Tone your legs, burn kilojoules, up your fitness and improve your coordination with one simple tool you can use in your garden. Here, how to get the most out of your skipping workout.
Why is a skipping workout so good?
Like riding a bike, swimming and running, skipping is one of those fun childhood activities that becomes a slog with age. And that’s a pity because, should your fitness goals sit firmly in the camp of cardiovascular improvement and max kilojoule burn, skipping is a form of exercise that comes highly recommended. And unlike those other three (equally healthy) pursuits, you can do it at home and on the cheap – you can pick up an entry-level rope at a very reasonable price.
Get roped in
This rope, with skipping counter, allows you. to track your skips.
This heavier rope gives you added weight so you work that much harder.
This cordless rope gives you the option to go with or without a rope – and add some weight to the process.
What are the benefits of skipping?
Skipping is a calorie burner. Per estimates, you’re looking at around 15 to 20 calories burned per minute. Yeah! If you skip for just 15 minutes, you could burn 250 to 300 calories from jumping up and down.
Skipping helps shift fat, since it’s a toning workout and cardio in one. By picking up a rope, you’ll tone up your muscles, including the butt, arms, shoulders, stomach and of course, those legs. This makes it one of the most efficient workouts around.
Using a jump rope can improve your balance and coordination, something that gets worse as you age. A study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine looked into the effects of skipping on motor abilities and body balance among football players. They found that people who skipped had ‘enhanced general motor coordination and balance’ compared to those who didn’t.
Going hard on skipping also means you might score a new PB. That’s according to a meta-analysis of studies which found a correlation between those who skip and faster running times.
Hop to it – use these form tips from trainer Christa DiPaolo to rope in the gains.
1. Perfect the jump
Keep your jumps low to the ground, your knees soft and stay light on your feet to minimise impact. Think, float like a butterfly, not an elephant.
2. Check your arms
Your arms should be at a 45-degree angle to your body, elbows pulled in close to your ribs. The further your hands are from your body, the shorter the rope.
3. Rotate your wrists
Rotate from your wrists rather than your shoulders – unless you’re using a heavier rope, in which case, rotate from your forearms.
4. Keep it in the core
Skipping is an ab exercise as much as anything else, so keep your core engaged throughout. Heavier ropes will force you to do so.