Skipping is useful for a whole lot more than just the playground; it is a super form of cardio for fat loss that can be done in a short amount of time. It is challenging, so don’t be disheartened if you struggle with it at first, be persistent and you will find yourself a pro in no time.
Jumping rope is popular among boxers for good reason; it is an excellent warm up and also improves your coordination while boosting your fitness.
It is a cheap and portable workout that you can fit in just about anywhere, making it great for travel!
Benefits of Skipping
1) Fat burn
Skipping burns a significant amount of calories and this makes it an excellent activity for anyone wanting to change their body composition in a minimal amount of time.
2) Co-ordination skills
Skipping can improve other aspects of fitness such as your coordination, agility, balance, physical fitness and your strength and endurance levels.
3) Can be done anywhere
Skipping training sessions that works great both indoors and outdoors, although do try to avoid extremes such as very hard surfaces like concrete or too soft surfaces like carpet. Ideally a wooden floor such as one you would find in an aerobics studio is ideal or a floor with padded matting such as those in boxing clubs are also great to skip on.
4) Challenges your fitness
It is a great training tool to add variety to your cardio routine as it will challenge your fitness and muscles in ways that other activities don’t – this may also reduce the risk of stress injuries that can be caused by doing the same activities using the same muscles repeatedly.
Skipping is great challenges as once you have mastered the basic jumps you can move on to more complicated styles and even incorporate different moves into your jumps from low kicks to hamstring curls.
How To Improve Your Skipping Skills
There are some simple tips that you can follow to perfect your skipping technique and make your workout an effective fat blasting session.
✓ Use the right length rope for you
The length of the skipping rope is an important consideration as a rope that is the correct length will be a lot easier to skip with. The majority of ladies that are between five foot three and nine tend to work out the best with a nine foot rope. If your rope is longer you can always adjust it by tying some extra knots near the handles.
The best way to determine the ropes suitability for your height is to simply step on its centre with one foot and stretch the handles upwards. The ideal length rope will mean the handles will be at shoulder height or slightly below this point.
✓ Wear comfortable clothes and supportive runners
As with all types of exercise comfort is key. You need to be able to jump comfortably in the runners you are wearing and your clothing should also allow you the freedom to do so. Shorts or tight leggings are great as you will not catch the ends in the rope, making you less likely to trip.
✓ Posture Pointers
Always skip with good posture. This means keeping your torso tall and your elbows as close to your body as possible. Bend your arms at a forty five degree angle, keep your knees with a slight bend in them, relax your shoulders and keep your head up and back straight with your stomach muscles tight.
Your hands should be at waist level and the handles of the rope should be level with the floor.
✓ Turn the rope with your wrists
Use your wrists and not your hands to turn the rope. Keep your elbows and shoulders still so that it is your wrists doing the work.
✓ Jump low
Jump just high enough to get over the rope, approximately an inch off the ground. Push your feet off the ground from the balls of your feet and land with a slight bend in your knees.
✓ Allow for breaks
This activity is tougher than it looks, and if you are new to skipping it can be disheartening to manage a few jumps before you get gassed out. Allow for this and as you get fitter and more coordinated, reduce your rest times and build up your skipping time.
✓ Cool down and stretch
As with all workouts, your cool down and stretching session is as important as your training one. Allow some extra time to cool down afterwards to maximise recovery and reduce any potential muscle soreness post workout.
Take Home Message
Practice makes perfect – and skipping is well worth adding to your routine to lose fat fast, improve your co-ordination skills and generally challenge your fitness levels!