Last updated on November 11th, 2022 at 11:57 am
It seems weird to even talk about your abs being sore after jumping rope, doesn’t it?
There you are performing a great cardio and conditioning exercise.
An exercise that also requires skill, balance, and coordination.
You’d expect your heart rate to increase.
You’d expect to be breathing hard and you’ll definitely work up a sweat.
But, ab soreness, it just doesn’t seem right.
So, what’s going on here?
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Why Are My Abs Sore After Jumping Rope?
Whenever you perform any jumping movement your core muscles will stabilize in order to provide additional balance and shock absorption. The same can be said when doing jumping jacks, box jumps, tuck jumps, etc. However, “ab soreness” is probably more noticeable when jumping rope due to the higher volumes when compared to other jumping exercises.
1. Core Stabilization From Jumping
Whenever you perform any type of jumping exercises your core muscles will automatically stabilize.
In effect your core goes into protection mode to support your spine.
This is true of any exercise that involves jumping.
You could be doing jumping jacks, tuck jumps, box jumps, long jumps, bounding, and even when you perform a jump after a burpee.
However, whenever you jump rope you tend to complete a far greater volume of jumps, as well as jumping in quicker succession.
So, your core muscles and abs are literally going into overdrive here.
In fact, I would rate jumping rope as one of the best ab workouts you can possibly get.
Not only are your abs and core bracing and stabilizing with every jump, but you’re also completing a full-body, fat burning exercise.
Perfect, if you want great abs.
You are more likely to notice sore abs from jumping rope the newer you are to the exercise.
If you’ve never jumped rope before, or you’ve started again after a long break, you will really notice the ab and core activation.
However, you will also get used to this with time.
So, it may just be a case of having to get used to sore abs for a few days until your body acclimatizes to the “new” exercise.
Jump Rope Workout For Abs
2. You’re Not Engaging Your Core
As your core muscles are working hard whenever you jump rope it’s important to engage them properly.
This is much the same as if you perform an ab exercise.
Let’s take mountain climbers for example.
As you get into position, you will typically draw in the abs, tighten the core, and hold this “sucked in” position until you’ve finished your set.
Basically, you should do this for any exercise where the core is being worked.
As you’re now aware, the core is definitely being worked when you jump rope, so the same principles apply.
I’ll openly admit that this is something that I typically struggle with, especially when I’m keeping count.
I’ll often jump rope as part of a conditioning circuit, so rather than jumping for time, I’ll jump for reps, e.g. 100, 150, 200, etc.
Unfortunately, while I’m trying to keep count I can lose focus on keeping my core tight and engaged throughout.
I’m not sure if this is a “man thing”, and simply the fact that I can’t multi-task, LOL.
However, as the core is stabilizing with every single jump, it’s important to keep your abs tight throughout each set.
This will actually work the abs and core better, plus it allows for far better control over your entire midsection.
3. You’re Not Breathing Correctly
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you of the importance of proper breathing when performing any exercise.
However, this doesn’t mean that we are breathing in the correct manner all the time.
There can be a tendency to hold your breath when performing certain exercises.
When it comes to jump rope many of us end up taking short, shallow, and quick breaths.
In fact, it’s not unheard-of to breathe in time with each jump.
Unfortunately, this can not only lead to you getting puffed out very quickly, it also places additional stress on the lungs and diaphragm.
This internal building up of pressure can lead to you “feeling it” in the mid-chest and upper abdomen areas.
Once again, I find that sometimes my breathing becomes uncontrolled when I’m trying to count while skipping (perhaps I should just stop counting and stick to timed sets).
With that said, because jump rope is such a fast-paced exercise it’s important to maintain correct breathing throughout.
I guess the very nature of jumping rope being much faster than many other exercises can cause issues about when and how to breathe.
I mean, we know most exercises allow us to breathe in a rhythmic fashion.
And we typically exhale on exertion.
Let’s take the bench press as an example:
When you lower the bar towards the chest you inhale.
And as you push the bar away from your chest, you exhale.
However, as I say, due to the fast-paced nature of jumping rope it’s far more difficult to ascertain when to inhale and exhale.
I would suggest that you keep your breathing even throughout, and rhythmically inhale and exhale, much the same as you would do while running.
This in turn ensures that you can perform the exercise for longer without “running out of breath”.
Plus, it places less pressure on the diaphragm and internal organs.
The result, your abs won’t feel as sore as when you breath incorrectly.
Jump Rope Nasal Breathing Method
4. It’s Food or Water-Related
Okay, so everything I’ve spoken of thus far points towards the fact that the abs and core are being worked hard whenever you jump rope.
However, something to consider is whether this is related to food or water.
I guess it does very much depend on what type of ab “soreness” you’re experiencing.
I’m sure most of us have had the dreaded “stitch” at one time or another through exercising.
It still astounds me that with all the medical breakthroughs over the years, there is still no single explanation for a stitch.
However, from personal experience I typically find I get a stitch if I perform exercises too soon after I’ve eaten.
I typically won’t exercise for at least 90 minutes after a substantial meal and 30 minutes following a light snack.
With that being said, I have also noticed that I’ve got a stitch from potentially being dehydrated, so it’s important to consume water before, during, and after exercise.
Then again, talking of food, if the soreness is located in the lower abdomen, this could just be a sign that you need to poop.
Well, you never know.
Basically, if the soreness isn’t the same type as you would get after a really good ab workout, my guess is that it could be related to either your food or water intake.
What’s Causing That Stitch in Your Side?
5. Something Untoward Has Happened
Finally, the one thing that no-one wants to hear, the soreness could be a sign of something untoward.
Poor movement patterns while jumping rope could cause an injury.
You must remember that you are basically jumping up-and-down hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
And it only takes one incorrect “jump” to cause yourself an injury.
Once again, the feeling will be very different to that of a great ab workout.
If the soreness is a sharp abdominal pain then it’s definitely time to stop jumping rope.
Hopefully, the pain will subside, but if it does persist, it may be time for you to visit your doctor.
It’s not unheard-of to strain a stomach muscle while jumping rope.
And although, not as likely, I have known of people who have somehow managed to aggravate a hernia through jumping rope.
However, only you will definitely know how severe the soreness actually is.
But, as I say, if it is sharp and very painful, stop jumping rope immediately and seek medical attention.
So, hopefully you have a clearer idea of why your abs are sore after jumping rope.
As you can see, the main reason is that the abs and core are definitely worked very hard when you jump rope.
Or any other jumping exercises for that matter.
As I’ve mentioned, I typically view jumping rope as a fantastic way to produce great abs.
It’s a full-body exercise, raises the metabolism, and helps to burn body fat.
If you’re looking to take your cardio and conditioning to a higher level, discover what I had to say about performing jump rope in a weighted vest.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.