Jump Rope Vs Running: Which One Should You Choose?

When looking for a good cardio workout, many people turn to running. It's simple to begin and only requires some time, space, and a pair of good shoes. But another great option to work the heart and lungs is arguably even more convenient and can have benefits beyond those you can get from running.

Jumping rope is something most of us are familiar with as a fun pastime during childhood. But at any age, the motions involved in the activity produce great cardio and strength results. Depending on the types of jump you choose, jumping rope builds muscles in the calves and quads but also works out the shoulders (via Men's Health).

Joshua Vela, a certified personal trainer, told Well + Good that it's also more time-efficient. "The benefits of jumping rope for 10 minutes per day have been proven to be just as effective in terms of cardiovascular health and caloric expenditure as running for 30 minutes," he said. Studies have found that moderate-speed jump roping is equivalent to running an eight-minute mile.

Tips for proper jump rope form

What about the joints? Running is infamously supposed to be hard on your joints over the long-term. Is jumping rope that much better? Yes, when done properly. Small jumps have lower impact on the knee joints than the pounding of running, according to Well + Good, and it improves balance and coordination, too. For good form, jump no higher than the thickness of the rope.

To improve the cardio burn, work up to alternate styles of jumps. Start on two feet then, when feeling confident, jump on one foot at time, raise your knees higher, or jump a little higher and swing the rope twice under for each jump.

As with any exercise, the key is consistency. So, if you find that you simply hate jumping rope but are happy to lace up your shoes for a run, then that may be the exercise for you (via Livestrong). Both running and jump rope can benefit your cardiovascular health, improve bone density, and boost your mental health. But also consider trading off the forms of exercise just to give your joints a break and work on balance.

Overall, the benefits of jumping rope are definitely not something that should be forgotten with age.