For Speed, Endurance, and Agility, Grab a Jump Rope
Ever wonder how long a minute can feel? Set a timer and start jumping rope. Think that’s too easy? Jump a little faster. And faster still. Throw in a couple double-unders. Now add 30 seconds, a minute. Point being, there’s not a person on the planet for whom jumping rope is too easy — nor, on the other hand, is there anyone for whom it’s too hard. And with the advent of ropeless jump ropes, there are methods of making the activity more accessible (more on that later).
So if you’re looking for an effective endurance workout that challenges the body and the brain, you better hop to it!
What are the benefits of jumping rope?
Jumping rope is an effective strength endurance workout that is demanding on the entire body. In addition to your physical condition, it helps you improve your speed, power for explosive movement, sense of rhythm and coordination, as well as your cognitive abilities. You need an alert mind to execute these sequences without stumbling.
If you need more convincing, here are five reasons to jump:
- You don’t need any previous experience for a jump rope workout: It is suitable for beginners who want to exercise or lose weight as well as for advanced athletes with higher aerobic goals.
- It’s varied: unlike jogging, you stay in one place, but there’s a variety of steps and jumps.
- Using the jump rope can be a fast cardio workout or a warm-up: Ten minutes can be just as effective as 30 minutes of jogging.
- It’s strength and endurance training for the whole body, which helps your cardio capacity, challenges the muscles, and trains reflexes and concentration skills – all at the same time!
- A jump rope workout can increase your performance in other areas: These workouts train your speed and power in a targeted and effective way, which is especially beneficial in martial arts (such as boxing), sprinting, and acrobatic exercises.
Rope skipping calorie consumption
The actual calorie consumption during rope skipping depends on many factors, such as age, gender and weight as well as your speed and general fitness. So it’s difficult to generalize. But figure it’s around 150 calories per 10 minutes of skipping. So half an hour of jumping rope can melt up to 500 calories. By comparison, jogging at a medium pace burns about 350 calories per 30 minutes.
How long are jump rope workouts?
That depends on your goals and your fitness level. In general, ten minutes every day is a good amount if you want to increase your general fitness.
If you want to get started with jump rope as a beginner, jump for ten 1-minute intervals, with 1-minute breaks in between. Try to jump once per second.
Advanced jumpers can fill the break times with exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, push-ups or squats. Alternatively, shorten the break to 30 seconds.
Refuel: Try whey protein!
Your jump rope safety briefing
As with any other sport, there are a few subtleties to consider in order to avoid injuries and get the most out of the exercise:
- Put on sturdy shoes, preferably with forefoot cushioning and a high shaft
- Warm up your wrists and ankles! Rise onto your tip-toes and slowly lower yourself back down. At the same time, circle your arms around. Repeat a few times.
- Jump on a springy surface, like a gym floor, grass, or track—not on asphalt
- Allow sufficient space to the front, back and above
Choosing a rope
To find the right length, hold one end of the rope in each hand, and stand on top of the rope’s middle point. Pull the rope alongside your body. The ends of the rope should reach just below your chest.
Speed ropes are the most common. These light, thin ropes made of plastic are the best jump rope choice for beginners, while those more advanced can choose ropes made of steel, brass wire or leather. There are also ropes with integrated weights for when you’re really up for the challenge. For ropes with handles, you should pay attention to a smooth-running ball joint so that the rope rotates smoothly. Better to go for quality than just find a cheap rope at a discount store.
Beaded ropes are also an option. They are heavier, though, and are mainly used for partner exercises or in acrobatics.
Ropeless ropes have a weighted ball joint attached to a handle, but no rope in the middle. They’re meant to give you the sensation of jumping rope. These are great if you’re dealing with tight spaces, have mobility differences, or as an adaptive tool for cardio and coordination.
Lock in the technique
When you jump, the rotation of the rope comes from the wrists and not from the arms. Keep your arms close to your body and your shoulders and forearms still. Jump off from the ball of your foot and land softly without completely setting your heels down. You don’t have to jump high at all! A few centimeters is enough, as long as you clear the rope. Keep your legs slightly bent at all times.
- Easy Jump: Comfortable speed jumping on one spot
- One-Legged Jump: Jump with one foot while bending the other knee slightly, then switch leg
- Running Step: Alternate which leg lands on each jump, as if you were running in place
- Double Under: Jump a bit higher and swing the rope twice as fast to get it under your feet twice before landing the jump
- Criss Cross Arms: Cross your arms in front of your body before the rope hits the floor under your feet. Cross as the rope passes above your head
- Criss-Cross Legs: Cross your feet as you land one jump. Uncross them for the next jump and alternate which leg goes in front. Advanced version: criss cross them without taking one jump to switch sides
- Jumping Jacks: Open and close your feet alternately on each jump, just like a jumping jack
- Step Jump: Scissor your feet back and forth for each jump
- Heel Taps: Alternate taping the heels forward
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Sources for this article
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