Fit 4 Life | Jump into fitness
If there is one word that describes the jump rope exercise, it is efficient. This exercise – often written off as something for kids and boxers – can torch energy at rates as high as 1,000 calories per hour while providing full-body conditioning, and still manages to be fun.
Just check out Coach Buddy Lee on YouTube – there are always new moves and footwork patterns you can use to challenge yourself.
Jump rope tones and develops muscles in all major muscle groups. It also improves athletic skills, including coordination, agility, timing and endurance, while torching body fat.
No wonder it is a staple for boxers.
Jumping rope also holds a significant advantage over other forms of interval training: it is easy on connective tissue, muscle and the central nervous system.
Despite appearances, when done right, it is even easy on the knees.
If you are still hanging on to the cardio machines because you are worried you will trip over the rope, don't be – the guide below should help you get started safely.
NOT FOR EVERYONE
And, while we are on the topic of safety, pregnant or menstruating women should avoid jump rope. As should persons suffering from chronic diseases and orthopaedic problems – especially those with back and knee issues.
It is also important that beginners start light, focus on form rather than speed or intensity, and use a shock absorbent surface and proper training shoes.
Jumping rope is practical. Getting started is cheap, easy and safer than most interval training techniques and jump ropes are ultra portable.
JUMP ROPE SAFELY
• Start slowly. Don't sacrifice form for speed.
• Maintain balance by looking straight ahead.
• Maintain an upright posture.
• Keep weight on the balls of your feet.
• Jump only high enough to clear the rope (one inch off the ground should be enough).
• Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
• Keep your elbows near your sides.
• Try to maintain a 45-degree angle at elbow joints.
• When turning the rope, make two-inch circles with your wrists.