|Jump ropes can be very inexpensive or more complex.|
What's not to like about an activity that is cheap,time efficient, and space efficient? Jumpropes can be purchased for anywhere from a few dollars to more expensive ball bearing models. You can buy a piece of clothesline at the local hardware store and cut to length. Proper length would be stretching from armpit, under the feet, and to opposite armpit.
It takes little space to do a workout and can be done either indoors or out.
A few minutes of jumprope can a great cardio vascular workout. It raises the heart rate quickly and sustains it throughout the session. It can be done in short intense intervals with breaks in between or for several minutes of continous sustained jumping. Try jumping for even 5 straight minutes, it's a challenge, although I have had athletes who worked up to 10 minute sessions. Very tough.
The big advantage to strength athletes is that it is low impact when using good form (proper body alignment, legs slightly bent but minimal knee bend, bounce through the ankles)and is actually a low level plyometric type exercise that doesn't put the CNS to sleep and activates the fast twitch fibers.
It can be quite interesting and challenging as athletes progessively master more complex skills. It's not boring like long slow running or Gerbilizing on a treadmill.
Below is a short, impressive demonstration of what is possible, as well as some simpler lead up foot patterns. Get yourself a rope and have some fun...