Can You Jump Rope On A Yoga Mat?

Skipping rope is an excellent exercise that doesn’t require an obscene amount of equipment. All you’ll need is a jumping rope and plenty of room for practicing. From there, all you need to do is coordinate your jumps with the rhythm at which you turn the rope – it’s as simple as that (sometimes easier said than done).

However, if you start practicing skipping more frequently, you might want to invest in a skipping mat to protect your knees. Skipping mats are specifically designed to support you as you skip, but will a yoga mat work if you don’t have one? Let’s find out. 

Are Yoga Mats Suitable For Jumping Rope?

Yoga mats aren’t the best choice for skipping rope, as they’re usually much smaller in size than a skipping mat, and some are made of slippery materials. Additionally, yoga mats aren’t usually used for rapid movement activities like skipping rope. So, they might slide around or catch on your jump rope as you practice. 

The mat could slip out from underneath you if you don’t land evenly, causing you to fall as it skates out from underneath you. Or, your jump rope could catch on one of the edges or corners, causing the mat to roll and potentially trip you. 

So, while you could practice skipping on a yoga mat, we don’t recommend it. That said, you might be okay to practice skipping on a yoga mat if you use a ropeless jump rope. Yes, we know, it sounds absolutely insane – how can you have a jump rope without a rope?

These ropes usually consist of a set of handles with a short length of cord extending from one end. On the opposite end of the rope, there’s usually a weighted ball to assist in the swinging motion that mimics an actual jump rope. 

Since there’s no rope to catch on the mat, you might be fine practicing skipping on a yoga mat. However, the mat could still slide out from underneath your feet, causing you to fall. So, as a general rule of thumb, skip the yoga mat for jumping rope (no pun intended). 

What Is The Best Surface To Jump Rope On?

The best surfaces to jump rope on are solid yet cushioned. Although many folks jump rope on concrete, hardwood floors, or other extremely hard surfaces, this isn’t ideal. Hard surfaces, such as concrete, put extreme stress on your knees as you jump rope, causing you to tire quicker. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t practice skipping rope on concrete. If that’s the best place to practice, consider investing in a skipping mat for extra cushioning. These mats are designed to offer additional support for your joints, reducing stress on these areas as you jump. 

Ideally, the best place to practice is a smooth, cushioned surface, where there’s enough stability to skip rope but enough cushion to support your joints. The surface will be smooth, allowing the rope to slide across without drag or bouncing off. Spring-cushioned gym floors are ideal for this, as they offer stability, cushioning, and a smooth surface to practice. 

Do I Need A Mat For Jumping Rope?

Technically, you don’t need a mat for jumping rope. If you only practice skipping every once in a while, buying a skipping mat might not make sense. However, if you practice skipping regularly, investing in a skipping mat is a good idea. 

These mats are designed to help protect you from injuries, such as shin splints. In addition, the mat will protect your rope from wear and tear, so you won’t have to replace the rope as often. So, while you don’t technically need a mat for skipping, it can be a beneficial addition, especially if you practice skipping regularly. 

Popular Skipping Mats

Dedicated individuals who practice skipping regularly may want to consider investing in a skipping mat. These mats are designed to help keep you and your joints safe as you practice, reducing the chances of injury. 

A few highly rated skipping mats include:

  • Elite SRS Premium Jump Rope Mat
  • Sonvia Exercise Mat
  • LERYG Large Fitness Mat
  • Launch Fitness Jump Rope Mat
  • RUSH Athletics Jump Rope Mat
  • Sunny Health Exercise And Jump Rope Mat

These mats are large enough for skipping – there’s no need to worry about catching the edge of the mat with your rope. Each option is slightly different, so the final decision is up to you. 

What Can I Use For A Skipping Mat?

If you incorporate skipping into your workouts every once in a while, you might not have a dedicated skipping mat. Although skipping mats are excellent at preventing injuries due to shock when your foot strikes the ground, they might not make sense for someone who jumps rope occasionally. 

