Why Boxers Jump Rope – Benefits Of Skipping For Fighters

Boxing Skipping Rope

Jumping rope should be a staple in the diet of every boxer and professional fighter. Jumping rope or skipping as they say in the UK is an excellent form of exercise and even if you aren’t a fighter, jumping rope can be an excellent option for getting fit, toning, losing weight and torching belly fat.

Boxers are particularly famous for their skipping skills and you can find plenty of videos online of advanced skipping routines from the likes of Floyd Mayweather to Mike Tyson all the way back to Muhammed Ali. The benefits of jumping rope are endless for fighters from improving overall fitness to footwork to making weight for a fight. It’s cardio that can be practiced easily in the gym and it is great for overall boxing skills, as it simulates many of the movements of a real fight, improves a fighters rhythm and the coordination between hands and feet.


Let’s take a look at the benefits in detail.


Skipping requires you to be constantly moving your feet to avoid the oncoming rope and this stimulates your fast twitch muscle fibres to be able to react quickly when an opposing fighter is coming towards you in sparring or in a fight.

As fighters get more advanced with jumping rope they can add more difficult techniques to their workout so it is a progressive exercise, just like boxing where you get better the more you practice.


Hand And Feet Coordination

Boxing is one of the most skilled sports in the world, there are so many factors that go into winning a boxing contest and it is the sum of small efforts every day that can win a bout. As Muhammed Ali said, the fight is won or lost long before you step under the bright lights in the ring on fight night, it is won in the gym, on the road and what you do in your spare time is equally important.

Skipping is an exercise that mimics moving around the ring perfectly. If your hands and feet are not in perfect sync, you’re not going to be a good fighter, simple as that. Skipping is the only cardio exercise that needs complete synergy between the hands and the feet and it allows you to build up this connection between the two and you can easily see why this is a big advantage for fighters who jump rope.


Works on Aerobic and Anaerobic Conditioning

Boxing Jumping Rope

When you are jumping rope you can work the Aerobic and Anaerobic conditioning systems simultaneously. Aerobic exercise means ‘with oxygen’ and anaerobic means ‘without oxygen’.

When a boxer moves around the ring for 12 rounds that is aerobic in nature. When they throw a 12 punch combo in the middle of a round, that is anaerobic. The Anaerobic system will allow you to recover from that 12 punch combo quickly while the aerobic system will allow you to throw 12 punch combos consistently over the 12 rounds.

When jumping rope boxers have the option to work slowly for a longer period of time building up their aerobic conditioning or they can work at a higher intensity, bringing the anaerobic system into play. They can also mix the two together in what we call HIIT training.


Jumping Rope Is Perfect For High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training involves working on our slow pace cardio for 30 seconds and then upping the pace for 10 seconds and repeating this cycle. It is like jogging for 30 seconds and then sprinting for 10 and doing this cycle 10 times for example. We get our rest during the 30 seconds and explode into action for 10 seconds.

HIIT is perfect for conditioning the body with both aerobic and anaerobic work and this is the best possible way to burn fat and lose weight.

We can jump rope normally for 30 seconds and then start lifting the knees high and start skipping as fast as we can for 10 seconds and repeating getting our rest in the slower 30 second section and this imitates boxing perfectly where the fighters will move around the ring and then explode with punches when they engage.


The Perfect Warm Up

Jumping rope provides the perfect way for a boxer to start their workup, get the blood and the heart rate up and they can start slow before gradually picking up the pace and adding intensity to the warm up. Most boxers will start with jumping rope, followed by shadow boxing and then move onto pads, bags and sparring or strength and conditioning and jumping rope is the perfect exercise to get that initial sweat on. Many boxers will do 3*3 minute rounds or 5*2 minute, picking up intensity with each round that passes.


Losing Weight And Burning Fat

Jumping Rope Female

As mentioned before, fighters usually need to make weight when they are fighting and skipping provides an excellent way to do that. If you need to lose weight for a fight, you could go jogging but if the weather is cold, you won’t lose as much weight as is possible.

If you put on some extra layers and heat the gym, you will drop weight much faster by sweating more and this can be an excellent option for fighters.


Building Mental Toughness

Boxing is an individual sport, its athletes are some of the best conditioned in the world. Boxing is a sport where you compete with yourself to get better, the man in the mirror can be your biggest enemy or your best friend.

Building up mental toughness by consistently doing the right things is one of the best ways to ensure you give your best performance inside and outside the ring.

Jumping rope is tough, especially as you add more intensity to your workouts. Getting through a tough workout against a timer is just another way to build your toughness, prove that you are willing to go the distance no matter what and keep pushing even when it gets tough while building character with each rep you perform.


Tons Of Variations

Skipping rope just like boxing is a skill that needs to be mastered over time. When you start jumping rope you will be cumbersome and slow just like a novice boxer but as you put more work in, you will quickly get better and there are tons of variations that you can add as you progress from lifting the knees to double and triple unders to combining all the different moves you have learned rep after rep. The better you get at skipping, the more fun it will become and the more your conditioning will benefit as a result.


