Jump Rope vs. Running: Which Cardio Workout Reigns Supreme?

Written by Nithin

Are you a cardio enthusiast who is finding it difficult to choose between jumping rope and running? As you know, both are aerobic exercises that improve your endurance by maintaining pace for a long time. Moreover, both of them are cardio exercises that are efficient, and economical, and you can do them anywhere. Moreover, jumping rope and running offer several health benefits that are less known to many. Before making a comparison between the two, let’s quickly go through the advantages offered by each of them.

Jumping Rope

According to John A. Baker at Arizona State University, jumping rope for just 10 minutes is as efficient as 30 minutes of running.

Jumping rope


If you aim at more caloric expenditure, then choose running rope over running. A minute of jumping rope can burn 10 to 16 calories. To keep it simple, ten minutes of this exercise will help you achieve what an eight-minute mile walk offers.

If you are looking for athletic conditioning, improving balance and coordination, and building stamina, jumping rope would be the best option.

Since it involves only light and repetitive movements, jumping rope puts less strain on your knees, improves the shape of your calves, and enhances your ankle stability. Thus, it is a great exercise that strengthens your lower body muscles.


Unlike non-runners, runners had a 45% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality, according to the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. Another finding that deserves special mention is that a significant reduction in death rates was observed among runners who ran only for a short duration i.e. less than 51 minutes per week. 


Better cardiovascular endurance

A major benefit of running is that it conditions your cardiovascular system and strengthens the wall of your heart. As per studies, those who run regularly have stronger hearts and low pulse rates thus cutting down the risk of being affected by hypertension or other cardiovascular issues by 35 to 55 percent.

Cleanse your lungs

Running removes excess carbon dioxide from your lungs and decongests mucus and even phlegm. The other benefits include improving the endurance capacity of your respiratory muscles facilitating more fuller and efficient breaths. Thus, it brings down the risk of lung-related ailments.

Lowers mental burden

As a result of running, chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin will be released in your brain. Thus you benefit from reduced stress levels and anxiety.

Jump rope vs running

Now, let’s compare jumping rope and running in terms of factors such as calories burned and muscles targeted.

1. Burning of calories

When it comes to calorie burning, jumping rope is slightly more beneficial than running. Let’s take the case of a person who weighs 68 Kgs. If he/she does jumping rope at moderate intensity, that person can burn 140 calories in 10 minutes. However, if the same person runs at moderate intensity, the amount of calories burnt will be just 125 in 10 minutes. Thus, jumping rope scores a tad higher than running in terms of calories burned. Even during sleep, your body continues to burn calories to support essential functions like breathing, circulation, and repairing tissues, albeit at a lower rate than when you’re awake.

2. Muscles involved

Both jump rope and running exert pressure on your lower body. They both have some impact on the joints as well. These exercises work in such a way that they target core muscles and help provide stabilization. Furthermore, in the case of running, it demands your buttocks to move forward, shoulders, and continuous bending of the biceps to balance the leg movement. On the other hand, when you are doing jumping rope, your buttock muscles will be in action which aids in keeping your pelvis stable. The other body parts involved in this exercise include the biceps, triceps, shoulder, and forearm flexor grip.


Be it jump rope or running, both are low-cost exercises that offer a good cardio session. It also helps you burn lots of calories. As both are full-body workouts, many people opt for these exercises while trying to lose body weight or boost their fitness levels.  Now back to the original question. Is jump rope better than running for cardio? We would recommend you try both. However, if you are time-strapped, then it is better to go for jump roping as it doesn’t take much time unlike running.

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