How To Breathe While Jumping Rope

Jun 17, 2024Kaylee Woodard

You obviously know how to breathe! Your body does it unconsciously all the time without having to even think about it, but today we’re going to focus on techniques to breathe optimally during your jump rope routine.


Why It Is Important to Breathe Correctly

First things first: Before talking about techniques, it’s important to consider some of the most relevant health benefits of breathing correctly:

  • more stability in the core muscles 
  • promotes relaxation
  • greater sense of mental clarity
  • slows the breathing rate
  • lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • can improve blood oxygen levels
  • helps you sleep better
  • improves your body’s immune response
  • helps you digest food more efficiently

How to Breathe Optimally

Breathing correctly, not just deeply, reduces stress and anxiety. That’s why we want you to learn the proper technique. According to the American Lung Association, “It all starts in the nose and then moves to the stomach as your diaphragm contracts, the belly expands and your lungs fill with air". This is what we call diaphragmatic breathing, which engages the diaphragm, abdominal, intercostal, and pelvic floor muscles.

Re-learning how to belly breathe requires some practice. Ideally, you should take between 5 and 7 breaths per minute. Start practicing 5 minutes at a time, around 3 or 4 times a day. Then work up to 20 minutes and increase the number of repetitions.

Pro tip: When practicing diaphragmatic breathing, it’s important to keep your shoulders, head, and neck relaxed. To check yourself, sit up straight or lie down and place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. If you’re breathing properly, the hand on your belly should rise and fall and you inhale and exhale. The hand on your chest should remain relatively still. 

How to Breathe Better While Jumping Rope

When it comes to improving your breathing technique while jumping rope, your body posture is essential. If you want to upgrade your workouts – and breathe better, of course – you should keep your back fairly upright, your shoulders back, your chest open, and your upper arms and elbows relaxed by your sides. Doing so opens up your lungs, making it easier to breathe while jumping. 

After picking up the rope and jumping for a couple of minutes, many novice jumpers start breathing heavily. If your breathing rate is too fast, your breaths can become shallow and gas exchange can be compromised so that less oxygen is actually delivered to the body. This can easily lead to fatigue and even dizziness.

So what’s the correct way to breathe while jumping rope? If you want to maximize the efficiency of breathing, try to take slightly slower and deeper breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Thanks to this, you’ll be able to increase alveolar ventilation and air exchange rate, both important for endurance exercises.

Breathing through your nose before and during training helps to decrease anxiety and stay focused. It also prevents you from gulping air so you pace yourself. On the other hand, it’s a great strategy to develop an inhalation/exhalation pattern or cadence while jumping rope. Some experts recommend synchronizing your breathing with your jumps. For example, breathe in for 4 jumps and breathe out for 4 jumps. 

Another great way to incorporate a better breathing technique is to practice the 6-2-8 method between sets and during your cooldown routine. How does it work? It’s easy: inhale for 6 seconds, hold for 2, and exhale for 8. These time frames might seem difficult right after an exercise set, and that’s okay! You may need to try starting with shorter times such as 4-1-4, and work your way to 6-2-8. The point is to deliberately slow and deepen your breathing. This will help you fully oxygenate your body and bring your heart rate back down.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, breathing correctly requires some practice. It isn’t something you master in one day. Take the time to train your breathing, and reap the benefits of greater relaxation, wellness, and exercise performance!

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.


‘What Is Proprioception, and Why Is It so Important?’, by Healthline, available at:


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