By Tori Taylor, April 24 2019 —
Jump rope isn’t just for boxers or pre-teens at recess. It’s one of the most toning full-body workouts and requires very little equipment. Sneaker up, clear some floor space, make sure you’re in an area with a high ceiling and jump that rope. If you haven’t skipped in a while, be prepared for a rude awakening. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Jump ropes can be bought at any sports store. They’re affordable, typically ranging from $20–$60. I have a weighted-handle rope that tortures my arms while I jump. I am a sucker for pain. However, feel free to begin with a normal rope.
One of the coolest benefits of skipping is the improved co-ordination — it forces you to focus on your feet and arms at the same time. Requiring quite a bit of acute mental attention at first, but as you improve, your co-ordination will become second nature.
If you are someone that has ever struggled with weak ankles or feet, you should consider implementing jump rope into your weekly training schedule. Jumping rope builds strength in the tiny muscles and ligaments in your feet and ankles. You will learn to stay light on the balls of your feet instead of landing flat-footed, which is hard on your joints and can lead to a much higher risk of injury. Learning to land on the balls of your feet is an excellent training method for runners and tennis, soccer and basketball players.
A lot of people struggle with finding cardio-based activities that they can enjoy without boredom kicking in, especially during the colder months. Grab your rope and take part in a calorie-burning tsunami. Ten minutes of active jumping is around the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile. Jumping requires the entire body to engage and balance.
Skipping three to five times a week, around 12–20 minutes per session, will improve the efficiency of your breathing while doing cardio. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, jumping rope fine-tunes your ability to maximize breathing efficiency. Not a bad skill to have if you are an athlete in any capacity. Daniel W. Barry, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, has found that skipping builds bone density — something female athletes often benefit from.
There are virtually no negatives to adding jump rope to your routine. Disclaimer: You will likely be quite sore the next morning. You’re welcome!