Rope jumping for endurance training

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  • #6494


    Recently, I stupidly fall on my knee and then hiked on it for multiple days carrying a heavy backpack. The result is an inflamed knee which pretty much prevents me from running, which I would normally do 2/3 times per week.
    However, rope jumping seems to be fine. Do you think it makes sense to substitute running with rope jumping, so to maintain cardiovascular fitness while I wait for my knee to get back on track? Or is it just better to wait until I can run again pain-free?
    I would probably aim at a 30-40′ session at varying pace.

    Thank you in advance!

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    Anonymous on #6513


    Sorry to hear of your injury. Rope jumping can be a good endurance exercise especially if you can maintain it for 40 minutes at a time. That’s actually quite impressive in fact because most people will struggle to jump rope for more than a just a few minutes. It may be that moving to so much long duration rope jumping like you propose will have its own injury potential unless you are very well conditioned for it. Other options while you are healing this knee injury are walking on an inclined treadmill or stair machine and cycling. A mix of all these things may be the best approach. I am just concerned that 40 minutes of jumping rope every day will soon cause a problem for your Achilles tendons or calf muscles.

    Good luck,

    ilbuiz on #6524

    Dear Scott,

    thank you so much for your reply. It amazes me how much time you dedicate to this forum!

    Regarding your recommendations, I thought about jumping rope because the knee bothers me especially when I load it while it is bent – that is, stair climbing is a quite stressing activity (especially downstairs). Cycling also requires to bend the knee in an uncomfortable way, although it is getting better now and I could try it. Walking on an inclined treadmill seems a good option. Both cycling and inclined walking seem less time-efficient, anyway.
    On the other hand, I can jump the rope almost straight-leg, so that I basically don’t feel any pain, and I think I am conditioned enough for it (actually, I do love rope jumping but normally I don’t have the time for it).
    My doubt is that probably jumping rope brings me much more into HIT than running (so, less base endurance training effect), as highlighted by my hr monitor (see image from a 1/2 hour session from yesterday). But I guess I can just modulate the intensity to replicate what I would experience while running.
    Anyway, I guess that doing something (if it doesn’t hurt) is better than doing nothing, even if it is not ideal in term of training stimulus. But if you have further comments I would of course love to hear them 🙂

    Thank you again!

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    Anonymous on #6661


    Sorry to be slow in responding. 100% right that some is better than nothing. You need to look at the joint angles you do in your chosen ‘event’ and try to simulate them in training. This is what is called SPECIFICITY. The muscles need to be used in the ranges of motion you hope to improve their fitness in. If you are a climber/mountaineer then you need to be able to bend your knees going up and down hill.

    If you have knee pain that prevents this range of motion then I suggest finding out what is causing the pain and address that first rather than workout around the injury.

    In my experience, unless there is some joint damage, 90% of knee pain comes from the later quads and the IT band being tight. DO you roll your lateral legs on a ball or foam roller? If not google this and start. MANY people I have worked with found almost instant knee pain relief from this simple thing.

    Good luck,

    ilbuiz on #6672

    Dear Scott,

    there is really no reason to apologize!

    The muscles need to be used in the ranges of motion you hope to improve their fitness in. If you are a climber/mountaineer then you need to be able to bend your knees going up and down hill.

    Yes, I totally agree that this is the main point. By rope jumping I can maintain cardiovascular fitness, but I will definitely lose muscular endurance and specific fitness for my activities.

    I do foam roll every now and then, but I think that in my case it’s more of a traumatic issue than a tightness issue. Anyway, next week I will see a doctor specialized in sport injuries and hopefully I will have a clearer picture of what to do!

    Thank you so much for your help and time!


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