Does Jump Rope Build Muscle?

Apr 02, 2024Kaylee Woodard

There are a number of benefits to incorporating jumping rope into your usual workout routine, whether you're brand new to the exercise or already a consistent jumper. These benefits extend far beyond just building and maintaining muscle. 

Jumping rope is a great inclusion for improving your cardiovascular health - and it gives your cardio workouts a fun and challenging boost. Even better, jumping rope also helps to improve your balance, stabilize your joints, improve both your mental and physical health, and help you burn calories.

Can I Build Muscle With Jump Rope?

Yes! Jumping rope is an all-in-one workout. It's great for your balance, coordination, heart health, and even strength training. 

While using a jump rope may not be the first thing you think of when you consider building muscle, it can be a fantastic aid to complement your overall fitness journey. Even if you haven't thought much about jumping rope since school, picking it back up - either in tandem with weightlifting or starting out with it alone - can have some amazing benefits for you and your body.

Using a jump rope primarily targets the calf muscles in your legs, as these are the muscles that are engaged throughout the jump. The calf is comprised of two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, which lead down towards the Achilles tendons and feet. As these muscles are vitally important when doing movements such as walking, running, and in this case, jumping, they are naturally called upon during each jump. More specifically, they're utilized during the brace, the push-off, and finally, the landing.

While jumping rope is a great way to build the calf muscles, it can also help you to work other muscles, such as your hamstrings and quadriceps. It’s not strictly a leg workout, either: jumping rope - especially using a weighted rope - is excellent for building upper body strength. Use it to target the biceps, triceps, deltoids, and forearms. It's a win-win.

How Does Jump Rope Build Muscle?

Incorporating jump rope into your workout routine can help aid both muscle growth and muscle endurance. A heavy, high-intensity jump rope session works a range of muscles across the body, leading to greater muscle growth and increased strength. To target muscular endurance, go for longer durations of jumping. By mastering various jump rope skills, you can diversify and increase the load placed on your muscles with criss crosses or double unders. 

Jump rope sessions stimulate muscles across the legs, including the quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. You can also target core and upper body muscles as you execute various jump rope movements. More advanced movements cause muscles across your body to contract and relax continuously, leading to muscle growth and maintenance.

Using a heavy rope like our Muay Thai 3.0 will help stimulate upper-body muscle growth, especially if you do heavy and high-intensity sessions. This could include sets of 100 or more jumps, or around 50 heavy double unders to increase muscle mass. Lighter ropes can aid muscle maintenance, but heavy, high-intensity sessions with a heavier rope can help build explosive power and strength.

The Best Jump Rope Exercises for Building Muscle

If the phrase “jump rope” makes you think of playing in a schoolyard, you may be in for a surprise at its versatility. There are different routines and regimes you could follow for practically any aspect of exercise, whether it be weightlifting, cardio, or otherwise - and jumping rope is no different. If you're looking to build muscle, then you can try out either of these types of exercise routines:


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, meaning you push yourself to a high level of intensity while doing an exercise (such as running, doing burpees, or in this case, jumping rope) for short bursts of time. In HIIT sessions, you stop for a decently sized rest between “sets,” making your workout work hard for you in a series of small, repetitive intervals until completion. The timing of these intervals is completely flexible, so you can choose what suits you the best. 

For example, you could choose to do 30 seconds of jumping followed by 30 seconds of rest for a total of fifteen minutes. Or, for a more endurance-based workout, you could do longer burst periods like one minute of jumping followed by only 30 seconds of rest for a longer overall session. You can do this routinely, increasing the speed of the rope and the jump duration against the rest duration over a period of time. Try alternating between what feels best until you find something you're most comfortable with. 

HIIT is a great way for anyone to get an intense workout in a short amount of time. One of the biggest reasons why people don't get much exercise is usually down to the claim that they don't have time. However, just twenty to thirty minutes is an effective amount of time to pack your workout session into your day concisely. 

These sessions are great for people with busy lifestyles, people who struggle to engage in exercise on a more “long-term” scale, or those who might have trouble with confidence in a gym environment and prefer to exercise at home. Incorporating jump rope into HIIT sessions can be a great way to burn calories and get an intense and hugely rewarding workout - anywhere.

HIIT has a huge number of benefits, as all exercise does. While moderation is always key - rest days are just as important as the exercise itself - in order to avoid any unnecessary injuries or overworking yourself, keeping up a daily workout routine with your rope will help you see a whole spectrum of benefits. These range from improvement in your strength training, weight loss, mental improvement, and significantly boosting your cardiovascular system. Plus, keeping a structured routine will help with motivation to keep going.


Tabata is a specific version of HIIT training that involves a very intensive “burst” of exercise followed by a shorter rest period. It was created by Izumi Tabata of Ritsumeikan University, who coined the phrase.

Tabata moves quickly, making it harder for you to find yourself feeling bored. It typically features twenty seconds of exercise (in this case, twenty seconds of fast-paced, intensive jumping with your rope), followed by ten seconds of rest, for a total of eight rounds (or more, if you're feeling up to it) - totaling to roughly four minutes of exercise. This is another great way to pack in your workouts around a busy lifestyle. While it doesn't take up much of your day, you'll definitely feel its impact all day.

Choosing the Right Rope for Building Muscle

If you're looking to build muscle jumping rope, it’s worth considering the various styles of ropes available. For example, you're more likely to build muscle using a weighted jump rope. Weighted ropes are heavier than normal, and they naturally challenge the muscles in your forearms, shoulders, and upper back as you use them. Heavy ropes also have other benefits, such as helping with your overall rope control and improving endurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jumping Rope a Muscle Strengthening Activity?

Yes, jumping rope is unique because it simultaneously works your upper body muscles as well as your lower body. Jumping rope ensures you’ll hit the biceps, triceps, , shoulders, core, calf muscles, hamstrings, and more. For even more of a challenge, use a weighted rope.

Looking to Build Muscle Through Jump Rope? Shop Elite Jumps!

Jumping rope is a great place to start when you're looking to build muscle across various muscle groups. If you're more familiar with the gym and have a consistent routine, incorporating jump rope is an effective way to retain the muscle you've already built - as well as maintain your physical health.

Giving yourself a routine to follow, such as HIIT or Tabata, will help you reap positive results. Whatever stage you're at and whatever kind of rope you’re interested in, Elite Jumps has what you're looking for. With a one-year warranty on all of our premium jump ropes, we're here to support you throughout your entire fitness journey.

About the Author

Kaylee Woodard is a jump rope educator and performer with a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and a Ph.D. in Motor Behavior and Sport Psychology. A former competitive jumper, she has won multiple national and international jump rope titles. She now travels the world teaching jump rope with her husband, Nick, through Learnin' the Ropes.


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