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Prenatal cardio: Jumping rope and why you should do this frequently

By Published On: May 3rd, 2012

Jumping rope is a quick calorie-burning cardio. It can burn about 170 calories in just 15 minutes. Plus, jumping rope is considered one of the top exercises for women to tone up their thighs and calves. With high calorie burn and intense cardio, combined with great toning results, jumping rope is an excellent cardio choice for women looking for prenatal cardio workouts.

Jumping rope is lower impact than jogging, but it still builds up endurance, agility, and coordination. Plus it’s an excellent cardio. And since you only need a two-foot clearance above your head, you can jump rope inside, making it a good exercise in cold or inclement weather. Even better, jump ropes are cheap. A quality jump rope can be picked up at Wal-Mart for under $10.

To find the right height of your jump rope, stand on your jump rope, shoulder width apart and measure the handles up to your armpits. This will provide you with enough length that you aren’t falling on your face, trying to get it underneath your legs. And you won’t be tripping over excess length if it’s too long.

When jumping rope, remember to stand up straight. Keep your shoulder blades pulled back and down. Look straight ahead and tighten your abs. Hold you’re the jump rope handles palms up, with your elbows held at your side. Your hands should be at 9:00 and 3:00.

Jumping rope is pretty traditional: you probably picked it up in grade school. Basic jumping, either alternating feet or jumping with both together. Both work your cardio, but if you want to mix it up and get an even better cardio, consider mixing it up.

  • alternate feet (running in place)
  • double unders (turn the rope twice in one jump)
  • run while jumping
  • high knees
  • butt kicks
  • side straddle (alternate wide and small stances)
  • side to side
You can find variations on jump ropes here at  

Then, of course, there are some of us who are happy just to be able to get the jump rope twirled a couple times before we trip over it. If you can’t quite get the hang of jumping rope, try miming it. Admittedly, the workout isn’t exactly the same, but you still get good cardio in jumping up and down. Although the neighbors might wonder what you are doing.

Don’t give up, though! Keep practicing and eventually you will get the pattern. And remember, as long as you are attempting it, your efforts are still burning calories and giving your heart a good cardio workout!

And don’t forget to breathe properly! Breathe through your nose and mouth, inhaling deeply. Get in a proper breathing pattern. For instance, breathe in every three jumps, breathe out every three jumps–whatever pattern works well for you. By breathing properly, you can extend your jump rope cardio time longer.

While jump roping is a great form of prenatal cardio, you should take great caution if you are planning to jump rope into your pregnancy. Some women jump rope all the way into their third trimesters. While some women have to stop as soon as they are pregnant. Obviously, jumping rope involves jarring movements, which could potentially cause vaginal bleeding and premature contractions. The strain on your joints and ligaments could also be heightened, due to the extra weight you are not used to carrying.

However, women who are healthy and fit before their pregnancy are far less likely to have any concerns as they progress through their pregnancies, with many dedicated fitness moms-to-be only stopping within the last few weeks of their third trimester. The most important thing to do is to listen to your body. If you notice any changes, stop immediately. Otherwise, keeping jumping and enjoying the fitness benefits!

[Disclaimer: Read this introduction before you begin any exercise program.]

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