With a tool as simple as a Jump Rope and a few minutes each day, you can enjoy the numerous benefits that jumping rope has to offer. Benefits such as improved cardiovascular fitness plus total body muscle toning at the same time. Jumping rope ignites your metabolism, improves bone density and torches calories fast.
Most people avoid incorporating jumping into their fitness routine because of fear of injuries or knee issues. Jumping rope can actually be a low impact activity when done properly.
I have incorporated jump rope into my routine now for the past 2 years and as always, I share what has worked for me.
Establish the proper rope length: Too long and you catch the rope. Too short and you get a tougher workout. To figure out the correct length, fold the rope in the middle and step on it with one foot. Both handles of the folded rope should come up to shoulder level. Many jump ropes have a fixed length. You may adjust the length by tying knots close to the handles to shorten. The brand I have is the Buddy LEE speed rope. It is a worthwhile investment. It allows you to customize the length.
Proper storage: You want to keep your jump rope hanging when not in use. Jumbling it up in a gigantic knot will cause kinks in the rope and interfere with your ability to jump.
Wardrobe/environment: You do not want to wear baggy clothing. No dangling earrings or anything that might catch the rope. Ladies might want to tie their hair in a bun. If you are just starting, it is a good idea to wear properly padded shoes. Running shoes will work. If jumping indoors, make sure you create some space so you are not knocking off furniture or hitting people. Lastly, use a mirror so you can check your form especially if you are a learning.
Surface: The surface you jump on should have a little bit of “give”. A rug that is not too cushioned, a yoga mat or hardwood floor is good. Outdoors is good too. Jumping on cement or pavement can cause shin splints because of the pounding nature of the workout.
The mechanics: Master the basic bounce step and get proficient at it before you mess around with other fancy styles. Proficiency is achieved when you can do at least 140 continuous jumps per minute.
- Face forward. Body upright.
- Hold the handles lightly. No excessive gripping.
- Keep elbows close to the body
- Make sure feet are properly aligned and not turned inwards.
- Jump only about one inch off the floor
- Make about 2 inch circles with the wrist to turn the rope.
- Land on the balls of your foot.
- One jump per swing of the rope.
What NOT to do:
- Don’t kick feet backwards
- Don’t do double bounce
- Don’t make big circular motions
- Don’t land flat footed.
If you are new to jump rope, start small. Limit session to about 5 minutes a day to avoid injuries. Eventually you can work up to 10 minutes a day. You want to do calf stretches after a jump rope session to help with faster recovery and keep you in the game longer. I hope you consider adding Jump Rope to your movement routine. As always, if this post adds value to your journey, let me know and please share.