Jump Rope for Fun & Fitness
If you could add one simple exercise to your weekly routine that would make a dramatic impact on your fitness level, would you do it? It’s an exercise you may have done as a kid, and one you can do just about anywhere: jumping rope.
Many people think they’re not coordinated enough to jump rope. The first few times are often a struggle. But don’t decide too quickly that it’s not for you – with these introductory tips and a little perseverance, you’ll be jumping rope (and burning tons of calories) in no time!
Why Jump Rope?
I have many clients and friends who train for marathons and other long-distance runs, and it’s no small feat. It requires building up stamina over time and eventually going on very long runs to prepare for the big day. The problem is that it leaves little or no time for cross-training.
Along with incorporating strength exercises, it’s also important to add another form of cardiovascular exercise; jumping rope is an excellent choice. It not only enhances the endurance built during those long runs, it also helps develop speed, agility, strength, power, and balance.
If you’re not a runner and want to get into great shape quickly, jumping rope may just be your next favorite activity. You burn roughly the same number of calories jumping rope for 10 minutes as you do jogging for 30. And who wouldn’t love getting such a great workout in a short period of time?
To begin, you’ll need (or may already have) the following items:
- A great pair of athletic shoes that provide excellent support
- A really good jump rope that fits your body (ask for help when picking one out at your local sporting goods store, or check for a sizing guide if ordering online)
- Your favorite get-your-body-moving music
Once you have your jump rope, shoes and music, the fun begins. Jumping rope requires the coordination of many muscle groups to work in harmony, which makes it a little frustrating at first. Just be patient until you get into the swing of it.
Keep it Simple
For your first workout, simply pretend to use the rope. Notice how many songs you ‘jumped’ to. If you made it through three songs, you probably jumped for about 10 minutes. Set a goal of finishing a certain number of songs – this gives you extra incentive and prevents you from quitting mid-song.
Once you can jump for 10 minutes without stopping, bring out your jump rope. You can either jump while twirling it beside you or jump through it. It’s up to you – just jump.
It’s a high-impact workout, so if you have ankle, hip or knee issues, ask your doctor if it’s right for you. To minimize the impact, make sure you don’t jump too high, and keep a slight bend in your knees as you land.
Always choose a surface that has a little give to it. You don’t want to jump on concrete or stone surfaces, as it will make you more susceptible to injury.
The Best Instructor
If you’re serious about jump-rope training and want to learn more, look up my friend Buddy Lee’s. Buddy, a twenty-time national wrestling champion and two-time Marine Athlete of the Year, is the world’s leading jump-rope training expert.
You can learn workouts and progressions for warm-ups, cool-downs, sports-specific training, and sample programs used by elite athletes. You can even see videos of Buddy in action. You won’t believe your eyes!
Jump Your Way to Health,
You should consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program. GO Newsletter articles are offered as introductions to basic concepts and are not comprehensive or necessarily applicable to a particular individual’s circumstances.