If you’re looking for an exercise that burns calories, tones muscle and can be done wherever is most convenient for you, jumping rope could be the solution.
If you’ve seen boxers doing this exercise at break-neck speeds and you’re feeling a little intimidated, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about jumping rope.
What are the benefits of jumping rope?
A mere ten minutes of a jump rope workout can burn up to 135 calories. Compare that to the 100 calories you’ll burn jogging in the same ten minutes and it becomes clear how effective skipping is as a tool for effective weight loss.
Jumping rope is also fantastic cardiovascular exercise. The majority of athletes and professional athletes use jumping rope as an integral part of their workout, for an exercise that’s intense and achieves results in a short time frame.
The beauty of jumping rope is that the equipment you need is inexpensive. What’s more, jump ropes are small and compact, so they’re great for the home and can even be taken with you when you’re traveling.
What muscles will I be working?
In addition to being a great cardiovascular exercise, jumping rope is also an effective way of toning muscle and building your core strength.
As well as working your upper body, including your deltoids, biceps, triceps and forearms, this exercise draws on your core muscles and helps to build up your lower body strength. The repetitive jumping motion is fantastic for building definition in the calf muscles and in the quadriceps and hamstrings (thighs), and in the glutes (buttocks).
Am I using the right rope?
When it comes to choosing the right rope, there are only a few things that you should bear in mind. You should avoid cloth ropes, as they’re too light to build up any speed. What’s more, using a heavier rope requires you to work harder and will help you to build up your upper body strength.
UK readers should check out the leather ropes in the York Fitness range, which is available to buy online from Savage Strength. For readers in the US, performbetter.com also stock leather jump ropes.
To check whether the rope you’re using is the right length, stand on the middle of the rope with both feet and hold the length of the rope up against your body. The rope should reach to your armpits. Too short a rope will trip you up easily, whereas one that’s too long will make it impossible to build up speed.
What is the right technique?
If you have to go outside to jump rope, because you’re in danger of putting your head through the ceiling, your technique’s all wrong. You should only be jumping a few inches off the ground – just enough to let the rope pass underneath the balls of your feet.
Take a look at this video for a demonstration of the technique you should be using when you’re jumping rope.
Your elbows should be tucked in to your body and the movement of the rope should be coming from your wrists and forearms, not your shoulders.
When it comes to speed, start slowly and master the technique. When the method of jumping rope becomes natural, then you can start to build up your speed.
Avoid jumping on hard surfaces like concrete, which could damage your joints. You should also avoid carpet, as this will slow down the rope and limit your speed. Opt for something like a smooth wooden floor.
Don’t be intimated when you’re starting to use a jump rope: it’s natural to have a little bit of difficulty when you’re mastering the technique. This a great exercise that allows you to set the pace and is a fantastic way of aiding weight loss and building stamina and strength.
Be sure and download your FREE 7-Day Fat Loss Jumpstart e-Course, which shows you how to totally remake your body a healthy and lean fat-burning machine!
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Her Fitness Hut