
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    Stand up and pick up the rope. Hold the rope's handles in each of your hands. Extend your hands and forearms at least a foot away from your body, at a 45 degree angle. This will create a larger arc for you to jump through.
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    Step over the rope. The rope should hang behind you, so that the middle of the rope hits the back of your feet.
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    Use your hands and wrists to swing the rope over your head. Don't move your arms -- try to keep the motion limited to your wrists.
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    When the rope is coming toward the front of your feet, hop over it. Stand on your tiptoes, and push off with the balls of your feet.
    • Try to keep the motion in your ankles. Bending your knees to jump will make the exercise a lot harder.
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    Set a pace that works for you. For beginners, it's best to move the rope slowly, so that you have enough time to take a small hop in between each jump over the rope. Maintain a straight back and keep your gaze set straight ahead as you fall into the correct rhythm. If you watch your feet as you jump, you'll be more likely to get off balance.
    • As your skill increases, you can swing the rope more quickly and eliminate the middle hop.
    • As you improve your skills, you can count how long you can go without messing up. A fun way to track your progress is to count how many skips you can do in one stretch, without fumbling.

Method 2
Do Tricks

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    Reverse the rope. When you get better at jumping rope forwards, try going backwards. Start with the rope in front of your feet and throw it over your head to the back. Jump over it before it hits the back of your feet.
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    Do the "criss-cross" trick. To execute the "criss-cross" trick, all you have to do is cross your arms in front of you between each jump. It takes practice to get the timing right, but once you've fallen into a rhythm, you can work on alternating between crossing and not crossing the rope between each jump.
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    Do the "side-swing." Fold the rope in half while still holding on to each of the handles. Then, move the rope by crossing your right hand over your left and moving it toward your left hip, and then cross the rope again, so the right hand returns to the right hip. The right hand will essentially be drawing a sideways "8" in the air.
    • The shape made by the jump rope will create an "X" shape in the air, or a shape that looks a bit like a squashed bow tie.
    • Sway your hips to get the momentum of the rope going.
    • Once you finish making this shape, bring the right hand up and over to create a shape, or a "rainbow," to jump through.
    • Jump through the shape, make the "X" shape again, and keep repeating the process.
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    Combine the tricks. Once you've mastered a few of these tricks, you can combine them together. Try doing the "cross-cross," jumping, and then doing the "side swing," for example.

Method 3
Jump with Rope Turners

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    Choose a longer rope. This rope should be long enough to easily go over the head of the jumper or jumpers while the turners stand a comfortable distance apart.
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    Jump after standing between the turners. Face one of them and place the rope to the right or left of your feet. Have them throw the rope over your head, and jump when it reaches your other side. Get the rhythm of this jumping pattern before moving on.
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    Run into the turning rope. It takes some timing, but it can be done. Once you're comfortable running into the rope, you can practice jumping while looking between the turners instead of at them.
    • One or two other jumpers can join you as you run into the rope, but you should approach the rope one by one. Once one person finds a rhythm, the next person should jump in.
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    Jump double dutch. For double dutch jumping, the two turners have a rope in each hand. The turners should turn one rope, and then turn the other in the opposite direction when the first rope is halfway through its arc.
    • Once the ropes start moving, you should jump over each rope while still facing the turners. Remember that you'll have to jump twice as fast as you would with one rope, because you'll have to jump over two ropes in each jump cycle.
    • Double dutch is more challenging and more fun if there is more than one jumper.
    • You can even sing songs to count how many times the jumpers have jumped. One popular song begins, "Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish, how many pieces do you wish?" After those words, you can start counting, "one, two, three..." to mark how many times the person or people jumping have successfully jumped.


  • Keep your eyes on only one thing. This will help you focus more and helps you to keep your balance. You can judge where the rope is without looking directly at it.
  • Don't give up! Practice makes perfect!
  • Take small jumps -- it will save your energy and you will be able to jump for longer. Good jump ropers take such small steps that you can't see their feet moving.
  • Get comfortable with the basics before you try some tricks.
  • Keep your heels off the ground and stay on your toes. Use your ankles as a spring action. This eliminates your feet from smacking the ground hard.
  • Try jumping rope to music. The beat will help you keep pace.
  • Once you get better at jumping, move onto a speed jump rope. The rope is heavier so it will go faster and will make it more fun to do tricks.
  • If you have a lot of people, you can also play "helicopter" One person spins around holding onto one end of the rope, swinging it in a circle close to the ground, and everyone else jumps over it.
  • Agree on non-verbal signs with the turners. For example, if you want to go faster, then clap your hands twice and to go more slowly, clap once.
  • Search for jump-rope rhymes online.
  • Consider going to or starting a jump-rope club!


  • Choose an open area to jump rope and be aware of who and what is around you to avoid whipping someone.
  • Be careful when you are doing things like the criss-cross trick mentioned above. The plastic-bead like jump-ropes hurt if you make a mistake and you whip yourself, so start out slow!
  • A speed rope swung very fast can sting. Start very slowly.
  • Jump ropes made out of plastic cords can damage floors. Use jump ropes made out of a soft cotton cord when indoors, and use the plastic cord ones for outside.

Things You'll Need

  • A Jump Rope
  • Some Tricks (optional)
  • People (if having Rope Turners).

Article Info

Categories: Rope Games