While boxers have long recognised the fitness benefits of rope jumping, the simple and versatile exercise is often dismissed by fitness beginners and athletes alike. However, regardless of your sport or skill level, jumping rope is a great training technique.
According to the Core Performance website, rope jumping is an excellent way to cross train for swimmers, cyclists, and other athletes, while the quick footwork involved in jumping rope also aids footballers and basketball players. It burns calories, and develops speed, muscle tone, and coordination.To top it off, skipping can be done outside, at home, in the park, anywhere there is a little bit of space, and there is in need for expensive equipment.
Skipping rope and fitness – the benefits
- so effective in burning calories that an hour of skipping rope can burn up to 1000 calories.
- enhances your coordination and rhythm between hands and feet movements.
- strengthens your bones and increases your stamina and endurance
- improves your reflexes, balance and posture.
- tones muscles in arms, legs and abs.
- increases joint strength including the wrists, ankles, knees and shoulders.
- At the beginning of a workout you should start slowly and steadily by starting with doing basic jumps. Allow a few minutes to warm up before increasing speed and jumping at our maximum rate.
- Keep your posture upright, stay relaxed with shoulders down from the ears, shoulder blades comfortably back and abdominal muscles held in toward the spine.
- Rotate your body weight to the balls of your feet, look straight ahead and not at your feet. Push up and land lightly on the balls of your feet. Keep your knees slightly flexed while the arms are relaxed at your side.
- Start out slowly, just fast enough to turn the rope in a moving arc over your head. As the rope arrives at the floor, push up on the balls of the feet, not too high, just enough to clear the rope. No need to try to jump high or kick your feet.
- Develop a rhythm while listening to the rope skip, jumping over it lightly. A
- Put together a jumping rope program by taking turns jumping rope and walking in place. Jump rope for one minute then walk in place for another. Finish after you've been at it for 10 minutes. Gradually increase your intervals and the length of time you jump rope.
Up the intensity with variations
Skipping can get frustrating or boring if you stick to the same jumps for long periods. Once you’ve mastered the basic technique, try a few variations to provide more interest and to work out different muscle groups. For example, changing from a single bounce to a double bounce or to a skip or a jog or a knee up. You could keep changing the skipping style after every 30 seconds to avoid fatigue and boredom.