This four-move jump rope HIIT workout blitzes calories and builds strength in eight minutes

Woman jumping rope against white wall during jump rope HIIT workout
(Image credit: Getty images)

I’m a semi-stranger to jumping rope, so attacking a short and effective jump rope HIIT workout? Sign me up. This Rocky-inspired jump rope workout takes eight minutes to complete and could get you jumping your way to improved cardio fitness and stronger muscles and bones in four moves. (Don't have a jump rope? Here's our picks for the best jump ropes and the best weighted jump ropes.)

According to the Jump Rope Dudes (opens in new tab), the “Rocky jump rope workout” is a sample of his workout regimen, following a 30-second on, 10-second off workout style and repeating exercises for three to five rounds, depending on your fitness level. While we can’t guarantee Rocky actually follows this exact routine, it’s still a certified calorie blitzer that will ramp up your heart rate and metabolism.

If you’re a jump rope novice, this workout is beginner friendly. Besides, research conducted alongside jump rope athlete Kaylee Woodard (opens in new tab) PhD, exercise science professor at Bowling Green, found that practicing new jump rope tricks (whether you land them or not) can burn as many calories as repetitive on-the-spot jumping. I’ll take any small win, considering I tried jumping rope every day for a week recently, practicing just that.  

Watch Jump Rope Dude's Rocky jump rope workout

Follow the video along to learn how to jump rope properly. The Jump Rope Dudes talk you through the entire workout, explaining tips to keep good jump rope form as you move through the speedy eight minutes. Try to minimize rest to keep your heart rate up, even if you trip up or fail to land a jump rope exercise. 

The “dudes” recommend keeping the intensity high because you only work for short bursts. Here’s the full HIIT workout:

30 seconds - jump rope - boxer skip

30 seconds - jump rope - double unders

30 seconds - jump rope - run in place

30 seconds - jump rope - crisscross

30 seconds - jump rope - boxer skip

30 seconds - jump rope - double unders

30 seconds - jump rope - run in place

30 seconds - jump rope - crisscross

While we know Rocky famously loved a bit of jump rope during training, he supplements it with strength training, cardio, and other forms of exercise. Although this workout could blitz calories, if your goal is weight loss, training regularly alongside a balanced diet is the best way to achieve your body composition goals. And that’s before you factor in sleep and stress levels. 

You can find more about calculating body fat percentage and why it matters here. 

If you’re wondering how jumping rope compares to other workouts, I did some digging to find out — does jumping rope burn more calories than running? In short, it can — depending on factors like weight, ability, and workout length. Regardless, jumping rope is a high-calorie burner which is a brilliant way to add quick cardio into your routine. 

And according to the jump rope specialists Elite SRS (opens in new tab), you can burn more calories by adopting a Tabata-style HIIT workout — like this one — and adding bodyweight exercises to work in some strength training. 

If you need more intensity or want to integrate strength training, weighted jump ropes work your entire body in just eight minutes and could help build lower body strength and endurance in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders, back, and calf muscles. There are plenty of other jump rope benefits, whichever rope you use, including increased balance, agility, speed, coordination, and stronger bones with little impact on your joints.

You might have heard shin splints and jump rope used in the same sentence, but jump rope is a low-impact exercise when adopting proper jump rope technique: landing on the balls of your feet with knees bent and a lower jump style. 


Next: For more fitness challenges, try this 30-day kettlebell challenge workout to build strength, and our fitness writer did 100 dumbbell chest presses a day for a week — and here's what happened.

Sam Hopes
Staff Fitness Writer

Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and resident fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods.  When she's writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and workouts.