Benefits of jumping rope
I’m sure if you were a kid growing up in the 90’s or early 2000’s you remember using a skipping rope, competing with your friends out in the garden on who could skip the longest, jump the highest or do the funkiest tricks. Jumping rope is an excellent form of exercise even for adults and a favorite of boxers as it helps improve their footwork, build stamina and become more coordinated. Skipping brings with it many benefits, some of which I list below.
1. It burns calories fast
Jumping rope for ten minutes burns on average 100 calories, however this depends on the intensity at which you are jumping. If you skipped for 10 minutes 3 times a day, you would end up burning roughly 2000 calories in a week. This is great news if you are trying to lose weight, but do not have time to go to the gym.
Skipping allows you to exercise in short bursts throughout the day instead of you having to dedicate an hour of your time straight up. It burns way more calories than other forms of cardio such as running on a treadmill for the same amount of time. An effective way to shred body fat would be to use your skipping rope for high intensity interval training.
For example, skip at an extremely fast pace for 20 – 30 seconds and then at normal pace for a minute. Repeat this as much as you can. Doing so will mean you end up burning fat throughout the day.
2. It can be done almost anywhere
The great thing about skipping is that it can be done both indoors and outdoors, as long as you have a bit of free space. All you need is a small empty square space and nothing that you can break (like a lampshade!) above you. This means you can enjoy skipping outdoors in the Summer and do it snugly indoors in the Winter.
3. Skipping ropes are cheap to buy and easy to carry
A skipping rope is unlikely to cost you more than $10 and they can be bought online, at fitness stores or in large supermarkets. Once you have bought the rope, working out intensely can be done for free. Additionally its super easy and compact to carry around meaning you can take it to a friends house, the park or to the beach. Its essentially just two handles and a piece of rope!
4. It works your entire body
When you jump rope, you are working out your legs (for jumping), arms (to control the rope), core (to stabilize your body) and cardiovascular system (well, that’s used whenever you exercise) . In doing so you end up building strength, stamina, speed and coordination.
Some fitness experts consider it one of the best forms of cardio. Skipping can be used for high intensity interval training workouts which burn fat much more effectively than other types of exercise. In addition, it improves your heart rate (which in turn can help control blood pressure) and makes you more flexible.
5. Any age group can do it
So long as you are relatively fit and do not have any medical problems with your legs or joints, then you can skip! This means you can do it with your children and their grand parents, to help improve fitness levels of the entire family. Since it doesn’t take up a lot of time, all they you to do is put on a pair of training shoes and you’re good to go. Everyone can skip at their own pace depending on their fitness level and gradually become faster.
6. It doesn’t affect your joints as much as running
Compared to running, skipping has less of an impact on your joints (such as your knees). You can therefore practice it much longer and without the worry of succumbing to an injury. However be sure to wear a good pair of shoes and socks – knocking your bare feet on solid ground can be quite painful! Shoes act like shock absorbers, minimizing the impact the ground has on your body.
7. It keeps your lymphatic system healthy
Your body’s lymphatic system helps get rid of waste products from your blood and relies on muscle movements to function well. Jumping rope gets your muscles going, thereby keeping your lymphatic system in check.
8. Keeps bones healthy
Exercises which make you carry your body’s weight such as running and dancing (also known as weight bearing exercises) keep your bones healthy. Skipping is also a weight bearing exercise, doing it can help improve the density of your bones and reduce the chances of osteoporosis. If you do however already have Osteoporosis, skipping is not recommended – speak with your doctor about exercises you can do to help.
Some tips for jumping rope
1. Skipping ropes are adjustable
Most skipping ropes are sold so that anyone can use them. This means you should be able to adjust yours so that it is not too long and not too short. When you step on the center of the rope with one foot, the handles should reach up to your chest; if not, it needs adjusting. If you haven’t already bought one, opt for a rope that has foam handles as these types are more comfortable to hold.
2. Use good form
Your back should be straight and not slouched when you are skipping. Practice slowly a few times to make sure you are skipping correctly before moving on to a faster pace. Additionally always wear a good pair of shoes and socks to prevent your sole from getting injured or having to deal with a painful blister.
3. Variety is the spice of life
Skipping in the same manner can get boring after a while. However there are many different ways in which you can skip to keep things fun. Watch the video below to learn a few different skipping tactics.
4. Take it one step at a time
I know you may be eager to prove to both yourself and others just how many times you can skip or impress them with your speed. But be careful – skipping too intensely can leave you feeling nauseated and weak. Build up your pace gradually.
I hope this article has convinced you why skipping is such an effective and enjoyable form of exercise and I hope you include it into your weekly routine. Happy skipping!