Does Jumping Rope Burn Belly Fat? (From a Trainer)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 19, 2024
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Jumping rope is one of the most popular training tools used by world-class athletes and ordinary folks alike.

This cardiovascular exercise is great for developing your coordination, endurance, and foot speed. But is it just as good at getting rid of belly fat?

Our team spent the last couple of days researching the health benefits of skipping rope to see if it has any impact on abdominal fat.

Here’s what we learned.

Quick Summary

  • Jumping rope can contribute to overall weight loss and fat reduction, but it doesn't specifically target belly fat due to the impossibility of spot reduction.
  • A skipping rope workout can burn up to 15 to 20 calories per minute, positioning it as a highly effective calorie-burning exercise.
  • According to a study in the Antioxidants journal, a 12-week jump rope program positively impacted abdominal adiposity in adolescent girls with prehypertension.
  • From my professional perspective, jumping rope is a versatile and effective workout tool, but achieving a flat stomach requires more than exercise alone; nutrition plays a crucial role.

Can Jumping Rope Help You Lose Weight?

A man holding his jumping rope

You can lose fat by jumping rope, but your weight loss results will vary depending on many factors.

To lose weight and body fat, you must first create a calorie deficit, where your body uses more calories than you consume throughout the day, as noted in the study from the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism journal [1].

Combine that with exercise and a healthy diet, and you’re well on your way to getting lighter.

But if a flat stomach is your goal, jumping rope alone won’t help you.

Although it’s a dynamic full-body workout that will get your heart rate up and burn calories, it won’t directly get rid of belly fat.

That’s because spot reduction—or fat loss in one specific area of your body—is impossible. Jumping rope can help you lose some stored fat in your arms, thighs, or around your stomach, but you can’t be 100% sure that you’ll lose belly fat from doing it.

How Many Calories Do You Burn From Skipping Rope?

A person doing jump rope in motion

A skipping rope workout can burn up to 15 to 20 calories per minute, which means you should jump rope for at least 15 minutes per day to burn fat from this exercise.

It stands out in the cardio world, surpassing activities like cycling, tennis, and even running in calorie-burning effectiveness.

If you combine that with a consistent caloric deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day, you will shed one pound of fat per week.

That amounts to 3,500 calories lost weekly. Sounds good, right?

However, this number will still vary depending on the following factors:

1. Weight - Heavier people burn more calories jumping rope, but as you lose weight, you'll need to increase the workout duration or intensity to maintain results.

2. Speed - Speeding up your jump rope routine amplifies calorie burn, especially for heavier individuals, leading to greater fat loss.

3. Workout complexity - Integrating complex moves like toe taps and single-leg leaps boosts calorie burning and adds variety to your workout.


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Jump Rope Exercise Routine

A woman holding two jump ropes

Drawing from my training expertise, I recommend blending jumping rope with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for optimal results. This combination has proven effective in my coaching practice.

These quick, intense bursts of activity, interspersed with rest, can supercharge your sessions. Start your workout with a couple of minutes of jumping rope to rev up your heart rate and prep your body for more exercise.

“If done properly, 10 minutes of jumping rope can have the same benefits as 30 minutes of jogging, two sets of tennis, or 750 yards of swimming.”

- Buddy Lee, former Olympic Wrestler

Here's a quick routine:

  • Set 1: 30 seconds of jumping, 60 seconds of rest. Repeat 9 times.
  • Set 2: 30 seconds of alternating feet, 90 seconds of rest. Do four rounds.
  • Set 3: Combine 30-second jump rope bursts with jumping jacks, burpees, and push-ups, resting 12 seconds between each.

Benefits Of Jumping Rope

A woman outdoors preparing for jump rope exercise

Based on my professional insights, jumping rope offers several benefits beyond weight loss, even without a personal trainer's guidance.

1. Reduces Belly Fat

In my experience, jumping rope can lead to fat loss. However, effective belly fat reduction also hinges on proper nutrition, which I emphasize in my coaching.

As stated in a study from the Journal of Obesity, jumping rope has been associated with faster fat loss results, specifically around your trunk muscles and abs [2].

According to a 2021 study published in the Antioxidants journal, a 12-week jump rope exercise program was shown to have positive effects on abdominal adiposity in adolescent girls with prehypertension [3].

2. Improves Heart Health

High-intensity workouts like jumping rope can make your heart stronger and lower your risk for stroke and heart disease, according to Harvard Health [4].

3. Improves Balance

Regular jump rope practice enhances your balance and coordination, skills useful in everyday life.

4. Reduces Injury Risk

Being low-impact, it's kinder to your joints compared to running, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Yet, it remains a potent calorie burner and heart-pumping exercise, favored by elite athletes for its conditioning benefits.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18025815/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8614646/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/interval-training-for-a-stronger-heart
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
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Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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