Incorporating Skipping Into Your Workout
Did you know that the energy expended when skipping for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a mile in eight minutes? This is probably news to you. But jumping rope is one of the most intense forms of exercise there is; according to the British Rope Skipping Association, 10 minutes of skipping can deliver the same health benefits as a 45-minute run. So, if you really want to transform your fitness and physique then you really need to think about building skipping into your exercise routine.
Isn’t it for little girls?
Er – no….. Have you ever tried it? Jumping rope is hard-core exercise and definitely not for the fainthearted. Loads of elite athletes use skipping as part of their training routines – from tennis players to basketball players and boxers. Jumping rope is one of the best ways to build endurance. Remember – Rocky did it and he was badass…
What will it do for my body?
For starters jumping rope will torch the calories. Just one hour of skipping can burn around 1,300 calories; try finding another form of exercise that does that. It also helps with coordination and balance because it involves the body having to make numerous neuromuscular adjustments with each jump.
Because skipping is a full body workout, using all the muscle groups and joints of both upper and lower body, it results in more fat-burning than most cardiovascular exercises. If you want to step things up a gear, try using a skipping rope with weights in the handles; that will amplify the overall workout benefits.
As long as you don’t overdo it, skipping is low-impact so far less jolting to the joints than jogging or running.
Any other benefits?
You can skip anytime, anywhere. All that’s needed is a small rope that’s portable and convenient. Other than the cost of the rope it’s a free workout – no expensive gym membership or equipment required. Another great thing about skipping is that, because it’s a weight-bearing form of exercise it can help improve bone density– thereby warding against osteoporosis.
Skipping can promote improved cognitive function too – a huge boon as we get older. Jumping rope is anti-aging for the brain because it requires picking up new motor patterns, which in turn develops our nervous system’s connection with the brain, wrists and leg muscles.
So how do you get started?
Take it slow to begin with. Taking a look at Youtube for some tips might be a good jumping-off point (no pun intended). It can help to practice the technique without a rope at the beginning as you pick up the rhythm.
The first thing to bear in mind is that it’s important not to jump on too hard a surface; you need a rubber mat with some ‘give’ and proper footwear in order to absorb some of the force generated by jumping up and down; it’s important not to put too much strain on knees and ankles.
Make sure you warm up before getting started and then master simple double hops and single hops before you try to move on to anything fancier. In time, you may want to add jumping jacks, high knees, shuffles, double-unders/overs and squat lunge jumps to really maximise the range of the workout.
Hopefully by now you can see that jumping rope is arguably one of the cheapest, most effective and convenient cardio-conditioning forms of exercise out there. It really gives results and is simple to incorporate into any workout programme. Plus, because it’s so intense, a little goes a long way too. What’s stopping you?