Today we’re talking about why we should add jump rope into our training. About 4 months ago, I started jumping using a heavy rope and found it a fun and challenging way to get cardio in.
People have been doing jump rope for a long time, and there’s evidence both the ancient Egyptians and Chinese jumped rope.
I associate Jump rope with two groups; kids on the playground and an athlete like a boxer.
A lot of the reasons we’d want to incorporate jump rope into our programs are the same as why a boxer does.
First, it develops full-body coordination because we time our jump while the upper body is spinning the rope. Our level of coordination improves even more as we begin to use different footwork styles. If you’re new, start by jumping with both feet. We can alternate feet in a running manner, or boxers do a skip where they jump with one foot and tap the ground with the other.
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I mainly jump using both feet at the same time. But all these styles are done on the balls of our feet, which enables us to stay light and mobile, improving our ability to move quickly with split-second timing like a boxer avoiding a punch.
In day-to-day life, being light on our feet can keep us from falling when we slip on ice or help us catch something before it falls off a table.
When we think of a boxer doing cardio, we might think of Rocky running through the streets of Philadelphia or on the beach with Apollo Creed. But there are also scenes of him doing jump rope.
They did a study comparing rope skipping to Jogging for improving cardio and found that 10 minutes a day of rope skipping was as efficient as a 30-minute-a-day program of jogging for improving cardiovascular efficiency.
This is partly because jump rope is more of a full-body workout than running. You not only have to spin the rope but control it as it spins around you, and this involves virtually every muscle of the upper body and the heavier the rope, the more strength you need.
For legs, you’re working calves, hamstrings, glutes and quads.
Skipping is a plyometric exercise, and when you use a heavy rope, you have to jump higher than with a speed rope. This improves bone density, something that, if we don’t exercise, we lose as we age. It also strengthens the muscles around our knees. Now, if you have a lot of knee trouble or are extremely overweight, you’ll want to approach any jumping exercise carefully.
When using a heavy jump rope, you’ll burn more calories per minute than a speed rope as long as you’re jumping at the same pace. Torrobands sell jump ropes, and they include two ropes in each package, each one a different weight allowing you to progress your workouts in multiple ways. You can jump faster, higher, or for a longer duration, but you can also switch to a heavier rope.
When it comes to adding jumping into your training, you have to start where you are at if you can only do 10-second intervals, then start there and gradually work your way up to a 20 and then 30-second intervals.
Some examples of a HIIT workout you could try is Tabata training, where you go as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then rest for 10. You do this for 8 rounds, and if that feels too hard, start with 4 and slowly work your way up.
Every minute on the minute is where you do a certain number of reps or jumps every minute. Once you have finished the chosen number of repetitions, you rest for the remainder of the minute before beginning again.
When you’re starting, you can do a relatively low number of jumps per minute and for a few minutes at a time, then begin to build up the number of reps and total minutes, you’re exercising.