Improve overall conditioning with these basic jump rope techniques

This is an excerpt from Jump Rope Training-2nd Edition by Buddy N. Lee.

The two basic jump rope techniques

The bounce step and the alternate-foot step are two basic jump rope techniques that help you develop the proficiency you need in order to improve your fitness and sports performance. These techniques also improve your overall conditioning and create the muscle memory that is required for you to master the complex movements of other jump rope techniques.


These two basic techniques reinforce proper jump rope training form: maintaining an upright posture with your head squarely above your shoulders and your eyes facing ahead (which helps you maintain balance); beginning your jump when the rope reaches the top of your head; and becoming aware of the stretch–shortening cycle that is a critical part of each jump.


The bounce and alternate-foot step also serve as the best techniques for establishing your training baselines and testing your conditioning and proficiency.


The bounce step

The bounce step is simple and effective. To perform it, you repeatedly jump off of both feet while maintaining a jump height that just clears the rope. You should time the swing of the rope while jumping with both feet.


  • Improves quickness, balance, and the lightness of foot necessary for agile and omnidirectional movements.


1. Jump with your feet together.

2. Jump just high enough to clear the rope (no more than 3/4 inch [1.9 cm] from the jumping surface) by pushing from the balls of your feet while slightly bending your knees and flexing your ankles.

3. Land lightly on the balls of your feet.

4. Stay on the balls of your feet and repeat steps 2 and 3.

Technique Tips

  • Bounce only once per swing of the rope—don’t double-bounce.
  • Begin with one jump at a time to establish timing and rhythm, then increase to 5 jumps per set.
  • Master the bounce step before attempting the alternate-foot step.

Alternate-Foot Step

This movement is similar to the bounce step. Instead of jumping with two feet, however, alternate jumping with one foot at a time, as if you were running in place.


  • Helps you develop a quick first step, the ability to efficiently change direction, and improves your start speed.


1. Jump by lifting your knees forward without kicking your feet backward (kicking your feet behind you while executing this technique can cause your feet to catch the rope). You may raise your nonjumping foot a little higher than an inch (2.5 cm) from the jumping surface.

2. Swing the rope around and jump over it with one foot; on the second turn of the rope, jump over it with your other foot.

3. Continue alternating your feet (lifting your knees as if you were jogging in place) at a slow pace until you establish a comfortable jumping rhythm.

4. Count only the jumps with your right foot, then multiply by two to calculate your total number of jumps per set.

Technique Tips

  • After jumping with one foot, be sure to wait for the rope to pass over your head before you initiate the next jump.
  • Bounce quickly and gently on the balls of your feet. Do not double-bounce. Do not kick your feet backward.

Read more about Jump Rope Training, Second Edition.

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