WHY TO SKIP? Skipping (or ‘jump rope’ in America) is a fantastic way to get fit! 20 minutes of intense skipping can burn 4-500 calories, not to mention the thermogenic after-effects that keep you burning calories all day! Walk into a boxing gym and it’s almost certain that all the boxers there skip – it’s not just for girls! It improves footwork, speed, coordination, stamina, agility, and it strengthens the muscles in your legs as well as your abdominal, back, chest, arms and shoulders muscles. Also it’s relatively low impact on the joints, yet high intensity, which gives a fabulous cardio workout that’s less dangerous and surely less strenuous than running.
HOW TO SKIP? Beginners, have patience. Skipping is not something you learn the first time so don’t give up in frustration after 5 minutes – stick with it! If you’re new to skipping, view it as a skill to learn before using it as a tool for conditioning. Once you have learned the skill you can start using it as a full-on workout! I suggest kicking off with frequent ’20-second-then-10-second-break’ skip sessions and extend the duration from there. It helps to practice in front of a mirror, viewed front and side-on. Start with the rope behind you, arms relaxed at your sides and rope on the ground. Use your wrist to turn the rope, keeping the rest of your arms as motionless as possible. As the rope approaches your feet jump lightly (from your toes) over the rope. Stay on the balls of your feet when you jump. Keep your knees slightly bent all along. It’ll feel unnatural at the start, but with a little practise, the technique will come!
WHERE TO SKIP? I recommend a shock absorbing surface – a sprung wooden floor, a gym mat, an outdoor track, or a tennis court. Theses surfaces are kinder to your ankles and feet.
WHAT ROPE TO GET? You’re spoilt for choice! Popular ropes include the speed rope, the digital rope and weighted rope. (Whatever you get make sure the length is correct. The way to measure it is to stand in the middle of the rope, & the handles should come up to your waist, lower ribs – if it reaches your shoulders it’s too long.)
a) The Speed rope: As the name suggests it’s lightweight and great for speed, great for warm ups, it’s cheap, light to carry around, but can make it harder for advanced foot work as it’s unweighted.
b) The digital rope: Through the magic of technology, it enables you to estimate the distance, revolutions of the rope and the amount of calories burnt. It’s similar to the speed rope in the way it’s so light, & therefore harder to do advanced foot work.
c) The weighted Rope: Weighted handles are great for wrist, forearm and triceps strength.
d) Personal Favourite? I recommend the Nike weighted jump rope – it’s a bit heavier than most speed ropes & it’s great for more complicated foot work. It’s slightly more expensive, but worth the investment I think!
Good luck! Faya x