You may just think of a jump rope as a children’s toy, but it’s one you’ll want to hold onto once you’ve grown up. It delivers an excellent full-body workout even if you’re short on time or you don’t have access to a gym.
In this article, we’ll discover the benefits of this simple fitness tool, how to get started with it, and how to stay safe while doing it.
- Benefits of Jumping Rope
- Safety Precautions
- Important Techniques for Your Jump Rope Workout
- In Conclusion
Benefits of Jumping Rope
Inexpensive and versatile workout
This piece of workout equipment is inexpensive, portable, and compact. It’ll fit in a small suitcase or a studio apartment and you’ll probably spend less than $20.
It is one of the cheapest and most effective pieces of fitness equipment you can invest in and makes it easy to Get Fit And Healthy At Home.
A great full-body workout
A good jump rope session will allow you to target muscles in both your upper and lower body. You’ll also improve your cardiovascular fitness and general conditioning. There is a reason that you see everyone from prizefighters to football players utilizing jumping rope in their training.
Skipping rope strengthens many muscles in your legs. It especially targets your calves and glutes, but it also hits your quadriceps and hamstrings. On top of that, it is an excellent core workout, hitting all of your abdominal muscles as you keep your body erect and stabilized.
Jumping rope additionally works for quite a few muscle groups in the upper body. Most of the muscles in your upper back and shoulders are utilized in the upper part of the rope swing.
Finally, this exercise will also improve the grip strength in your hands, wrists, and forearms. All of which can improve your performance in other sports and help to protect you from injuries.
Increase your coordination
Enhance your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
One of the first things you learn with jumping rope is to not watch your feet or the rope. Doing so will usually throw off your balance and timing. As you progress from basic bounce and alternating foot movements to more advanced ones, your coordination and timing will dramatically improve. You’ll soon be able to do any physical activity better, and practicing this kind of mental concentration strengthens your mind and also wards off boredom.
Burn more calories
A typical adult can burn 750 calories or more per hour during a moderately paced session of jumping rope, according to the National Institute of Health. That’s more than almost any other activity, including jogging or bicycling! On top of that, the vigorous nature of the exercise triggers what is commonly known to athletes as the Afterburn Effect.
What is the afterburn effect you ask? The technical term is “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” or EPOC. Basically, your body must replenish resources and repair muscles used during your exercise session. This causes oxygen consumption to rise, requiring extra energy to be used, and burning more calories on top of what you used during your workout.
The exact number of calories burned will vary from person to person, but according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), EPOC can increase calorie burn by 6 to 15%.
Check with your doctor
As I always advise with any new exercise you engage in.
You should take the precaution to see your doctor before starting this or any high-intensity activity, especially if you’re over 45 or have been inactive for a while. Jumping rope may also need to be avoided in the early stages after an injury until your joints are strong enough to handle the impact.
As with any activity… If you feel severe pain, unrelated to the usual muscle soreness, discontinue the activity and consult your physician immediately.
Monitor your heart rate
By understanding your target heart rate, you can burn fat more efficiently and avoid injuries. Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. Aim to stay at about 75 to 85 percent of that figure for the most challenging phase of your workout.
For example, someone who is 45 years old would have a maximum heart rate of 175 bpm. While jumping rope, they would aim to keep their heart rate between 131 and 148.
Choose the correct rope for you
Look for a rope that’s long enough to nearly reach your armpits when you stand in the middle of it. This is the rope itself minus the handles. Many beginners find beaded ropes easier to control but plastic, leather, and nylon are also good options.
Whichever material you choose the most important thing is to select the correct length. Too short will cause you to trip while jumping rope, too long will slow you down as you wait for the rope to completely clear your feet.
Wear the right shoes
Get a good pair of shoes that can absorb the shock of jumping rope and protect your feet from the whipping rope.
A good jump rope shoe should offer good stability, good ankle support, and good arch support. It should also have sufficient cushioning in the midsole.
The right shoe does not have to be expensive. Aerobic or cross-training shoes with generous cushioning are an ideal choice.
Stick to safe surfaces
Rubber mats and wood are much better for absorbing impact when jumping rope than concrete or asphalt. The harder the surface the more strain and impact you put on your knees and joints. Also, be cautious about skipping rope on carpets because your shoe could stick and cause an ankle injury.
Important Techniques for Your Jump Rope Workout
Start off slowly
Lots of people feel awkward at first when they start jumping rope. Trying to get used to the movement and find their coordination. Try rehearsing the movements without a rope at first. Just do a basic bounce on the balls of your feet and focus on getting a good steady rhythm going. Some individuals find alternating their feet (left, right, left, right) to be easier at first.
Whichever you choose start slowly and work up to speed. You may also need to focus on your arms and feet separately until you’re ready to put it all together. Take your time. You should think of your fitness journey as a marathon, not a sprint.
Engage in interval training
Alternate between periods of intense jumping and gentler movements. The goal is to cause your heart rate to rise and fall as you speed up and slow down. This is a technique that pro athletes use to condition their heart and lung capacity and build endurance.
Once you get your rhythm and become more confident jumping rope you can start varying your workouts. Increase the intensity gradually as your capacity builds up. When you feel fatigued, try swinging the rope at your side while you keep your feet on the floor or march in place.
Warm-up and cool down
You never want to jump into any exercise or physical activity cold, this includes jumping rope. Include a few minutes of light movement before and after every session to warm up and cool down. Light bouncing or high knee lifts work well. This will warm up your muscles, get oxygen into your system, and condition your heart to avoid dizziness.
After your workout do some light bouncing again, or a brisk walk to let your body adjust back to normal, Finally, finish up with static stretches to retain your flexibility and keep from stiffening up.
Use good technique
Using proper form will protect your joints by lowering the impact level and keeping them at the correct angles.
- Keep the rope close to your feet as you lift yourself.
- Only lift about one to two inches off the floor.
- Allow just the balls of your feet to make contact with the floor.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides.
- Turn the rope using only your wrists and forearms.
Jumping rope is a very effective exercise that works out your whole body. By taking your time and letting your body get used to the exercise you will have better results. Using this time to master proper form will protect your joints and heart while you burn away calories. As with any workout, listen to your body and check with your doctor if you have any concerns.