Running vs Jumping Rope: Which one is better for weight loss? Expert weighs in

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Differences between running and jumping rope
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Both Running as well as Jumping Rope are simple yet excellent forms of exercises that could be done by almost anyone. Both running and jumping rope burn a significant number of calories in a short amount of time. This can help reduce your body fat percentage and improve body composition if those are your goals. Jumping rope is a low-cost exercise that requires little equipment and minimal space, whereas running is a low-cost exercise too, but it requires increased space to perform unless you’re running on a treadmill. The question is, which one is better? or whether you should focus on one over the other or maybe both? So, here is a sneak peek by Manik Dhodi, Fitness Coach and Athlete on which one is better.

Calories burned

Both jumping rope and running burn a significant number of calories, which when compared, are very close to each other. Running has been the most popular method of calorie-burning as well as burning body fat. Whereas, jumping rope has a slight edge over running.

Endurance and sprint performance

Both exercises have proved to improve cardiovascular endurance. There’s a correlation between jump rope speed and sprint running. Thus, the ability to perform double-under may correlate to improved sprinting abilities given the anaerobic nature of the exercise.

In fact, double-under rope jumping has been a stable component of high intensity interval training and CrossFit programs since their inception. Therefore, running and jumping rope improve muscular endurance and sprint performance.

Muscles used

Running and jumping rope involve the use of your lower extremity muscles for propulsion, while your core muscles provide trunk stabilization.

Running requires increased use of your hip extensors through a greater range of motion for propulsion. Yet, alternating single-foot rope jumping requires increased use of the same to keep your pelvis stable.

Jumping rope also involves resistance to control the rope, involving your shoulder, biceps, triceps, and forearm flexor grip. At the same time, running involves minimal resistance but the repetitive contraction of your deltoids and sustained flexion of the biceps to counterbalance your leg movement.

The impact force on your lower extremities is relatively similar between running and jumping rope. But it would differ between single-skip rope jumping and double-skip rope jumping. Double-unders normally have a higher impact force than single-unders.

Aerobic or Anaerobic

Both these exercises can be performed as aerobic exercise to enhance endurance by maintaining a steady pace over a longer duration.

However, sprints or high intensity intervals can also be performed with both jumping rope and running. They are considered anaerobic.

How to choose?

Picking the exercise that you find more interesting and that you’ll follow regularly is the most important factor. You can always alternate both activities as an excellent option to provide variety to your exercise routine.

If your goal is to be a better runner or compete in races, running is the best option for you. Jumping rope could still be an alternative exercise to perform on days in between running to change the pattern of muscle activation.

However, jumping ropes could be your best option if you have less time to spend on fitness.

Both these activities involve increased ground reaction forces compared to activities like walking, cycling, or swimming. Therefore, both activities may be difficult for people with back/ lower back, knees, ankles, or hip injuries. Therefore, it is recommended that such people seek doctor’s guidance before getting into these activities.

Also Read: Tips to know you are burning out and how to avoid it

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