Go ahead and skip out on that last set of crunches. You’re probably already bored out of your mind, but even better, there's another exercise that could have far better benefits for your abs—and the rest of your body.
The workout of mention? Jumping rope. A pillar of physical fitness and something you did in gym class back in high school, jumping rope is way more accessible than a Pilates reformer, and according to AEROSPACE co-founder, former professional boxer, and trainer to celebrities like Adriana Lima, Michael Olajide Jr., it’s “the perfect exercise for the human body."
"Jump rope is the true test of fitness because it requires you to do many things at the same time," explains Olajide. "Reflexes, coordination, timing, cardio, focus, speed, and explosiveness...quick repetition. It's the only workout you can do at the same rate as a professional athlete and gain those same benefits."
A cardio-based exercise, it works your heart, shoulders, arms, chest, calves, and your midsection. In fact, your core is the first spot that Olajide says you'll start to see results.
"Jumping rope is better than running, and running is amazing. It’s better than cycling (indoor and out), swimming, walking, dancing..." he says, "It burns more calories, involves more muscle groups, stimulates the brain and the release of endorphins, provides a sense of accomplishment, and does it in a third of the time of any other workout. It's also considerably more convenient."
So how do you get started? Add it into a workout of interval training with weights so you get the best of both cardio and strength training. Our pro says you can also enhance yoga, barre, or interval training with isometric exercises with jumping rope, too.
Olajide suggests trying to jump 10 times and then pausing for 10 seconds. "Continue that for the length of the song," he says. "Also, realize that progress may be slow at first, but when you get the hang of it, you will fly!"
This article originally appeared on InStyle US