Shauna Harrison, Ph.D., was teaching movement as a side gig while she attended Stanford, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins. Twenty years, three graduate degrees, and multiple brand partnerships later, she is now a full-time movement advocate. Check out her new mindbodygreen class, The 20-Minute Workout Challenge: Tone Your Whole Body With Yoga, HIIT & More.
Aside from running, jumping rope is the ultimate portable cardio. As an added bonus, it's great conditioning for the lower body.
And as it turns out, you have to use your upper body to turn the rope and your core to stay light on the toes and stay balanced in some of the variations.
I love jumping rope as a stand-alone workout, but it's also great mixed in with strength training (resistance and/or bodyweight). It takes quite a bit to build up to more than a few minutes on the rope, but that's just because it works so many muscles at once. It's not easy!
So grab a rope and give it a try while watching the video below.