Have 5 Minutes & 10 Square Feet? Give This Full-Body Workout A Try
Ray Bass is the associate movement and wellness editor at mindbodygreen and a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. She holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Pennsylvania, with honors in nonfiction.
There are plenty of exercises and workouts that I like, but I’m gonna go ahead and say that I love jumping rope. My mother taught me how when I was in grade school, and it became a source of joy and movement for me—not to mention it was the hottest social activity on the playground, and I happened to pick it up pretty quickly.
Since my younger years, jumping rope has served a different purpose in my life. It’s been there for me when I’ve gotten injured and needed to cross-train, and it gets my happy hormones flowing anytime I’m feeling off. Even a few minutes of jumping rope improves how I feel afterward, and for the rest of the day. Plus I can take my jump rope anywhere—something I can’t say about the rest of my workouts.
Did I mention that you only have to do a few minutes to start reaping benefits? Studies show that 10 minutes of jumping rope is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Yeah, I’m a runner and even I would choose to jump rope.
Next time you want to get in a little movement but don’t want to head to the gym, a class or leave your home at all, grab a jump rope and try this five-minute cardio circuit. It also makes a great warmup for any workout (or a post-workout finisher, if you’re trying to empty your tank).
- 1 minute standard jumping forward
- 1 minute alternating feet jumping (picking up right foot and then left)
- 1 minute jumping with torso rotations (twist your torso, legs, and feet to the right on one jump, and then twist to the left on the next jump)
- 1 minute standard jumping backwards
- 1 minute standard jumping forward—as fast as you can!
If you have more time and energy, do this circuit twice through. I like to start from the first exercise and work my way down for the first set, and then start with the last exercise and work my way up for the second.
Above all, take these five minutes to enjoy yourself! Put on some upbeat music (five minutes is usually only two or three songs) and it’ll be over before you know it. Even better, you’ll feel less stressed afterward—and who doesn’t want that, right?