Jumping Rope - Tips for a Great Cardio Workout

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While some people may view jump ropes as toys for children, they can also be used to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health and tone muscles. Many boxers even incorporate jumping rope into their training agenda to improve endurance and agility. If you are looking to jump rope for exercise, consider these tips before beginning your routine.

Warm Up Before Exercising

No matter what exercise routine you’re about to take on, it’s important to warm up beforehand. To prepare for your jump rope session, simply go for a walk. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also try lightly jogging or jumping in place, but don’t tire yourself out before the main event. These activities will loosen stiff muscles, improve circulation and increase your heart rate. In addition, you should practice dynamite stretches, such as arm circles, trunk rotations and side bends, before beginning your jump rope workout.

Practice Safe Landings

Choose your jumping surface carefully. Jump on a wooden floor, exercise mat or other surfaces that will give slightly when you land. The impact from landing on surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can injury your lower body.

Even when jumping on padded surfaces, remember to land on the balls of your feet and keep your knees bent. Avoid landing on your heels. That bad habit could wear out your knees.

Always wear shoes that provide stability and cushioning. Cross-trainers and aerobic shoes are a few possibilities.

If you are a beginner, you might find it tempting to jump high as the rope passes beneath you. Practice gradually shortening the height of your hops to conserve your energy.

Change Your Routine

If you have grown accustomed to a particular style or speed, the routine is probably not challenging your body a great deal. Add some variety to your workout. Try increasing the speed of your overall routine, but don’t push yourself too hard.

If you’ve been sticking with basic jumps, challenge yourself with more advanced styles of jumping. Throw in a double under, which involves allowing the rope to pass beneath you twice with every jump. The opposite, a half jump technique, requires you to add in an extra jump per rope swing. Experiment with a criss-cross, which challenges you to cross your arms in front of your body. Alternate foot jumps is another popular technique that you should try; with this style, you switch legs with each jump, as if running in place. These are just some examples of the various jump rope tricks to explore.

Jump to a Beat

Listen to music to keep yourself energized. You may find that jumping to your favorite beat is invigorating. Earphones may fall out while you’re jumping, or the cord may get in your way and throw off of your jumps. If you’re plagued with these issues, just use speakers.

Sources

The New York Times: Stretching: The Truth

MedicineNet.com: Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout

Ross Boxing: Jump Rope Training

Jump Rope Tricks for Children

Types of Stretching