Jumping rope (or ‘skipping’) tends to be an overlooked exercise, the amount of underused jump ropes at our facility bear unfortunate testament to that fact. But really this should not be the case…
Maybe it is because it’s still so easy to think of it in terms of a playground activity, little girls singing to rhymes as they swing the rope for the jumper. All very juvenile and and childlike.
But nothing could be further from the truth.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Not just your average rope
Sure, kids love to jump rope and long may that be the case, but lets go to the other end of the scale – had you ever seen a boxing film and a training montage without some seriously dynamic skipping?
And if you can honestly answer ‘no’ to that last question, then I only need to steer you in the direction of Rocky. Mr Stallone seriously knows his way round a jump rope!
How many other exercises require some actual equipment depend on something as cheap, simple and low-tech, compact and portable as a jump rope.
And whilst of course you need enough room, it doesn’t demand too much space.
When you consider these factors it seems crazy not to make this a regular part of your workout programme.
– Requires very little space
– Cost is minimal
– Virtually no equipment needed
– A jump rope and supportive athletic shoes
– Helps development of agility, coordination, and balance
– Can burn more calories than running, in the same amount of time
– Helps improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance
– Total-body exercise – Reinforces good posture
– Can be part of a healthy, weight-loss strategy
– Helps maintain healthy bones
– Plyometric exercise is great for athletes (“teaches” your body to generate force quickly)
– Can be used as a warm up activity
Lets face it, it’s harder to think of reasons not to do this exercise!
Of course when you see somebody doing it brilliantly it looks very daunting and like nothing you can forsee yourself doing.
But it isn’t all about blurring swirling speed, amazing tricks or carving figures of 8. It is about doing what you can. It does involve rhythm and coordination and degrees of skill, however these are pretty quick and easy to acquire and they are certainly within the realms of just about anybody’s capabilities.
As with many things in life – persistence is key. Don’t toss the rope away if you’re not mastering it within a couple of minutes, give it time and it will become easier and easier. Remember when those pull-ups or press-ups seemed to be out of your reach, but you kept going? One or two became more and more and very soon you found it hard to believe you initially struggled to get off the ground!
The body is like that. It learns, adapts and performs, you just have to let it do so by giving it every chance.
Try this simple (but challenging) 8-minute jump rope workout: Jump for 50 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest interval. Repeat seven more times, until you’ve completed 8 minutes — 50 seconds “on,” and 10 seconds “off.”
Connect with Expert Brian Lebo