Do you remember when you were a child and used to jump rope for hours on the playground? You probably got so good that you could do it with 3 or 4 friends at the same time and do all sorts of tricks with it. And more important for you it didn’t feel like a workout but fun and playing.
Why not jump rope as a workout? Yes, you are a grownup now but jumping rope is still as fun. Also, there are many jump rope workout benefits. Jumping rope is the most diverse form of workout that builds your stamina, strengthens your bones, builds your muscle mass and burns calories.
You can do your jump rope workout almost anywhere, at the gym, at home, outdoors and the cost of your equipment is minimal because for less than 10 dollars you can buy rope of top quality.
Rope jumping is a workout of high intensity that raises your aerobic and anaerobic capacity in the same manner that running sprint does.
If you jump rope as fast as you can you will raise your heart rate up to its maximum.
If on the other hand, you jump rope slower, your body has to work harder than it would do jogging.
This way you will get in shape much faster than you would by running, swimming or riding a bicycle. Studies show that a person is putting more effort when jumping rope than when jogging or jumping because he or she is focusing on the skill and pays no attention to pain.
2. Stronger Bones
Jump rope workout is especially good for teenagers and younger girls and women because it helps to build a strong bone structure.
In the female population, the increase of bone mass stops between the age of 20-25. After that, the bone mass starts deteriorating year after year.
That’s the reason why your workout program should help you build as much bone mass as you can while you are still young and will also help you keep it over the years.
Studies show that there is no better workout for building and preserving bone mass than rope jumping.
In mid-fifties, last century Russian scientist developed a training technique they called plyometrics and that technique helped them to be one of the world leaders in sports. This technique consists of sudden straining and stretching of the muscles followed by sudden muscle contraction.
Plyometrics strengthens the muscles and prepares them for sports like tennis, skiing, and other similar sports. Jump rope workout is the best plyometrics exercise.
4. Burning Fat
Rope jumping is excellent for burning fat. Canadian scientists determined that heavy workout helps people burn fat much quicker and more efficient than a slower light workout.
Jumping activates the sympathetic nervous system which leads to bigger daily consumption of calories. To these benefits, you can also add better coordination, better rhythm, and flexibility and you will realize this is a complete workout.
How To Begin
Jumping rope is a very simple activity. All you need is a pair of good trainers a rope and a suitable place for jumping. Considering the trainers choose those that absorb the impact well and give you absolute stability.
Trainers for running are not suitable for this since they don’t have adequate lateral protection.
Choose the rope that suits you, the one that you can easily flip over your head and you won’t trip on. Too long or too short rope will not allow you to make smooth moves.
The rope is of a good length if you are able to raise your hands to the height of your shoulders when you step in the middle of it and grab both ends with your hands nicely.
You can jump the rope anywhere but it would be ideal if you are in a room with a lot of light and fresh air with floors that are not too solid. Try to avoid concrete surface and chose elastic wooden floors or floors covered with carpet. Do not use exercise mat because it can easily slip under you and you can get badly injured.
Jump Rope Techniques
This is high-intensity training so you have to have good posture in order to prevent injuries of your knees, thighs, back, and neck.
For that reason, always during your workout look straight ahead and keep the back straight. Keep the elbows low and always at an angle of 90 degrees.
Flip the rope only with your wrists and with rhythmical moves. Knees should be slightly bent to avoid putting too much pressure on the knee cap while jumping.
Always warm up a little bit before the training. The best way to do that is to do whole-body workouts with low intensity like running in place or jumping. Most experts do not recommend flexing since it diminishes muscle strength and makes muscles too sensitive to stretching.
If you are a beginner then the training should go like this: take both ends of the rope in the right hand and start flipping it.
Each time the rope hits the ground you jump. When you manage to maintain the rhythm take the ends of the rope in both hands and start flipping the rope over your head and jump each time the rope touches the ground.
Keep your feet close. Practice this basic technique until you manage to do 30-50 repetitions without making a mistake. When you gain more security try more advanced techniques.
You can cross the rope in front of you right before you are going to jump. In this technique make sure you cross your arms enough so you have enough space to jump the rope.
A bit harder technique is crossing the rope behind your back. In the basic technique, there is also a double flip of the rope for one jump.
After you master the basic techniques work on the position of your feet during the jumps. At first, move your feet so they open and close. Then jump first with one then with the other foot. More advanced feet movements are jumping first to the left then to the right.
Training With Intervals
Training with intervals is the training of short heavy workouts followed by rest in between the repetitions.
Start with jumping the rope for 15-30 sec and then rest for 30 sec. In the beginning, jump the rope slowly, for example, making only 120 flips in a minute.
As you are getting more skilfull raise the number of flips to 140-160 per minute and make intervals longer.
Good training is the one where you do 20, one minute long intervals, with 1-minute rest in between each. It is very important that you gradually raise the number of jumps and repetitions.
So, go get your rope and start working out. This will help you get back in shape, lower body fat and strengthen your bones.