Jump Rope Or Running: Is One Better Than the Other?
Jumping rope and running are economical and efficient ways to work on your fitness, whether you’re working on endurance or intensity. As such, you may wonder which is better for you, or whether you should focus on one over the other. Let’s take a look!
Do they burn the same amount of calories?
Both jumping rope and running burn a significant amount of calories. When comparing the number of calories burned during a 10-minute session of each, jumping rope offers a slight advantage when exercising at a medium or high intensity.
Do they work the body the same way?
Both running and jumping rope involves the use of your lower extremity muscles for propulsion, while your core muscles provide trunk stabilization.
Also, single-foot rope jumping and the stance phase of running require somewhat similar trunk and hip stabilization.
However, running requires increased use of your buttocks (hip extensors) through a greater range of motion for propulsion. Yet, alternating single-foot rope jumping requires increased use of your hip abductors to keep your pelvis stable, just like during the stance phase of running.
Jumping rope also involves resistance to control the rope, involving your shoulder, biceps, triceps, and forearm flexor grip.
Meanwhile, running involves minimal resistance but the repetitive contraction of your shoulders (deltoids) and sustained flexion of the biceps to counterbalance your leg movement.
Running and jumping rope work your lower body, require trunk and hip stabilization, and can train you aerobically and anaerobically.
Both running and jumping rope have been shown to provide health benefits, including reduced body fat and heart disease risk factors.
One recent 12-week study observed that a jump rope program reduced body fat and improved risk factors associated with heart disease.
Other studies have found similar results regarding body fat reduction. The challenge is that both the quantity and size of studies on rope jumping tend to be smaller than those on running.
Running has been shown to be an excellent method of burning body fat. In fact, similar calorie expenditures were observed for various forms of running, including continuous endurance running and high-intensity interval training.
Who shouldn’t run or who shouldn’t jump rope?
Both running and jumping rope are higher impacts than other activities, making them risky for those recovering from or susceptible to injury.
Both activities involve increased ground reaction forces compared with activities like swimming, cycling, and walking. Thus, both activities may be difficult for people with lower leg injuries at the hips, knees, or ankles.
However, there are alternatives to running on land. There are gravity-reducing, or unweighting, treadmills, which assist a portion of your weight to decrease the mechanical stresses on your body.
Also, aqua jogging allows you to perform the mechanics of running in shallow or deep water.
Which one should I choose?
Both running and jumping rope are beneficial and comparable forms of exercise. Choosing one over the other depends on your goals and preferences.
Both forms of exercise have been shown to improve cardiovascular endurance. However, if you’re pressed for time, jumping rope may benefit you more than running. That said, jumping rope can be an alternative exercise to perform on days in between running to change the pattern of muscle activation while still working your cardiovascular system.