joint pain jumping rope

Can Jumping Rope Cause Joint Pain?

Are trying to determine if jumping rope is good for you? You could be asking yourself, “is jumping rope bad for your joints?” Maybe your suffering from joint pain while jumping rope? When it comes to determining exactly if jumping rope is right for you, it’s not so cut & dry.

To answer your question: “Is jumping rope bad for your joints?”. The answer is no, jumping rope is not bad for you joints. However, you could be suffering from pain while jumping rope from improper form, overtraining, high impacts, & so more.

Just below we are going to break down exactly:

Let’s dive in!

What Causes Muscle or Joint Pain While Jumping Rope?

There are a few causes of your muscle or joint pain from jumping rope. However, just below we are listed common causes of joint pain while jumping rope.

1. Pre-Existing Condition

If you’re someone that suffers from chronic joint pain already or suffers from any type of joint injury. Then jumping rope might not be the best physical activity for you. While it is known that proper movements can help with arthritis or chronic joint pain. On the other hand, jumping rope is repetitious impacts on your knees which can lead to joint pain.

2. Improper Form

Do you know how to jump rope properly? When it comes to jumping rope, no matter how simple it may look, has a proper technique. One of the biggest causes of joint pain while jumping rope is from improper form.

Often times you’ll see beginner jump ropers jumping too high and slamming their feet on the ground. Both of which exacerbate the level of impact on your joints. Proper jump rope forms calls for light hops with nimble jumps to keep the impact low.

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3. Overtraining

Another leading cause of joint pain while jumping rope is overtraining. Often times athletes want to increase their endurance too fast, lose weight overnight, etc. All of which leads to an unruly amount of time in exercising. Just like with anything in life, everything is good in moderation that includes jumping rope.

4. High Impact on Joints

Jumping rope is meant to be a low impact exercise that increases both cardio and endurance. However, often times beginners will unknowingly put themselves in situations of high impact. Just below are a few areas where high impact can occur:

  • Jumping Too High: As we spoke about above, improper form when jumping rope can lead to joint pain. Especially, if you’re jumping too high during your rotations. Repeatedly doing this can lead to serious joint pain or shin splints.
  • Improper Footwear: Do you know why running shoes are so comfortable? Running Shoes are made with special features to reduce impact on your joints during exercises like running, jumping, or walking. On the other hand, flat shoes are poor for movement exercises due to their low arch support and impact resistance. Using flat shoes while jumping rope can drastically increase the level of impact.
  • Hard Surfaces: Jumping rope on hard surfaces can increase the impact on your joints. Hard surfaces reciprocate a lot of the force instead of absorbing it, meaning the more force you come down with on a hard floor, the harder the floor pushes back. Therefore increasing the overall impact every time you land while jumping rope.

Although jumping rope cannot be done with zero impact, the severity of the impact level can be drastically changed by avoiding these common jump rope mistakes.

5. Advancing too Soon

There are always athletes that are excited about reaching new milestones or performing new movements. Especially when there are so many advanced jump rope movements out there.

However, advancing to harder jump rope movements can lead you to injury. Similar to weight lifting, you need to make gradual progression in your jump rope journey. If you’re pushing yourself beyond your bounds you could cause a serious injury. In which case, you will actually be losing more ground than you have covered due to recovery time.

So if you’re trying to avoid injury while jumping rope make sure to progress through movements at a base you and your body are comfortable with.

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How to Prevent Joint Pain While Jumping Rop

It’s impossible to have zero impact while jumping rope, that’s simply the nature of the exercise. However, you can drastically reduce the strain on your joints and the impact of jumping rope with some solutions we have below. If you’re trying to reduce the likelihood for joint pain from jumping rope, make sure to check out all the solutions we have below.

1. Keep the Rope Low

One of the best ways to reduce joint pain while jumping rope, is to simply jump lower. By just barely taking your feet off the ground you are minimizing the impact on your knees. While still allowing yourself to get a great workout in!

2. Lower Your Impact

Just as we explained above areas where you could be unknowingly increasing your impact. These are some solutions for you to reduce your impact while jumping rope.

  • Soft Surfaces: Similar to how running shoes absorb the impact of your movement, soft surfaces do the same. If you don’t have access to a gymnastic center with foam floors you can easily make your own out of a yoga mat or thin piece of foam. This little bit of foam will do wonders for your joints by drastically reducing your overall impact on each jump.
  • Proper Footwear: We cannot stress this enough if you’re not wearing running shoes while you’re jumping rope. Then you’re leading yourself to chronic joint pain, shin splints, or more severe injury. Any running shoe while do, ideally, you’ll want something with high amount of cushion and arch support.

3. Workout frequency

Instead of practicing overtraining, its important to come up with a workout schedule that works for you and your body. Although some people can handle 3-4 workouts a week, some athlete’s bodies can only handle 1-2 a week. It’s important to find out what works for you and to stay consistent.

For example, this is my routine:

  • Monday: Workout
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout
  • Saturday: Alternate Between Rest & Light Cardio / Yoga
  • Sunday: Rest

Feel free to use this model for your own workouts.

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4. Stretching & Warming Up

Another fantastic way to avoid injury while jumping rope is to stretch properly & warm up effectively before any exercise. By stretching & warming up your giving your body time to wake up and get acclimated before your workout.

Going into a workout straight away without stretching can lead to lower performance & stiffness during movements. So Rule #1 before any workout should be to LIMBER UP!

5. Cross Training

While jumping rope is great for cardio, it can also be fairly demanding on your muscles. Especially muscle groups like your legs & arms. Therefore, in order to get the best results out of your workouts & to reduce injury. You should make sure your body is in proper conditioning before jumping rope. By crosstraining with weight lifting, yoga, or other exercises you can make sure your body is in proper shape to tackle its workout.

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