I know many of us can remember as a kid jumping rope or as some would call it skipping rope. It was one of my favorite things to do on a summer afternoon. I didn’t realize it as a child, but jumping rope was one of the best exercises for shedding calories, building muscles, and getting a good cardio workout. As an adult, while I enjoy the benefits of jumping rope, I can also get in touch with my inner child.
Skipping rope is a simple, high-intensity workout that burns calories fast. You can burn over 1,000 calories in one hour of jumping. So this exercise is great for weight loss. For my Snickers candy bar lovers, 15-20 minutes will easily burn off those calories. (Snickers are my favorite!)
Jump ropes are a simple piece of equipment you can take anywhere to get your workout in. It’s easy to work into a busy schedule. A minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness. Ten minutes of nonstop jumping can provide the same benefits as the following:
30 minutes of jogging
2 sets of tennis singles
720 yards of swimming
Jump ropes are very affordable. It’s about the least expensive workout. There about 3 main types of ropes. Depending on what you want, will determine the price you’ll pay. Many retailers categorize their ropes as speed ropes, beaded ropes, and weighted ropes. Speed ropes are the most common and optimal for beginners. They are lightweight and easy to use for practicing basic skills. Beaded ropes are typically used for rhythmic jumping and competitions. Beads cover the nylon rope but the beads are relatively light so they do not make the rope feel heavy. As the beads hit the ground, it creates a sharp noise. Weighted ropes are designed to intensify your workouts. These ropes are used by advanced jumpers looking to do heavy-duty cardio.
Jumping rope works all major muscle groups. Target body areas are:
Core – maintaining good posture while jumping challenges your core
Arms – the constant rope swinging works muscles in your hands, wrists, and elbows
Legs – excellent way to build strong leg muscles
Glutes – with every jump you’re using your glutes
Back – back muscles are engaged to help keep a stable posture while jumping
Because jumping rope is a high-impact workout, it can put stress on the back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Sad to admit that jumping rope is not for everyone. If you have any pain or arthritis in these areas, avoid this exercise. Also, if you suffer from heart disease or have family history of heart disease, please use caution. Seek your doctor’s advice before starting a jump rope routine, especially, if haven’t been active lately or have any medical problems.
In many sports training programs, coaches incorporate jumping rope as a warm-up or conditioning tool to improve overall athletic performance. For example, jumping rope is one of the staples for a boxer’s workout routine. Boxing coaches use this exercise because it’s great for balance, coordination, and foot speed. Jumping rope improves spatial awareness, reflexes, bone density, and endurance. Continuous jumping requires the body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created with each jump.
This simple exercise can do wonders for the body. Some of the top health benefits of jumping rope consist of a strong heart, lower cholesterol, low blood pressure, weight control, and stress relief. You can jump your way to a healthier lifestyle.
Jumping up and down increases your blood flow and that makes for a nice, strong heart. By lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and prevent heart attacks and strokes. A well-exercised heart muscle can pump blood effortlessly to all parts of the body. A stable blood flow allows arterial walls to relax. As you’re jumping, HDL (good) cholesterol increases and LDL (bad) cholesterol decreases.
You’ll be able to decrease fat cells which will promote weight loss. Jumping rope is a sure easy way to keep your waistline in check.
Like any other type of exercise, jumping rope can relieve stress by boosting the production of endorphins. The release of these brain chemicals makes you feel good. All you need is a minimum of 5 minutes to ease your anxiety.
- Wear comfortable shoes like trainers or aerobics shoes
- Avoid jumping on hard, concrete surfaces
- Just like running, your form matters. Maintain proper form.
- Do a light walk before and cool down with a stretch when you’re done
- Turn the rope with your wrist, don’t use your shoulders
- Start with short jump times and increase the duration gradually
- Jump rope 3-4 times a week
Once you get the hang of skipping rope, you’ll discover many different ways to jump rope. You might become adventurous and learn a trick or two to keep it entertaining. In the beginning, don’t worry about not jumping for long durations at a time, jump in increments and just have fun with it.