24 Feb 2017
8 min read
Most of you probably remember how you used to skip rope during your childhood. Somehow, most people tend to associate skipping with females. However, if you think about it, or rather, look around in gyms, you will notice that it is mainly males who include jump rope exercise in their workout regime. I guess it’s the influence of boxers’ training sessions. Nevertheless, there really is no reason for the use of a jump rope to be determined by one’s gender. And that’s why, this week, the portable fitness equipment on my radar that will conveniently help you get fit is the jump rope.
The jump rope is not only super affordable but also accessible, in that you can buy it nearly everywhere in Nepal. Sure, the ones meant exclusively for a good skipping workout session may not be easily available, but you can make do with simple plastic ones as well. A good place to find them? Stationery shops.
Amazing calorie burn! Studies have shown that jumping leisurely for just half an hour will help you burn as much as 480 calories. Moreover, it has also been found that a 10-minute session is comparable to running about two kms in eight minutes. You get to scarf down a candy bar and burn off its calories by skipping for about 18 minutes. That seems like a fair trade, yeah?
Improved balance and coordination
There is well-founded reason as to why jump rope is an integral part of boxers’ workouts. The movements associated with skipping involves many physical and mental aspects. When you are skipping, your body basically continuously instructs your mind to make muscular adjustments to maintain your balance. In this manner, you train your mind to focus on your feet for an extended period, and this improves your balance and coordination.
Additionally, exercises like the jump rope, which demand both physical and mental involvement are better for your brain health than stationary ones like the treadmill.
On top of helping you become smarter, working out with the jump rope has a calming effect. It has been deduced that training yourself to work the body, mind and rope harmoniously can help you be more calm in many situations.
Reduced risk of foot and ankle injuries
The impact of jumping is not so hard on your joints since it is absorbed by both legs. This increases bone density, which strengthens the muscles surrounding your ankle joint and in your foot too. All these things ensure lesser risk of injury to those areas.
Tips for success
Although it is highly encouraged that you jump for a straight 20-30 minutes, it takes some time to get there. Thus, here are some tips regarding what you can do to push yourself to reap the benefits of the jump rope. n Incorporate it in a circuit: Mix other moves such as squats, burpees and sprints with a jump rope section. Alternate jumping with other lower-intensity exercises such as marching. Once you are comfortable with simple skipping, learn other jumping tricks to increase intensity and calorie burn.
A cautionary note
Like most exercises, incorrect form and technique can result in injuries. You ought to take note of various expert-backed suggestions such as these:
- Wear properly fitted athletic shoes.
- Ensure that the rope is fitted right for you. One way of checking is by folding your rope in half—it should measure nearly up to your shoulders.
- Avoid jumping on concrete, grass and carpeted floors. The best surface is a wood floor or an impact mat made for exercising.
- Make sure you start slow. Do not attempt to jump high and/or fast to increase intensity. Instead, attempt to gradually increase your speed. Remember that just moderate skipping is a great calorie-burner.
- Avoid landing on flat feet, as that impacts your heel, which might lead to injuries. Instead, make conscious efforts to make sure that you stay on your toes, and keep your heels off the ground.