Jumping rope is one of those versatile forms of cardio — you can do it at the park, in your driveway, or even inside your home, if you have adequate space (and don't have to worry about annoying your neighbors). There's also the bonus of it requiring very little equipment. All you need is a rope and yourself, and you're set! That said, if you've ever wondered just how many calories jumping rope burns, you've come to the right place. POPSUGAR connected with two trainers to find out how to calculate calories burned — as accurately as possible, anyway.
How Many Calories Can I Burn Jumping Rope?
Toi Arnold, an NASM-certified personal trainer and CEO of Train with Toi, explained that the number of calories you burn while jumping rope depends on how much you weigh, how complex the jump rope workout is, and the speed at which you're moving. In other words, it's complicated — but there is a way to get a rough estimate of how many calories you're burning.
"You can use the MET value of jumping rope to determine calories burned," Arnold told POPSUGAR. METs, or metabolic equivalents, are used to estimate the energy you expend while doing a specific activity. The MET value of jumping rope is 12.3 — that means people expend roughly 12 times the energy jumping rope than they would at rest. To translate that number into calories burned, use this simple formula:
- Body weight (in kg) x MET value x 0.0175 x Minutes exercised
So, for example, a person who weighs 130 pounds (or 58.967 kg) would burn roughly 254 calories while jumping rope for 20 minutes. To get there, you simply run these numbers through a calculator: 58.967 x 12.3 x 0.0175 x 20.
How Can I Get the Most Out of My Jump Rope Workout?
Roxie Jones, an NASM-certified personal trainer and Alo Moves instructor, suggests adding high-intensity intervals to your workout, followed by rest periods that allow you to regain your energy. This concept, known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can help you burn more calories.
Arnold also recommends implementing HIIT principles, as well as "creating more complicated jump rope choreography in your fitness routine." She added that buying a weighted jump rope can also help you expend more energy during your workouts.
While it doesn't matter as much what time of day you work out, Jones suggests getting it in as early as possible. "I always recommend doing cardio in the AM," she explained. Doing cardio late at night can disrupt your sleep, which could leave you with less fuel in the tank heading into your next workout session.