It’s no surprise that boxers, who are arguably some of the fittest athletes around, regularly perform skipping drills to assist with their hand-to-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness. So why not include some jump rope into your workouts and reap some of the fitness benefits listed below?
Some of the fitness benefits of skipping include:
Full body workout
Skipping has to be one of the cheapest exercises. You require minimal equipment, minimal space and you can practice just about anywhere – indoors or out. To kick-start your skipping routine, this is all you require:
Skipping ropes are very cheap and available in sports retailers. Also, you can even make your own. To ensure that your rope is the right length for your height, stand on the middle of the rope and pull the handles upwards till the rope is tight. The handles should be in line with the middle of your chest.
Cushioned Training Shoes
Skipping is a high-impact activity, that is good for bone strength. But it is essential that you wear suitable footwear. The action of skipping – particularly if you go to some slightly more advanced movements – means that your shoes need some lateral stability to offer support for your feet. Cross-training shoes that unite stability with cushioning are best.
Correct Surface for Skipping
Cushioned training shoes alone are not the only consideration that you require to be aware of. In fact, you should practice your skipping on a ‘giving’ surface like a sprung gym floor, an exercise mat (ensure that the mat won’t move or slip), or a carpet. By skipping on a cushioned surface in correct footwear, you will prevent any lower leg problems that result from influences – such as shin splints.
Skipping Exercise Technique
It’s no surprise that professional boxers look like they’re dancing on air as they skip in the gym – they have sharpened their skipping skills and technique through many hours of practice. This is a straightforward exercise, but to get benefits from your routine you should ensure that you adopt the following correct technique:
Jump off and land on the balls of your feet
Don’t look down at your feet, keep your head up and look straight ahead.
Don’t hunch over; always skip with a straight back. You should Jump only a few centimeters into the air each time that the rope passes.
Your Skipping Exercise routine should include:
Always make sure that you warm up thoroughly before you begin. For skipping, this could be a few minutes of walking, marching on the spot, jogging or light skipping. Once you’re warmed up, you can begin your main skipping session.
Always remember to involve a light cool-down at the end of your session to bring the body slowly back to its resting state. Complete with a few stretches and focus on the legs, particularly the calves, to maintain good leg flexibility.
Skipping exercise suggestions
Once you’ve known the basics, you can do much more than simply jump up and down on the spot. Try some of these alternatives to bring variety into your skipping workout, refine your hand-to-eye coordination.
Swing the rope gradually and complete a double jump for each revolution.
Rather than jumping with both feet together, jump on one foot only, kicking the other out in front or behind on each revolution. Now alternate your feet between each jump.
Hop gradually on one foot as you skip. Begin with a couple of hops before using the other foot, then slowly increase the number of hops that you can complete on each leg.
Choose a ‘jogging’ style by keeping the rope low and ‘jogging’ on the spot as you twirl the rope.
High jogging is more demanding – raise your knees as high as possible on each skip.
A double-footed jump – but this time, as well as jumping a few centimeters off the ground, you must jump from side to side. Begin with short sideways jumps and slowly expand the width of your jumps as you do better.
Use a standard double jump technique, because the rope comes above your head, cross your arms over as far as you can and perform a higher jump so you don’t catch the rope. Now come back to normal skipping and then redo. Increase from one cross over in 10 skips till you can perform an alternate between standard and cross over skips each revolution.