Rock the Rope

A former Rockette’s jump rope class blends cardio and strength training for the ultimate sweat experience.

The Rope, a class at Studio B in Manhattan created by celebrity trainer and former Rockette Amanda Kloots, features interval-based strength and cardio training using—yep, you guessed it—a jump rope. Despite my complete lack of talent with “the rope” (insider speak for “jump rope”), I was still dripping with sweat about 10 minutes into the class. Throughout the 55-minute class, we alternated between jumping rope to the beat of the music and strength training using our own body weight and the rope in moves both creative and effective.

The Experience

One of the best parts of the class (aside from the excellent sweat I worked up) is watching Amanda Kloots move. She is a dancer and performer through and through, and I appreciated her showmanship. Dancers remind us that even the simplest movement can become so much more—something we can all learn to help us stay interested and challenged even when we know a workout well. So remember, Grasshopper, no matter how basic the move, there are always more ways to explore. Stay present. Stay fabulous.

During the class, I was presently aware of my own pure klutziness. Absolutely no fabulousness was happening in my designated space. This class might as well have been called Getting Klutzy with Kloots as far as I was concerned. I’m not normally a klutz, and you could say I’ve been around the block once or twice with movement, but jumping rope is apparently not like riding a bike. More often than not, the rope got caught up in my sneakers, and I ended up jumping sans rope about half the time. Enough cannot be said, however, for the goodness of epic fails every once in a while. They teach us to be humble and have a sense of humor. It’s easy to have loving kindness toward yourself when you’re rocking your workouts, but the real challenge happens when you’re not. Failing and continuing on anyway sets us up to learn no matter what life throws at us. Besides, I did get a great sweat!

Future of Fitness

I foresee jump rope classes taking the country by storm in the near future—perhaps as an alternative to cycling. Jumping rope has so many wonderful benefits. Besides being a great cardio workout, it tones the arms and helps build bone mass. The equipment is also cheap and portable. The only drawback is, as I have shown, it’s not as easy as riding a bike, so making it accessible for newbies is important.

Five ways to bring it home

  1. Start jumping! You don’t need a rope—just turn on your favorite song and challenge yourself to jump until it ends.
  2. Add a rope. Now try it with a jump rope! Remember to pat at yourself on the back often and don’t give up! Learning new skills is fantastic for the mind and body.
  3. Get some strength in by holding a plank position for increasing amounts of time in between jumping.
  4. Fold your rope. Hold it between your hands and keep it taut. Strengthen your arms, back, shoulders and legs by sitting in chair pose and pressing your arms overhead and then back to your shoulders. Try it for an entire song and feel the whole body burn.
  5. Smile big and take a bow—the dancer way!