Skipping Builds Endurance In The Arms And Explosive Power In The Lower Legs

Jumping Rope

If you have tried skipping yourself in the past, you will quickly see how tired your arms and shoulders get. Adding solid conditioning for your arms and shoulders is definitely going to be a plus in the boxing ring especially as jumping rope is one of the few conditioning exercises that can get that perfect aerobic and anaerobic split in an arm workout.

Jumping up and down constantly for 10/20 minutes can only build the muscles in your calves and it will not be useless bulk but functional muscle allowing you move around the ring more easily over 12 rounds.


Builds Speed

Skipping is also perfect for adding speed to your movements and punches in the ring. High intensity jump rope routines require you to move your hands and feet faster and the more you practice the faster you will get and this advantage can be carried directly into the ring.


Torches Belly Fat

Almost everybody in the world hates their gut. Working with skipping rope at a high intensity and lifting our knees as close to our chest as possible with each rep is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat that we can possibly do. This is another quality benefit of jumping rope for boxers and anyone else looking to get in shape.


It’s Fun And Progressive

Last but not least on our list of benefits is that Jumping rope can be a lot of fun, especially as you get better at it. The more you practice the better you will get and the more new tricks you can incorporate into your routine. If you practice diligently everyday, you will have your gym mates in awe of your skills.

Before you know it, you’ll be doing double and triple unders, showing off your fancy footwork with ease and improving your fitness, rhythm and co-ordination for when you step into the ring. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and starting your workouts with skipping can put you in a good mood for the rest of the sessions. A skipping workout is a lot more enjoyable than spending time on the treadmill or on the bike but still just as good if not better exercise for boxing.


Skipping vs Running For Boxers

These two exercises can have a similar effect on our conditioning as we can do them slowly over longer periods to build up our aerobic conditioning or we can blast our fast twitch muscle fibres with sprints and high intensity training.

I would always say that boxers should incorporate both exercises into their workouts as they condition the body in different ways and the more variations we have in our workouts the more versatile, flexible and adaptable we will be in the ring.

The main difference between running and skipping is that boxing will work on the quads, hamstrings, glutes and biceps primarily but skipping will work on the shoulders, arms and calves more intensively. Working on both can give you a full body workout and really improve your cardio and conditioning.

Jumping Rope Vs Shadow Boxing


Again, these are both excellent ways for fighters to warm up at the start of their workout and fighters will generally move from jumping rope into shadow boxing as a natural progression and way to start their workout.

Both will work on conditioning both aerobic and anaerobic but jumping rope will provide more constant steady state exercise. It is easy to take small breaks while shadow boxing but that is not possible when jumping rope unless you stop.

These are both exercises that should be definitely incorporated into your workouts as skipping will work more on conditioning and shadow boxing will work on your ring skills predominantly.

FAQ About Jumping Rope


How Many Calories Does A Skipping Routine Burn In Boxing?

A good intensity 20 minutes jump rope workout can burn approximately 500 calories which is 25% more than running and as you can tell this is a very effective exercise for losing weight and toning.


How Long Do Boxers Jump Rope For?

Joshua Jumping Rope

Boxers will jump rope for about 10-15 minutes at the start of their workout to warm up. This is to get the heart rate up for the rest of the workout and the also gain all the benefits we have talked about in this article. That will be 3 * 3 minute rounds with a 30 second or 1 minute rest.


Is 10 Minutes Of Jumping Rope Enough?

Yes, 10 minutes of jumping rope is enough for boxers as they will go on to workout for 2 hours typically in a single session so 10 minutes of jump rope is enough for that area of conditioning and a good warm up.


Is Jumping Rope Good For Abs

Yes, absolutely, especially if you raise your knees towards your chest and with high intensity, this is going to be one of the best exercises for losing belly fat and toning the abs.


Can You Get A 6 Pack From Jumping Rope

Having your abs showing will depend on your level of belly fat and jumping rope will help you to burn fat but it will ultimately come down to burning more calories than you are consuming, eating a clean diet and working out hard consistently to stay lean.


What Are The Different Types Of Jump Rope?

There are tons of different types of jump ropes from cheap to weighted to metal to leather.

We recommend a simple plastic speed rope as a skipping rope is meant to develop speed, coordination and rhythm.

Adding weight or getting a faster skipping rope can be good for advanced rope jumpers and even the more expensive ones can be good but the real benefits of jumping rope, especially for beginners are getting the coordination between hands and feet correct.

Skipping Rope

We found the best jump rope for boxers and with a great price here:



What Rope Does Floyd Mayweather Use?

Mayweather Skipping Rope

Floyd uses the Pro Am skipping rope and this is extra long and built for speed, specifically so that Floyd can work to the maximum of his ability and the resulting workout is top class by any standards

Skipping Rope

We found the best jump rope for boxers and with a great price here:










Aidan Lehane has been involved in the fight game for well over 10 and has trained in some of the leading boxing gyms around the world including Sinbi Muay Thai and MTK Global Marbella. He wants to offer as much advice to beginners and pros as possible.

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