In part 1 I introduced the benefits of skipping for fitness and how this brilliantly versatile and fantastically convenient exercise works. Now let’s look at specific exercise and techniques…
Assuming you are new to skipping we will start with basic technique. And even if you are already experienced it never hurts to be reminded of the basics!
Basic Skipping Technique
Start with your feet together and the rope behind you. Simply swing the rope overhead and jump as it approached the ground.
Make sure you don’t fall for perhaps the most common mistake and jump too high.
Don’t jump too high!
People often do this and there is no need. The fact is that you only need to jump just high enough to clear the rope, anything higher actually makes the timing harder and the physical process more tricky.
At this stage one jump per rope revolution is fine and there is no need to double bounce – aim for one rope turn, one jump.
Your hands should be at hip height and only just a little away from your body. Another mistake people make is to have their hands too wide which only has the effect of shortening the rope and does not help you at all.
Once you are comfortable with this process you can start to ratchet things up a little by simply speeding up your rope revolutions. Now aim to skip continuously for a minute or two and then go for longer durations.
Once you have got this well in hand we can progress to something a little more advanced.
This is sometimes called ‘the boxer’s skip’ and as soon as you see it you will know why…echoes of Rocky again!
Start with the two-footed technique I have just been describing. Then, when you are ready, kick one foot forwards so that you land with one heel on the floor. On the next jump you change legs and continue alternating like this.
Once you are comfortable with this one you can start to actually move around with it; forwards, back, side-to-side.
And once you are happy with the heel-toe skipping technique you are well positioned to move on to…
Knee Lift Sprints
This is great for really getting your heart rate up and delivering real intensity to your skipping for fitness programme.
Transition from the heel-toe technique to jogging on the spot but as you do so really lift your knees in quite an exaggerated fashion. Your thighs need to be at least parallel to the floor. Accelerate the rope speed and move your feet as quickly as you can.
Once you have coordinated the speeds, you will be away and onto a superb heart pumping skipping workout.
Another classic from those movie training montages and something many of us aspire to – so why not master it?
When starting this, stick with the double footed jump method from the ‘basic’ technique.
As you rotate the rope and it passes over your head, cross your hands and form a loop and then uncross your hands. This creates a small loop which you need to jump through. Not easy but worth persisting with!
Another one that really boosts the heart rate and is a great power workout. Start by skipping normally, get a comfortable rhythm and then speed it up. Now jump a little higher…
The idea is to fully rotate the rope twice for a single jump (which is why it needs to be higher). When you have achieved a double-under, return to your normal pattern before giving it another go when you are ready.
Eventually you will be able to link a few together and aim to do as many as you can. It will always give you something to aim for!
These exercises will take you from a beginner to a more advanced user and you will be having great fun with all of these as part of your workout and ensuring real results when it comes to skipping for fitness!
There is even more that can be done with a humble skipping rope and a bit of invention. I will give you a few ideas in my concluding section of this skipping for fitness feature!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Diane Youdale