5 Jump Rope Crossover Variations

Feb 18, 2024Devin Meek

If you’ve just started using a jump rope and mastered the fundamentals, check out your next progression with crossover variations. Whether you’re hoping to be the next Instagram sensation with new tricks and techniques or want to add variety to your workout, learning new variations could be the answer.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to get started, then get practicing and perfecting!

Run Cross

  1. First, ensure you’re getting the fundamentals correct, whether a beginner or an advanced jumper. 
  2. Unlike the basic jump rope technique, the run cross-over will require you to hop quickly from one leg to the other as if running on the spot.
  3. It’s best to practice running on the spot first without the rope; analyze if your legs kick backward. If they do, you might find your feet caught on the rope. So practice running on the spot but not kicking your feet back too high.
  4. Then, add your jump rope, keeping the rhythm of your feet the same. 
  5. Start crisscrossing the rope in a figure-of-eight motion for the ultimate trick technique. 

Boxer Cross

  1. Firstly, put your rope down to practice the footwork. Start by standing on your left foot, lifting your right foot, and tapping it on the ground. 
  2. Then hop to your right foot, lifting your left leg, and tap your left foot on the ground. 
  3. Repeat that process over and over until you feel comfortable doing it slowly. 
  4. Once you’re happy, you can speed up the boxer step until you can do it quickly and confidently. 
  5. Then, add the rope in. You might get a little tangled at first, but keep going - a bit of practice will go a long way.
  6. If you want to advance, you can cross the rope as you jump. Your forearms and wrists should be able to take the bulk of the movement to save you from getting tangled.
  7. When crossing your hands, think of it as Western movie cowboys putting guns into their holsters and ensuring that the rhythm of your feet stays the same. Alternatively, you can move the wrists in a figure-of-eight movement.

One Leg Cross 

  1. First, practice your boxer jump: When using the jump rope, jump four steps with both feet, then transfer your weight to one leg and hop with four steps. Then, go back to jumping on both feet for four steps. Move your weight onto the leg you haven’t bound on yet. Once you get comfortable with transferring the weight, you’ll be ready to progress to the next step.
  2. When hopping on one leg, your foot should jump once to the front, once to the side, once to the front, and once back to the central position. This pattern of moving will help to stay balanced.
  3. If you want to crisscross as well, you can add that flair to your technique, as explained in the boxer cross. 

Side Swing Cross 

  1. The side swing cross technique looks impressive and challenging to master, and it can be hard to try when you don’t know how. 
  2. After perfecting the fundamentals of your bounce with proper form, practice the side-swipe motion using your rope without jumping to familiarize yourself with the technique.
  3. Begin by guiding the rope with one hand over the top of the other, moving the rope from side to side. To advance your skill, you can just alternate the hand that guides on the top. 
  4. The top hand should rotate towards the bottom hand and swing the rope across your body, then repeat on the other side. Once you have the hang of the side-to-side swing motion, begin practicing your jump simultaneously without passing the rope.
  5. Once you’ve mastered these steps, add basic jumps in between. Jump with both feet, the rope going under your feet, then over your head. 
  6. Then, when you’re ready, keep jumping with the same rhythm, but guide the rope in front of you, side to side. You’ll soon have perfected the side swing cross with thorough practice and added another impressive jump rope skill to your arsenal.

Double Under Cross 

  1. Ensure you can execute a faultless basic jump technique. It should be robust and controlled so that you always land in a balanced position. 
  2. The double under crosses are the same as the basic jump, except the rope passes under your feet twice rather than once, and the rope crosses in front of you. You should be able to do the basic jump without pausing to progress. 
  3. Practice the power of your jump: your form will be the same as a basic jump, but your jump should be more explosive.
  4. Practice your “penguin taps” - if you don’t know what those are, ensure you put your rope to the side and rehearse getting as much height into your jumps as possible. You should be able to tap your thighs together twice quite quickly. You should have enough height for one double under cross if you can perform this skill once. 
  5. Now you’re ready to add the “cross.” Use your forearms and wrists to cross each other in a figure-of-eight pattern, so the rope crosses your body just before it travels under your feet.
  6. Put all this together, and you’ll have the perfect double under cross. 

Perfecting Your New Crossover Techniques

These techniques don’t just look cool; exercising with a jump rope has many health benefits, and according to the American Heart Association, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate cardio a week. So, to take your cardio workout to the next level, check out these extra tips.

If you’re a beginner, you must size your rope correctly. To do so, step in the middle of your rope and pull the handles up; without the handles, the rope should sit between your sternum and your shoulders. It’s essential to get the right size to perfect your technique first. 

If you’re looking for an extra challenge, check out more advanced jump rope techniques; changing the rope's weight is best. Weighted ropes add integrated weight into the handles or cables, from 0.5-3lbs or more. An extra 1lb can add sufficient challenge to your arms, shoulders, and core.

Looking for a Reliable Jump Rope? Shop Elite Jumps!

Before mastering all the exciting jump rope techniques, you must choose a suitable rope. If you’re already pretty far along your jump rope journey, you might fancy freestyling, so be sure to check out our freestyle jump ropes.

Maybe one rope isn’t enough? Discover the WOD training bundleto continue switching it up and level up your skills.

About the Author

Devin Meek is the Director of Education for Elite Jumps. He's been a jump rope entertainer for over eighteen years and is a three-time world champion competitive jumper. Devin travels the country sharing his passion for the sport, giving jump rope workshops to schools, CrossFit gyms, and corporate wellness programs.


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