So, what can you use instead of a skipping mat? While yoga mats aren’t ideal for skipping, you can use them for extra cushioning while skipping rope. However, if your mat is slippery, don’t use it for skipping, as it might slide out from under you and cause you to fall. Some yoga mats have a non-slip surface, so you might be OK practicing skipping on these mats. 

If you want to use a cushioned surface, consider skipping on carpet or a stable rug in your home (that won’t slide out from under you). However, if you decide to practice skipping on the carpet, remember that the rope may bounce off the carpet, forcing you to jump higher.  

Additional Helpful Skipping Accessories

Aside from a good skipping mat and jump rope, there are a few other things that might help you feel more comfortable while you exercise. Here are a few accessories to consider:

Good Shoes

Shoes can make a world of difference during exercise. In some forms of exercise, such as yoga, shoes might restrict your range of motion. However, in skipping, you’ll want a good pair of shoes. 

A good pair of shoes will help you maintain a good jumping rhythm and protect your feet from injury during the exercise. Additionally, shoes offer a degree of shock absorbance, helping absorb shock when your foot strikes the ground.

Comfortable Activewear

Stiff, uncomfortable clothes aren’t ideal for most scenarios, including exercising. When you jump rope (or do almost any other type of exercise), you want to wear comfortable clothing. Activewear is usually ideal since it often features moisture-wicking technology to wick away sweat and keep you dry and cool. 

Polyester, nylon, and spandex are great for exercise as they don’t restrict your range of motion. However, if you sweat quite a bit, you might want to consider polyester or nylon, as these fabrics wick moisture well. 

Extra Set Of Jump Rope Handles

If you’re committed to skipping as part of your training program, consider investing in a set of weighted skipping handles. Some jump ropes come with interchangeable handles so you can switch for more resistance. 

Weighted handles help tone your biceps and forearms, as it takes more work to move and hold onto these handles. However, you won’t move your arms much with good jump rope form, as most movement is in your hands and wrists. 

An Energizing Playlist

Listening to music as you exercise is a great way to keep your mind occupied (and distracted from the burn in your muscles). You might find that a solid playlist helps increase your exercise performance, encouraging you to push your body harder and longer. 

Music with a strong, steady beat can help you push harder as you jump to the beat of the music. So, incorporate a killer playlist into your routine. If nothing else, it’s something to drown out your heavy breathing, right?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Jumping Rope Good For You?

Absolutely, jumping rope is a great exercise. It’s a quick exercise that doesn’t require any fancy equipment. Technically, you can get away without a jump rope at all! Simply mimicking the movement will raise your heart rate, giving you similar results (without the upper body involvement for rotating the rope). 

Jumping rope can improve your cardiorespiratory fitness, help build stronger muscles and bones, and even improve your coordination and balance. This exercise works various upper and lower body muscles, including your calves, quads, glutes, hamstrings, obliques, forearms, biceps, shoulders, back, and chest. 

While you’ll probably feel the burn primarily in your lower body (hello calves!), your upper body contributes to the exercise since you have to force the rope to turn. If you use a weighted rope or handles, you can engage your upper body muscles even more.

It’s important to note that skipping might not be ideal for everyone, especially those who struggle with knee or joint pain. If you’re unsure whether jumping rope is a safe exercise for you, check with your doctor. 

How Thick Should A Skipping Mat Be?

Generally, a skipping mat should provide between ½-inch and 2 inches of cushioning. You want a mat with more thickness than a typical yoga mat, as thicker mats will offer better support and cushion as you skip. 

Entry-level mats are usually thinner, often around ½-inch thick. Professional mats are usually thicker, often around 2 inches thick. Generally, thicker mats are more expensive than thinner mats, but this isn’t always the case. 

If you’re investing in a skipping mat, look for a mat at least ½-inch thick and large enough to work on comfortably. You don’t want a mat that’s so small you’ll be jumping off it as you naturally move around. Many skipping mats are pretty large, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a suitable mat.