Erwin Jeremy A. Ng was 50 pounds overweight when he started to jump rope in January 2016.
He soon realized how effective and efficient it was as a cardio workout. “It’s one of the exercises that really helped me get back in shape. Just 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging in terms of calories burned.”
There are many other advantages of choosing jump rope as exercise, said Ng, who is passionate about fitness and who loves challenging himself with fun runs, marathons and spartan races. “It’s affordable and convenient, you can do it anywhere, even inside your house. You just need a small space and you’re good. It improves balance, coordination, agility, stamina and endurance. Plus, it’s really fun and addictive.”
A lot of people get hooked because they want to keep learning tricks, said Ng. “There are more than 100 tricks you can learn with jump rope—footwork, handwork and more.”
Ng loves jump rope so much that in November 2019, he started Jump Manila (@jumpmanila on Instagram), a brand dedicated to equipping people with jump ropes and other fitness tools.
Jump Manila has four kinds of jump ropes in different colors. OG and 1.5 both have plastic handles but with different designs, plus 5-millimeter-thick PVC rope.
Ng designed the 2.0 himself. “The handles are handmade by local craftsmen. They’re made of rattan, the same wood used for arnis sticks, so they’re very durable. The rope is also 5-mm-thick PVC rope.”
The 3.0 is heavier—half a pound, compared to the others which are a fourth of a pound—for people who want a more intense workout.
All you need to start jump rope is a jump rope, of course, and shoes with good cushioning. Ng said, “I personally use running shoes because it has great cushion.” He recommends using a PVC or beaded rope.
Jump Manila also offers a heavy-duty fitness mat. “It’s optional, but it does help make your jump ropes last longer, and if the mat also has great cushioning, it will help support your feet and joints.”
Ng now runs Jump Manila full time while also serving as vice president of Philippine Jump Rope Association. “Our goal is to encourage more people to try out jump rope and build future athletes who can compete abroad, because jump rope isn’t just an exercise; it’s also a sport.”
The jump rope community continues to grow every day, said Ng.
Beginners can start doing jump rope three to four times a week for 10 to 30 minutes before progressing to five times a week. “Make sure you have two days of rest, because it’s important to help your body recover and to avoid injuries,” he added.
Rob Layco’s passion for jump rope started in 2014. Rob, who is a nurse, first got into it when he began his amateur boxing career. “What was once used only for cross-training gave me joy. I found joy in jump rope.”
He said, “Jump rope is versatile. It is fun and portable, you can bring it anywhere you want. No gym, no problem. And you can enjoy it with your family and friends.”
It goes well with other sports and forms of training, too, like boxing, Crossfit and power training.
Inspired by Ng and the jump rope community that grew even faster because of the pandemic, Layco launched The Flight Ph in May 2020. The Flight Ph (@theflightph on Instagram) offers high-quality beaded ropes.
Beaded ropes are great for beginners, said Layco, because they “give the jumper great feedback, making the user feel the timing of the rope as it spins, which is an important first step in learning a skill. It helps them understand the movement of the rope.”
He added that beaded ropes are “kink-free, very durable and cute!”
Layco recommends starting with short handles. Once they’ve mastered the basics, more experienced jump ropers can then give long handles a try. “See how you feel afterward. It really depends on your preference.”
Apart from a good jump rope, beginners also need water and a lot of patience, said Layco. It’s worth the effort.
“Jump rope is an effective and efficient workout—it improves your cardiovascular function, increases your stamina and also improves your breathing. It allows you to maximize results, minimize training time and minimize injury.”
He added, “According to Science Daily, jump rope can achieve a burn rate of up to 1,300 calories per hour of vigorous activity. Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.”
Want to learn tricks? Layco said you may want to consider getting a jump rope coach. “There’s also a wide range of tutorials readily available on the internet, especially on Instagram, where we have jump rope coaches and jump rope enthusiasts sharing with everyone.”
Like Ng, Layco recommends making sure jump rope enthusiasts have rest days. “You are not a robot, your body needs time to rest and recover.”
One of the best things about jump rope is the community, said Layco. “It’s one of a kind. It’s a loving, sharing, supportive community around the world.”
Jump rope tips for beginners
Master the basic and proper form; it will make unlocking new tricks easier if your form is right.
If you can practice in front of a mirror, it will be easier.
Don’t rush to learn new tricks. Like any new skill that you want to learn, it takes time. You just need to keep practicing.
Have fun. —Erwin Jeremy A. Ng
Be patient with practice. The journey will lead you to endless hours of practice, painful whips and frustrations.
Most importantly, learn the fundamentals. —Rob Layco