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Skipping rope facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Two girls playing skipping rope
Two girls playing with a skipping rope.
Fairfax County School sports - 22
Boy jumping a long rope in Virginia.
Jumprope navy
Several simultaneous skippers, jumping a single rope

A skipping rope (British English) or jump rope (American English) is a tool used in the sport of jump rope where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. There are multiple subsets of jump rope including: single freestyle, single speed, pairs, three person speed (double dutch), and three person freestyle (double dutch freestyle). The events are often separated by gender and age. There are hundreds of competitive teams all around the world.

There are a few major organisations that support jump rope as a sport as seen below, schools rarely have jump rope teams, and states do not sanction official events for high school or elementary school. In freestyle events, jumpers use a variety of basic and advanced techniques in a routine of one minute, which is judged by a head judge, content judges, and performance judges. In speed events, a jumper alternates their feet with the rope going around the jumper every time one of their feet hit the ground for 30 seconds, one minute, or three minutes. The jumper is judged on the number of times the right foot touches the ground in those times.

Children's games with skipping ropes can often include skipping rope rhymes.

Skipping rope techniques

There are many techniques which can be used when skipping. These can be used individually, or combined in a series, to create a routine.

Solo participants

Basic jump or easy jump

US Navy 101004-N-6427M-149 Airman David Hall, from Buffalo, N.Y., jumps rope during a training session in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrie
Basic jump technique

Jump with both feet slightly apart over the rope. Beginners usually master this technique first before moving onto more advanced techniques.

Alternate foot jump (speed step)

US Navy 101101-N-2821G-032 Rear Adm. Mark D. Guadagnini, commander of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, leads a
Alternate foot jump technique

Use alternate feet to jump off the ground. This technique can be used to effectively double the number of jumps per minute as compared to the above technique. This step can be used for speed events.


Jumping Rope Criss-cross
Criss-cross technique

Also known as Crossover or cross arms. Perform the basic jump whilst crossing arms in front of the body.

Side Swing

The rope is passed by the side of the participant's body, without jumping it.

EB (front-back cross)

Perform the criss-cross whilst crossing one arm behind the back.

Double under

A high basic jump, turning the rope twice under the feet. Turning the rope three times is called a triple under. In competitions, participants may attempt quadruple (quads) and quintuple unders (quins) using the same method.

Skipping rope crossfit athlete
crossfit athlete jumping rope.


Perform the criss-cross with one arm crossing under the opposite leg from the inside.

Leg over / Crougar

Peter Nestler - Jump-roping around the world
Leg over technique

A basic jump with one arm hooked under the adjacent leg.

Awesome Annie

Also known as Awesome Anna or swish. Alternates between a leg over and a toad without a jump in between.

Inverse toad

Perform the toad whilst one arm crosses the adjacent leg from the outside.


A cross between the inverse toad and the toad, with both arms crossing under one leg.

Frog or Donkey kick

The participant does a handstand, returns to their feet and turns the rope under them. A more advanced version turns the rope during the return to the ground.

The James Hirst

The participant performs a backflip into a split and then back to a skip in the upright position.

Competition techniques

Doubletime poster
Advanced competition technique
US Navy 030303-N-9109V-006 Steel Beach picnic aboard USS Saipan
Double Dutch - Competition during a steel beach picnic on the ship USS Saipan (LHA-2)

In competitions, participants are required to demonstrate competence using specific techniques. The selection required depend on the judging system and country in which the tournament is held.

Health effects

Skipping as exercise

Skipping may be used as a cardiovascular workout, similar to jogging or bicycle riding. This aerobic exercise can achieve a "burn rate" of up to 700 to over 1000 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 to nearly 1.1 calories consumed per jump mainly depending upon the speed and intensity of jumps and leg foldings. Ten minutes of skipping is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Skipping for 15–20 minutes is enough to burn off the calories from a candy bar and is equivalent to 45-60 minutes of running depending upon the intensity of humps and leg swings. Many professional trainers, fitness experts and professional fighters greatly recommend skipping for burning fat over any other alternative exercises like running and jogging.

Weighted skipping ropes are available for such athletes to increase the difficulty and effectiveness of such exercise. Individuals or groups can participate in the exercise, and learning proper techniques is relatively simple compared to many other athletic activities. The exercise is also appropriate for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.

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