Skipping Challenge

When was the last time you jumped rope? It’s a cheap, portable, and effective way to exercise. Give it a whirl!

What piece of exercise equipment sells for under $20, fits into a briefcase, can be used by the whole family, and improves cardiovascular fitness while toning muscle at the same time? The answer: a jump rope.

And using it for just 15-20 minutes will burn off the calories from a candy bar! Jumping rope is a great calorie-burner. You’d have to run an eight-minute mile to work off more calories than you’d burn jumping rope.

Besides being a great exercise in its own right, rope-jumping skills transfer to most athletic endeavors. It builds body awareness. With rope-jumping, you have to be aware of what your body is doing, and it’s a great skill for connecting the brain’s neurons.

Benefits of jump rope

Increased Cardiovascular Fitness

Your cardiovascular system involves your heart and the arteries and veins that bring bloom and oxygen to and from the heart and the rest of they body. Therefore, by improving the ability of this system to work, you will not only have a greater ability to perform your daily tasks but you will become less breathless during exercise as well.

Increased Muscle Tone

Exercising with a jump rope is a great way to improve the muscle tone in your legs and lower body. After the first day of jumping rope, you may experience some soreness in your legs. This is become the muscles have been working hard enough to cause microtears. These microtears will eventually heal themselves in a few days and because of this damage and repair, your muscles will be stronger, larger and more toned than when you started the exercise! You’ll also sculpt your shoulders, chest and arms.

How to jump

If you haven’t jumped rope since third grade, it can be humbling. It demands (and builds) coordination. Initially, you should practice foot and arm movements separately.

  • Jump 1 to 2 inches off floor, giving rope just enough space to slip under feet — only the balls of feet should touch the floor.
  • Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
  • If you tire out before you finish the workout, drop the rope, but keep arms and legs going. Work up to using the rope full-time.
  • To find a rope that fits, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles — they shouldn’t go past your armpits.

The highest intensity workout involves one jump each time the rope passes. Slowing the rope to adding an extra little jump reduces the intensity. Pay attention to your target heart-rate zone. That’s where you’re exercising with enough intensity to benefit from the exercise.

Here’s how to determine your maximal heart rate: 220 minus your age. The high end of your target zone is 85% of that number; the low end is 70% . If you’re 13 years old, your maximal heart rate is 207, and your target zone is 145-176 beats per minute.

Preventing Injury

The real key is to make sure you jump properly! Stay high on the toes. When you walk or run, you impact your heel. With rope jumping you stay high on your toes and use your body’s natural shock absorbers. Rope-jumping is lower impact than jogging or running if done properly. If not, it’s considerably more impact.

Beginners usually jump higher than necessary. With practice, you shouldn’t come more than one inch off the floor.

How do you measure up?

Try out these tasks at home. How many you can do of each?

Click here to print out a copy to record your scores

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRY THIS 10 MINUTE WORKOUT

Burn 135 calories in just 10 minutes with this jump rope workout

Minutes 0:00-1:00

Figure Eight

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, grasping jump rope handles together with both hands in front of body.
  • Trace a sideways figure eight — moving from right shoulder to left hip, then left shoulder to right hip.
  • Shift weight from right to left foot as you move your arms across your body.

Minutes 1:00-2:00

Single Jump

  • Jump over the rope with feet together, one jump per turn.

Minutes 2:00-2:30

Step Touch

  • Holding handles together, swing rope to the left and turn twice in a circular motion as you step to the left and tap right toes by left heel.
  • Repeat to the right.

Minutes 2:30-3:30

Front-Back

  • Jump up with feet together, moving 6 inches forward over the rope.
  • On the next turn, jump back 6 inches.
  • Continue alternating, jumping once per turn.

Minutes 3:30-4:00

Figure Eight

Repeat as before:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, grasping jump rope handles together with both hands in front of body.
  • Trace a sideways figure eight — moving from right shoulder to left hip, then left shoulder to right hip.
  • Trace a sideways figure eight — moving from right shoulder to left hip, then left shoulder to right hip.

Minutes 4:00-5:00

Slalom

  • Jump over the rope 6 inches to the right, landing on both feet.
  • On the next turn, jump 6 inches to the left.
  • Keep your feet together and continue alternating, jumping once per turn.

Minutes 5:00-5:30

Step Touch

Repeat as before:

  • Holding handles together, swing rope to the left and turn twice in a circular motion as you step to the left and tap right toes by left heel.
  • Repeat to the right.

Minutes 5:30-6:00

Double Jump

  • Jump high enough to pass the rope under your feet twice before landing.
  • Repeat.
  • If you have trouble, do single jumps and work your way up to doubles.

Minutes 6:00-6:30

Figure Eight

Repeat as before:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, grasping jump rope handles together with both hands in front of body.
  • Trace a sideways figure eight — moving from right shoulder to left hip, then left shoulder to right hip.
  • Shift weight from right to left foot as you move your arms across your body.

Minutes 6:30-7:00

Jumping Jack

  • Jump over the rope and land with feet wider than hip-width apart.
  • On your next jump, land with feet together.
  • Repeat.

Minutes 7:00-9:00

Running

  • Run in place while turning the rope.
  • The rope should pass under one foot at a time.

Minutes 9:00-10:00

Step Touch

Repeat as before:

  • Holding handles together, swing rope to the left and turn twice in a circular motion as you step to the left and tap right toes by left heel.
  • Repeat to the right.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *