Don't have the time to hit the gym to do your intense cardio? No problem! Buy a jump-rope and you can do it at home on the days when you cant get to the gym. I live in the desert and during summer time I can not run outside at all, and some days it's hard to fit in cardio while I'm at the gym. But I can always do jump-roping at home at any time. The trick is also to maximize your time, just like when you are doing high intensity interval training. Jump rope training needs to be done with supportive shoes and it needs to be performed on proper surface; grass, basketball court, tartan track surface, rubber track surface. Never do jump ropes on concrete or a surface that is too hard, this will hurt your joints and lead to injury.
1. You always need to warm-up before jump-roping, warm up by jumping on the spot for about 5 minutes and after that do stretches like toe-touching, side bends, knee raises and shoulder shrugs.
2. Start off slow for 2 minutes, and increase your intensity to 80% of max heart rate and stay at this level for 1 minute. Reduce your intensity for 30 seconds to catch your breath, then jump fast again for 1 minute. Continue for 16 minutes and then finish with a 2 minute cool-down.
3. There are different ways of doing jump-ropes, you can for example do a sprint version:
Jump as hard as you can for 30 seconds (with both feet or in a running motion) and rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
I see that sites sometimes recommend that you put ankle weights, wrist weights or a weighted vest on to increase resistance and to increase the intensity, but you never want to do that. Having extra weights on when doing jump-roping will increase the calories burned, but not enough to make it worthwhile. The added intensity and stress will lead to elbow and shoulder injuries/knee and ankle injuries if you have ankle weights, the extra weight of a vest will cause extreme stress on knee joints. The excessive and uncontrolled movements cause will damage the joints/ligaments and will cause muscle injury. Never mix weights with cardio.