Wed | Feb 1, 2023

Fit 4 Life | Performance Jump: Skipping routines for maximum performance

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarvin Gordon
Try one of these jump-rope based interval training routines over the remaining two weeks to improve conditioning.


With the end of The Gleaner's Fit 4 Life Season 2 Tuff Enuff Challenge in sight, it's time to start trying to squeeze out that last bit of performance improvement from your body. The jump rope exercise is perfect for this task.

Try one of these jump-rope based interval training routines over the remaining two weeks to improve conditioning.


This is a basic but effective use of the rope. It couldn't get simpler: just jump rope. We aim for six intervals of between 30 seconds and two minutes long, with rest periods of 30 seconds to one minute.

Start at the lower end of the work-time range and make your way up, while working your way down the rest-time range. That is, start out with 30 seconds of skipping and one minute of rest and try to add a few seconds to the work time with each workout while shortening the rest time.

By the time you get to two minutes of skipping and 30 seconds of rest for six rounds, you will see improvement in cardiovascular performance.


If your fitness level is high enough, you can take the original and add a bit of seasoning to it. We will keep the skipping time at 30 seconds and sprinkle other exercises between. So, for each set of jump rope that you do, you will follow up with another exercise before the rest period.

We use burpees, push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges, but you can choose your own 'salt' to keep it interesting.

Do five rounds; 30 seconds of jump rope, 10-30 seconds of the second exercise and 30 to 90 seconds of rest depending on intensity.


At the top of the jump rope foodchain, we incorporate skipping into a 15-minute full-body dumbbell/body-weight HIIT routine. The rest period at this level is a short 10 to 20 seconds. The intense work periods are 35-50 seconds. Simply alternate jump ropes - preferably a high-intensity variation such as the high-knee version - with the other exercises for 14 rounds.


Stick as closely to the recommended timing as possible.

Manage intensity by changing speed and explosiveness; you should be working hard enough to make it 'tuff', but not so hard that you cannot complete the workout.

If you can't complete the required number of rounds for the advanced routines, dial back to one of the easier workouts.

Except for the basic workout, limit the frequency of these exercises to two or three times a week.

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email:;