Remember those days, when as little girls we loved playing with jump ropes? We either played by ourselves or made it a group activity with friends. While it was pure fun then, today we know that it also brings with it a host of health benefits – it’s great for the heart, strengthens the upper and lower body and burns a lot of calories in a short time.
However, jumping rope or skipping is a very high intensity cardio workout. If you’re not extremely fit, you can tire easily. The best way to incorporate a jump rope workout would be to include it in a high intensity interval training circuit, otherwise known as HIIT. You can alternate short periods of jump rope cardio with weight training. Use any of the exercises listed below for your cardio bursts.
1. Basic Bounce:
- Jump 1 to 2 inches off the floor, while letting the rope to just slide through under your feet. Ensure that only the balls of the feet touch the floor.
- Keep elbows close to your sides as you swing the rope. The circular movement should come from your forearm and wrist, not the shoulders.
2. Alternate Foot Jump:
- Similar to the basic bounce, but this time, skip with one foot alternating with the other
- Raise your knees and jump higher than the basic bounce.
3. Double Jump:
- This is a really high intensity jump and is better done in combination with a simpler one.
- Jump as in the basic bounce, but jump much higher and move your arms faster, so that you have enough time for the rope to slide under your feet twice before you land on the ground.
4. Crossover Jump:
Jump as in the basic bounce, with both legs, but after lifting, cross your arms in front of you, making a loop and then jump through the loop.
- This is tricky and will take some practice. Go slow at first and then increase the speed later.
5. High Knee Jump:
- Jump off alternate feet, raising knee really high as you jump.
- This is a more intense version of the alternate foot jump. Try it in moderation at first.
6. Running Skip:
- Start jogging and then jump rope without stopping your forward motion.
- Make sure you have lots of space for this, preferably somewhere outdoors.
7. Figure Eight:
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding the jump rope in front of your body.
- Use the rope to trace a figure eight across your body – right shoulder -> left hip -> left shoulder -> right hip.
- Keep shifting your weight from one foot to the other as you move your arms across your body.
8. Reverse Jump:
- This is the exact opposite of the basic bounce. Stand with feet planted and the rope in front of your ankles.
- Swing the rope passing across the front of your body, over your head and towards the back.
- Jump as the rope goes down your back and slides out from under your heels to the front again.
9. Heel to Heel Jump:
- Jump as in the basic bounce. As you land, pull up the toes of your left foot, so that the left heel hits the floor along with the right foot.
- In the next jump, land on the right heel and left foot. This is a bit like dancing!.
10. The Twist:
- Jump as in the basic bounce and rotate hips to the right.
- Do another basic bounce and rotate hips to the left.
Points to Consider:
1. It is advised to avoid jumping on hard surfaces like concrete and to prefer wooden surfaces, gym mats, grassy spots or carpets.
2. Jumping is high impact and can hurt the knees, so use good quality cross training shoes.
3. Stand on the middle of the rope and raise the handles up; it should only reach up to your armpits.
4. Consider your medical condition before starting, especially issues with the heart, knees or incontinence.
If you’re on a budget, this is the perfect workout for you. All you need is a rope, good shoes and some space. Start jumping!!
Do you use jump rope during your workout regimen? Do you have any other variations of rope jumping? Do share with us in the comments section below!