For people who have a good level of fitness but do not have time to exercise or want to join a gym, jump rope or skipping has many health benefits. It improves the bone density and prevents age degenerative diseases, such as osteoporosis, as well as provides an effective cardiovascular exercise for the heart. Skipping also helps to develop hand-eye co-ordination, stamina, muscle strength, timing, balance, and endurance.
Skipping effectively works the wrists, forearms, shoulders, back, calves, thighs, and buttock muscles, and burns many calories in a short amount of time. Very similar to running, skipping can be tough to perform over thirty-sixty minutes, but professional boxers are able to skip for long periods due to their fitness and conditioning. This can be built but requires a certain level of fitness. For one, skipping can easily cause a stitch if the correct breathing technique is not used.
Skipping may be used as a form of interval training linked to other exercises, such as weight training. Skipping raises the heart rate quickly, and a variety of skipping moves can be performed to keep it interesting, such as side to side, heel dig, and jumping jacks. Double unders require a lot of stamina to perform ten or twenty. Double unders require the rope to pass under the feet twice before the feet return to the ground. The jump must be similar to a high jump in order to perform this exercise. Some people can even perform triple unders, but this will require some conditioning.
The benefits of skipping regularly can tone the buttock muscles, burn a significant number of calories, and develop the calf muscles, as the exercise requires staying on the toes. Skipping does not require a gym membership and can be performed anywhere. Like running, skipping requires comfortable footwear so as not to cause an injury or tear a tendon.
Skipping will also develop strength in the wrists and forearms from the constant turns, but this should not fatigue the arms, unless the rope is too short. There are various ropes, which can be used, these include the speed rope, which is made of plastic, but can also twist and cause complications, leather ropes, which are as fast as a speed rope but wear out quickly, weighted ropes which may weigh several pounds and require a good level of fitness as each turn requires power in the wrist and forearms. Be sure to use the correct length rope, as you want it to clear the head and feet easily without complications. If the arms have to circle the rope, it is too short, if the rope bounces and hits the ankles, it is too long. To get a rope of good length, stand on your rope and lift the handles as far as they will go. If they reach the armpits, the rope is a good length. Some ropes are easily adjustable, others require shortening by tying a knot near the handle.
Long term skipping boosts the stamina, builds the metabolic rate, and develops co-ordination. When any form of advanced exercise, such as skipping is performed, the rope may swat the legs or back and this stings. This is how you can get much more efficient in skipping by practising your technique. When you can perform a basic two-foot jump, it gets easier to try out new techniques, such as jumping from side to side and allowing the rope to pass just under the feet in a fast motion. Try not to lift more than an inch off the ground but jump high enough to clear the rope.
Try to skip on hard rubber or wood, rather than concrete or tiles, which are always hard on the joints. Also, for women, make sure to use a good sports bra. Try skipping for three minutes then carrying out some bodyweight training such as press-ups, squat thrusts, and burpees, then return to skipping. Try to keep this up for thirty-forty minutes.