Jumping rope vs. running sounds like we are taking you back to your childhood.

Wouldn’t it be nice if things were that simple?

If you are an avid runner, you already know that running brings you a sense of accomplishment while burning calories.

As they call it, a runner’s high is when those endorphins are pumping while you are smoking that pavement.

But what about jump ropes? Should we all listen to House of Pain and “Jump Around?” If you don’t know what song we are referring to, listen immediately.

Our article on the 6 Benefits of Using a Jump Rope showed the many benefits of jumping rope.

Being able to do it anywhere and efficient calorie burn are just a few of those benefits.

So why are we discussing Jumping Rope vs. Running?


For one thing, jumping rope and running have some of the same benefits. They are high-intensity exercises that are high in calorie burn.

Also, when both exercises are used together (not simultaneously mind you), the fat burn is off the charts. The switch-up also leads to fewer injuries since both exercises are high impact.

These exercises are great for cardio, but they put a lot of pressure on your joints and muscles. Changing things up with different exercises alleviates some of the pressure on the same joints.

Since there are many similarities between jumping rope and running, we figured we would educate on the differences between them too.

That way, you can figure out which one is best for your workout. Maybe you can jump while listening to “Jump Around.”

Jump Rope vs. Running – Talk to Me about Calorie Burn

Let’s say you are about 150-pounds, and you run a 12-minute mile. At that weight and pace, you would burn about 90 calories.

Let’s say you kick it up a notch one day and hit a 10-minute mile. You just pushed your calorie burn to 113.

Run five miles, and you are kicking some serious calorie butt.

If we do some quick math (math is fun), you spent 30 minutes running and burned 339 calories. Killing it!

Moving on to jump rope.

In 10 minutes, the calorie burn for someone who is 150-pounds is around 136 calories. After jumping rope for just 30 minutes, you will have burned 408 calories.

Basically, jumping rope for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a little over a mile. Not too, shabby!

Keep in mind, though, the faster you jump rope and the heavier the rope, the more you burn.

That said, it may very well be that you could burn the same amount of calories jumping rope for 10 minutes as you would running for 30 minutes.

Something else to consider is that you can finish your jump rope workout and then drop down and give us 20.

Whether it’s push-ups, burpees, or crunches, you can get some versatility in your workout once you set that jump rope aside.

Chances are you won’t do that while running, so jumping rope might have the edge here.

Jump rope vs. running seems pretty much the same as the calories burned do not change a lot.

Our view of things is that you will burn more calories doing something you really enjoy because you will stick with it.

If that’s running, then go for it. If it’s jumping rope, get your jump rope and smash that workout.

I’m a Beginner – Jumping Rope or Running?

If you are new to jumping rope or running, the good news is that you can start either as a beginner and be successful.

Since jumping rope and running are high impact workouts, there is a chance you will need to start at a low impact pace to avoid injuries.

For the jump rope vs. running discussion, we are going to break down the difference in the modifications you would need for low impact.

Running – Let’s Modify This

We know what you’re thinking. The modification for running is jogging or walking. Duh. Okay, yes.

Both jogging and walking are acceptable low impact modifications for running.

However, there might be something else that works even better for someone just starting to run. Running and walking in intervals has been known to help someone who is just getting started. 

An example would be to run for 2 minutes and then walk for 5 minutes. Keeping that up for about 30 minutes is a great way to get started and interval train.

Jumping Rope – How Would I Modify That?

We already mentioned that jumping rope is a high impact workout, and we know what you are thinking.

How do I modify jumping rope when “jumping” is in the title? As always, we have your answers.

Did you know there are such things as cordless jump ropes? We swear it’s a thing, and it’s a great thing!

These jump ropes are usually weighted to add extra calorie burn to your workout since you aren’t jumping.

Another fun feature of cordless jump ropes is that you don’t get tangled in them.

C’mon, we’re not the only ones who have had that problem, right? The beauty of a cordless jump rope is that you are jumping rope without the jumping.

