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Jump Start Your Way to Fitness

Shape Up by Jumping Rope

People with a general level of fitness can incorporate jump rope into his or her workout, to encourage substantial cardiovascular benefits.  Skipping, or jump rope, improves bone density and prevents age degenerative diseases, including osteoporosis. In addition, jump rope also develops hand-eye coordination, stamina, muscle strength, balance, timing and endurance.

Skipping is an effective workout for the wrists, forearms, back, calves, thigh and buttock muscles, plus it burns tons of calories over a short period. Jump rope is similar to running, and it takes incredible athletic strength to consistently jump rope for up to 60-minutes. A professional boxer is able to jump rope for longer periods, due to his or her fitness and conditioning. Without correct breathing, however, jump rope can lead to an unpleasant stitch, making it impossible to continue the workout.

Jump Rope as Interval Training

Jump rope can be used as a form of interval training, when used with other exercises like resistance training. Skipping rapidly raises the heart rate, and it doesn’t need to become boring either, since skipping provides variety, including side-to-side jumps, the heel dig, jumping jacks and the cross. Double unders (where the rope passes under the feet twice) require a quick burst of stamina, but they burn approximately 28 calories per minute. Some people can perform triple unders, which require incredible speed and conditioning.

How to Measure a Skipping Rope

Using a rope that is too short could fatigue the wrists. It should pass over the head and under the feet in a smooth motion. The speed rope is made of plastic and can quickly form knots. The leather rope is less likely to knot, but it does wear over time. Weighted ropes are ideal for the advanced jump roper, but use of them requires power in the wrists and forearm. If the arms have to circle the rope, it is too short, and if the rope bounces and hits the ankles, it is too long. The best way to measure the rope is to stand on it and lift the handles for as long as they go. If they reach the armpit, the rope is a good length. Some ropes are easily adjustable, but tying a knot near the handle can shorten others.

The Benefits of Jump Rope

Regular jump rope tones the buttocks, burns a significant number of calories and shapes the calf muscles. Long term skipping boosts the stamina, heightens the metabolism, and develops hand-eye coordination and balance. Incorporating jump rope into a routine may create slight discomfort in the beginning, as the rope can sting the legs. However, these mistakes will motivate an individual to continue with the sport until a consistent pace is maintained.

The Basic Jump Rope Moves

The basic two-foot jump is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination and speed. When this move becomes second nature, try jogging from side to side, the feet jumping only an inch high to pass the rope. Aim to jump rope on hard rubber or wood, as concrete or tiles is very tough on the joints. Boxing boots are light and effective for jump rope, but a pair of lightweight trainers will also suffice. Try skipping for three minutes followed by several minutes of bodyweight training, including squat thrusts, burpees and push-ups, before returning to jump rope. Maintain this pace for 30 to 40 minutes to give the body a thorough fat-burning workout.

To Summarize

Jump rope is an effective exercise. It provides diversity and burns a ton of calories. It is good to incorporate with resistance-type exercise. The choice of jump ropes also varies, from the speed and leather rope to the weighted rope. Skipping is an easy way to develop the calf muscles, melt fat, and tone the buttocks.