Well Being

Jump Rope: A Surprisingly Awesome (And Trendy) Cardio Workout

By  | 

Kathy Lee and Hoda jump rope

Just the idea of a jump rope may bring back fond memories of vaguely-inappropriate chants and trying desperately to perfect your double-dutch, but the playground staple is definitely not just for kids. Grown-ups everywhere are reuniting with this ultra-simple piece of school-yard nostalgia…and getting a killer cardio workout. Even Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb are giving it a whirl on Monday's episode of the TODAY Show, where they'll be jumping for a full hour.

A long-time favorite of boxers, football and soccer players, and athletes for whom stamina and grace are key performance factors, jumping rope is a deceptively simple and fun way to get moving indoors–without hitting a treadmill or heading to a spinning class. Perfect for the remainder of the chilly winter months, a jump rope costs a lot less than an elliptical machine, requires more coordination and full-body engagement, and can still result in a kick-ass calorie-burning workout. Kathy and Hoda will be jumping alongside nutrition and weight loss expert Joy Bauer, to celebrate completing their 25,000-pound weight loss challenge. But they certainly aren't the first ones to get behind the jump rope movement.

Many trainers and fitness personalities and gyms have even jumped (no pun intended) onto what's shaping up to be kind of a hot trend in 2012. Srdjan Popovic, of Bloom to Fit, is probably one of the better-known advocates of jumping rope as serious cardio. His site features explanations, videos, and tips for how to get a great heart-pumping, sweat-pouring workout–for like, $7 in your living room (as long as you've, you know, moved all of your furniture and precarious belongings out of the way).

And if you're worried about the fact that you haven't jumped rope since you were, oh, seven, it's actually pretty easy to master.  The Huffington Post's Jordan K. Turgeon tried one of the jump-rope centered classes at David Barton Gym, and reported that it was more fun and less challenging than she'd anticipated.

If you want to get to skippin', tune in to the TODAY Show on Monday for some Hoda-related inspiration (is there any other kind?), and then check out this article from Girls Gone Sporty to figure out the best rope for you.

Image: TODAY Show.