Utilize your arms in the same way, but just march in place to get the lower body going. Less impact on your joints and a good workout. Done!

Hello, Science. Care to Weigh-in on Jumping Rope vs. Running?

Science always knows what’s up, so let’s check-in and see what it thinks.

In a Research Quarterly journal, a study was done on jumping rope vs. running with 92 college students randomly put into two groups.

Group 1 jumped rope for 10 minutes daily for 6 weeks.

Group 2 jogged for 30 minutes daily also for 6 weeks.

The Harvard step test, a test to determine cardiovascular efficiency, was given to all participants before and after the 6-week study.

The results showed that both groups had the same increase in cardiovascular efficiency. In this episode of jumping rope vs. running, we will call it a draw.

In our next episode of jumping rope vs. running, we bring you to a study published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine Journal.

They took 26 sedentary young adults and put them to the test in a 6-week trial. Some of the people jogged for 30 minutes, 5 times per week. The others jumped rope for 10 minutes, 5 times per week.

Unfortunately, many of the jump rope participants had to drop out due to injury.

They concluded that the joggers had a 13% boost in their oxygen levels (or O2 max), while the jump rope participants had a 7% increase in oxygen levels.

Further, they said that 10 minutes of jumping rope does not elicit the same response as running for 30 minutes.

A worthy note to this is that a researcher did say that someone who was already in good cardiovascular health might achieve the same results in 10 minutes of jumping rope vs. running for 30 minutes.

While it seems like we need to give this win to running, there is something to be said about the researcher’s note on maybe seeing different results if the participants had already been in good health.

Science, as always, you have been a delight.

We are concluding that science weighed in, and both workouts are efficient for better cardiovascular health.

Jump Rope vs. Running Safety

We are raising the stakes a bit and moving on to safety in the jump rope vs. running debate.

While you can certainly get injured doing any kind of exercise, it is more likely to be injured doing high impact exercise, especially if you are new to it.

So many people were injured in the study above because they were likely not doing the jump rope exercises correctly.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Permission to go Buy New Shoes

If you are a shoe person, then you just got really excited. For both jump rope and running, the importance of shoe choice is paramount.

Having the right shoes for your feet can make or break your workout. We mean that quite literally.

Runners are susceptible to blisters on their feet due to friction from wearing the wrong shoes. Your shoe also dictates the alignment of your feet, knees, ankles, and hips.

Good posture, like in everything else, is the key to success.

For jumping rope, you need a shoe with a cushion. It’s a lot of impact on your feet when you jump, and that support is a must.

Joint Impact

Running is quite cruel on your joints, even if you do have a good pair of shoes. The harsh impact is jolting every time your foot lands.

The biggest problem with running is that so many people run incorrectly.

The heel strike, when your heel slams down first when running, is putting all of the pressure on your joints and bones rather than your muscles.

Think of it as being jolted hard every time you put your foot down. This can lead to a lot of injuries.

In comparison, jumping rope has a lot less impact on your joints because you are landing on the ball of your foot with bent knees—that kind of jumping results in less impact on your joints and more impact on your muscles.

By muscles, we mean all the muscles. While running primarily targets your leg muscles, jumping rope utilizes leg muscles and more.

Since you are upright, you are working your core muscles to stabilize yourself.

This leads to a tighter core and better coordination for functional fitness. It looks like jump rope wins this round.

The award goes to…

We’ve gone through the good, the bad, and the ugly, but what is the best choice? Or better yet, should jumping rope replace running in your fitness regimen?

We suggest that you combine the two since they both have such similar benefits.

By combining both, you will find that jumping rope can actually make you a better runner.

Jumping rope teaches coordination and rhythm between your hands, eyes, and feet.

Having a better rhythm and connection to your muscles can translate to your runs as well. You can focus more on the rest of your body while you run and not just your legs.

That may help develop a better running style that is better for your joints. Think, no more heel strike.

Now buy those new shoes. Oh, and maybe buy a jump rope too!

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