Jumping rope was a common form of conditioning for many of boxing's all-time greats, including Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and Muhammad Ali, and still is a staple in today's boxers' workouts.
Jumping rope helps boxers build endurance, and stamina, and most importantly, helps boxers stay light on their feet by improving their footwork and coordination skills in the ring.
To help the boxing community, we will be answering one of our most commonly asked questions - how to jump rope like a boxer. In addition to that, we will assist you in developing the fundamental skills needed to jump rope like a boxer. Are you ready? Let's dive in.
The Benefits Of Jump Rope For A BoxerFirst and foremost, let's look at the benefits of jumping rope and how it can actually help you generally speaking in the long run as a boxer. Boxers and professional fighters consider jumping rope an absolute "must" as part of their overall training because it helps them with their conditioning, footwork, and strength. There are many benefits of jumping rope for boxers, such as:
- Better footwork
- Better endurance
- Increased punching power
- Improved breath control
To compete in boxing you need to be in peak physical condition, your footwork and lower body strength are what power your ability to deliver and avoid your opponent's punches and jumping rope is a major key to helping you stay in peak physical condition as a boxer. For a full breakdown of the benefits of jump rope for boxers and why boxers jump rope, check out our article here.
Learn The Fundamentals First.
If you have never jumped rope, the way pro boxers jump rope may seem extremely intimidating.
However, getting started is the greatest way to learn. Start with the basic fundamentals until you become used to the rhythm of jumping rope. Your coordination will eventually improve to the point where you will be able to learn new tricks as well as combine them into combos.
So, if you are just getting started jumping rope, here are the fundamentals you need to know:
1. The Two-Foot Bounce:
This is the most basic of jumps that still requires a bit of practice until you get the rhythm and timing down. Begin in an athletic stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Start jumping rope and focus on landing each bounce on the balls of both feet.
Keep your elbows tucked in towards your hips at a 90-degree angle and utilize small wrist circles to propel the jump rope in a circular motion. Now that you've mastered the traditional two-foot bounce, try shifting your weight between your right and left feet to add a secondary rhythmic component - we will walk you through this in more detail in our next fundamental skill.
2. The Jog Step:
The Jog Step is exactly as the name suggests, you are jogging on the spot with your jump rope. With The Jog Step, keep the same rhythm you had in the two-foot bounce but this time alternate which foot touches the ground. Alternate hopping on your left and right feet while the jump rope goes under your feet.
Once you've mastered this you can also incorporate one-foot hops, where you hop repetitiously on one foot and switch to the alternate foot. The most important thing with The Jog Step is that you feel in control of each individual leg, once you do, you can then move on to jumping rope like a boxer with The Boxers Skip.
3. THE BOXERS SKIP:
To jump rope like a boxer, start by mastering the basic fundamentals we just covered. Once you're comfortable with the ability to jump rope at a steady rhythm with the fundamental skills, it's time to start integrating some boxing-centric footwork.
The Boxers Skip (also known as The Boxers Step) involves keeping your feet some inches apart. You then shift the weight back and forth between the balls of each foot, similar to The Jog Step where you are jogging in place while keeping your weight exclusively on the balls of your feet.
To master The Boxers Skip, here are a few key tips:
Step 1 - Find Your Rhythm
When finding your rhythm, it's important to stay light on your feet, this is what Muhammad Ali meant when he famously quoted "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Practicing alternating your weight from one foot to the other while always staying on the balls of each foot so that your feet are constantly in a position to spring. This is a position boxers often find themselves in during fights so that they can quickly move in any direction and evade their opponents.
Step 2 - Consistency & Mastery
Start jumping at a consistent pace - not too fast, not too slow - to maximize the amount of work you're doing. Keep your elbows tucked, your back straight, and your core engaged to stay safe while working out hard. Increase your tempo the more you feel comfortable.
Step 3 - Sprinkle In Some Fancy Tricks
It will take you some time to obtain the jump flow without hitting the rope into your feet. Once you have mastered The Boxer Skip, you can start sprinkling in some fancy tricks like Double Unders, The Criss Cross & The Mayweather Leg Raise. For a full list of tricks and jump rope drills for boxers, check out our article here.
The Boxers Skip is a very efficient way of jumping rope. You'll find once you're able to master this jump rope skill you will be able to jump rope for much longer periods, as each jump does not require you to expend much energy, making it easier on your legs. You will feel like you are floating.
SUMMARY.Learning how to jump rope like a boxer is a great tool to take your game to the next level.
However, mastering this skill might take some time, which is why you need to be patient, resilient, and determined. Remember to start slowly and work your way up, and to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort as jumping rope regularly can be taxing on your body. Start with 5-10 minutes a few times a week and always focus on mastering the fundamentals.
Want more boxing tips? Check out our full list of articles here.
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