health and fitness

Cardio Without Machines (Special Edition)

By: Rodney Harris, CPT, Certified Weight Management Specialist

Featuring: Bernadette Henry, Jump Rope Instructor & Fitness Enthusiast

Jumping Rope is one of those cardio exercises that is overlooked when it comes to weight loss and burning calories. Most people will tell you if you want to lose weight to run, jog, go on a treadmill or elliptical machine, or even join an aerobics class but rarely do you hear someone say “Jump Rope”. So I decided to google, “The best cardio exercises for weight loss” and when I went on a couple of sites that came up in the search, one didn’t even list jump roping as one of the best exercises and the other one didn’t even have it as a top 10 exercise (they had it at #12) though they did have a lot of other great exercises which makes them great articles. For now let’s stick to jump roping and let’s talk about how effective it is. I brought along my friend and expert jump roping instructor Bernadette Robinson. She owns her own company called MakeItFunNyc (I’ll leave link for her website below this article) and she has been jumping rope and teaching others about the art of it for several years now and making working out fun. She also has lost over 50 pounds by making jump roping one of her top exercises! Wow! She will be shedding some light about why jumping rope can be very effective for anyone looking to lose weight and burn a ton of calories!


Bernadette at Yankee Stadium

Photo By: Cap The Photographer



Jumping rope has many benefits when done properly. One such benefit is that it strengthens your upper and lower body and burns a lot calories in a short amount of time. Did you know that 10 minutes of jump rope is equivalent to a 30 minute jog on the treadmill at 6.5 mph. Amazing right!  Jump rope also incorporates the 8 principles of physical fitness which includes: cardio, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, agility, balance and accuracy.


Bernadette’s 50lb Weight Loss Transformation Jumping Rope!

Jumping rope is also great because you can do it almost anywhere at any time because they are portable. Performing jump rope allows you to use your entire body as oppose to simply using a treadmill or elliptical which means your are doing more work. Performing jump rope exercises can improve your conditioning tremendously. Thirty seconds of jumping and you might find yourself heavily panting. If you can hold your own for 1 minute, you can do almost any exercise. Jump rope is also considered the best conditioning training tools for many athletes. You mainly see jump rope associated with boxers however athletes across the world in many different sports use jump rope including basketball players, tennis players, football players, etc.

In addition to physical benefits to jump rope, there are mental benefits. With jump rope, you really have to think about what you’re doing since your arms and legs are doing different things at the same time. It’s funny when I’m working with someone and they are jumping the normal way then I’ll ask them to open and close their legs while jumping  and they begin to trip up. This is why you have to engage the mind which is why I incorporate so many different methods while teaching.



Bernadette showing her Jump rope skills at a event.

Photo By: Beth Brown

Last but not least, it’s fun! You can do almost anything with a jump rope. You can do single rope, double dutch, cartwheels, burpees and even dance with the rope. Anything to take your mind off of the hard work but no matter what don’t stop. Below is a sample workout that I include with my jump rope!

Sample Workout::

100 jump with the rope

20 squats

10 push ups

60 second plank

Do this about 3-5 times and you have an awesome 10 minute workout.

Want to know more about Bernadette and her organization?

Check Out Ropes on her Website:!product-page/tku5v/0f1f2e34-1681-fe24-11a8-cc1b1a75946d

Instagram: @Makeitfunnyc

Facebook: Bernadette Robinson


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