The Pros:

It's inexpensive.  All you really need is a decent jump rope ($10-30) and exercise wear including a good pair of cross-training shoes.

You don't need a fancy or special facility.  Any area with a 9 foot or higher ceiling, some free space around you and a smooth floor surface with just a little give to it - like a wood or synthetic gym floor will work just fine.

It can develop nearly every area of fitness including: aerobic conditioning, muscular endurance, agility, quickness, timing, and rhythm to name a few.

There's tremendous variety  in jump rope, especially in regards to the number of skills.  You only need to witness a jump rope competition to realize that there are literally thousands of jump rope skills.  I even made my living in part by demonstrating skills and routines at various shows.

It goes well with music.  In fact, for me I almost must have music to jump rope.  It's what motivates me to put different skills, together, vary the tempo of jump rope, and simply make it more fun. To learn about how to "wear" music for rope jumping, go to the More Jump Rope Gear page.

If you master a few skills in jump rope, people will think that you are one of the kings of fitness.  I know, this is an appeal to vanity - but what the heck.     

Pros & Cons of Traditional Rope Jumping

The Cons:

It's a skilled activity.  In other words, like swimming, you must learn the particular timing, rhythm, and coordination of rope jumping to become proficient at it.  Some people don't learn  to jump rope properly  due to insufficient practice, poor instruction, or both.  They  then mistakenly conclude that they are "too uncoordinated" to jump rope.   

There's a certain level of fitness required to do traditional rope jumping (about the same as running 9 minute miles or bicycling 13 miles/hour).  Jumping slower doesn't decrease the energy required, because you have to jump higher to keep the jumping rhythm.   As an aside, novice jumpers are less efficient at rope jumping and "waste" more energy than experienced jumpers. Hence, they now not only feel that they are uncoordinated, but that rope jumping must be for highly trained athletes (not true).

Beth Gottsacker did not start rope jumping until she was a middle aged adult and yet is doing a great “front cross” as featured in a magazine article! (She could also do a great number of other, more difficult skills.)

Next: Addressing the few cons!

However, there are easy solutions to each of the disadvantages to rope jumping  which the Ropics program addresses.