Quick FeetWhile this isn't the most exciting variation of jump roping, it's perhaps the most important. You will simply start with both feet on the ground at the same time while you're turning the rope as quickly as you possibly can. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of this drill. This is a great starting point if you aren't able to currently jump rope and if you are a master you can always work at improving your quickness.
Lateral Quick FeetThis variation is the exact same as the above drill except you're going to move side to side instead of just up and down. This will help improve your ability to move laterally. This is a great starting point for improving the foot/ankle complex to control stability (balance and control) while being quick.
Ali ShuffleWith this drill you will start with your feet staggered (one foot forward and one foot backward). You will then jump up and switch the feet so that you now have your other foot forward. Continue in this pattern working at contacting the ground at the same time with both feet.
The Ali shuffle will help greatly with learning to recover with one foot forward (much like defense).
Hurdle StepStart with one leg off the ground with the knee up toward waist height. You will hold that leg up and in position while hopping up and down on the other foot.
This drill is great for improving single-leg power and elasticity. Make sure you start with shorter times (or fewer reps) with this drill as the stress on the lower leg is MUCH higher than the double leg versions listed above. Too much single-leg jump roping can cause shin splints!
Lateral Hurdle StepThis is exactly the same as above except you are jumping side to side while on the one leg. This is very challenging as it incorporates stability in the foot/ankle complex.
Get the Bonus Exercise from IHoops