It can be a fairly difficult task to find the right cardio exercise which effectively burns calories and which suits your needs. A specific exercise which is time effective, easy to do and which gives excellent results is skipping or jumping rope.
A ten minute session gives amazing results, you can feel your heart rate increase, and almost feel yourself burning those calories!! Spend ten minutes a day doing the jump rope exercise and you will notice a difference in your stamina levels, and your weight too. In addition, to these benefits, you can also use jumping rope as a warm-up method for other activities or exercises, as it has been proven to be an effective method of stretching the muscles and definitely gets the heart working.
What you will need
All you need for jumping rope or skipping, is the rope itself. Most good quality, cable ropes will last for many years. You will probably find that the leather jump ropes are too light and too slow. If you don’t already own a jumping rope, try this one:
Althoughisn’t entirely necessary, it is always best to feel comfortable and have a free range of movement, so I would recommend that you use training gear that you would normally wear whilst exercising. Wear suitable footwear such as a good supportive pair of cross trainers. with good forefoot padding, because rope jumping requires ballancing and bouncing bodyweight on the balls of the feet, and without these you could do yourself more harm than good.
How to Jump Rope: The Technique
It is a pretty easy technique to learn, but as mentioned above it is important to choose the right jump rope. The length is important and has to be appropriate to your height – when you hold the handles one in each hand, step on the rope, and a correct length should be that the handles come up to anywhere from between your waist and your armpits. When you become comfortable with jumping rope, you will know what is the right length rope for you.
Starting with the jump rope behind your feet, holding the ends of the rope in each hand and trying to keep your hands only slightly above the level of your waist, bring the rope up and over your head and as it reaches your feet, just jump very slightly in order to allow the rope to pass beneath your feet. Try to maintain a circular motion of the jump rope with your hands only – they should not be moving up and down.
This all looks very easy and the experts not only look at ease jumping rope, but they also make it sound quick and simple to learn too. You will find however, that the initial few days might be a bit of a challenge as trying to co-ordinate your new jumping method in time with the movement of the rope itself, will most likely require some practice. Practice makes perfect as they always say. Try not to worry too much if your feet and the rope become entangled at first. This always happens. The most important thing of all is to persevere until you are comfortable jumping rope, and don’t give up.
Jump Rope Timing
We know this is called jumping rope, but it is really not about the jump, but more about the landing, and that being said, it is more about keeping your knees soft and pushing off from your toes as if you are doing a calf raise. So you are just pushing the balls of your feet into the floor so that you can get your feet just enough off the floor in order to get the rope underneath them. Together with this, you must also be aware that jumping rope comes from the wrists – you don’t need to be moving your arms and– just your wrists.
So the first steps in jumping rope are working on your timing. To develop your timing, you will need to put both ends of the rope into one hand. You can start with your right hand. And start swinging the rope around in a circular motion and keep your left hand up as if you have the rope in both hands. Then, from here, you can start doing some little hops because it is more about hopping skipping than jumping – just pushing off the balls of the feet until you get your timing right. You are going to be off rhythm until you get comfortable. You can do this for ten seconds or so, until you feel comfortable and then stop. Then switch hands and start over again, as if you have the rope in both hands, and start your hopping again repeating the process on your left side.
When you feel comfortable with your timing, take the handles, one in each hand, and you can now start putting it together, but I always recommend starting with the little hops first, so push off from the toes and you are going to need to get your rope underneath your feet at the same time as you do your little hops.
The jump rope should make a slight ‘tick’ sound as it touches the ground with each revolution, and this makes it a whole lot easier to count your reps and get into rhythm.
A lot of people, when first learning to jump rope, actually don’t realise that they are jumping too high. The rope is usually about an eighth of an inch thick, so it is best to try to keep your jumps as small as possible. Otherwise, if you are jumping too high for more than about 30 seconds, you will burn yourself out. So try to relax and don’t worry if you trip over the rope – the art of jumping rope will come together with practice, so don’t give up!!