Jumping rope is often thought to be a child’s activity. It’s actually a highly effective workout for individuals of all ages, kids, and adults alike. Not only does it make exercising on the go simple, but jumping rope improves cardiovascular health, burns calories, and boosts your coordination. If you’re thinking about using a jump rope for working out, here are a few things that you can do to get the most out of it.
Warm Up First
Before you begin your routine, you need to take some time to warm up. While jump rope might not seem like an intense activity, warming up is vital for reducing your risk for injuries such as rolled ankles or torn muscles.
To prepare your muscles and loosen your joints for exercise, consider the following:
- Use resistance bands to do duck walks and squats.
- Do some calf raises with a weight in each hand (or use your resistance bands).
- Roll your legs and hips using a foam roller.
- Get your whole body ready with some jumping jacks, push-ups, and lunges.
You can also get your body ready from the inside by drinking a pre-workout. The drink can help to boost your energy and your focus while increasing the flow of blood and oxygen through your body.
Mix Up Your Movements
Jump rope isn’t just jumping straight up and down over the rope. You can vary your movements to get more out of your routine and improve your balance, coordination, and strength. Here are a few different movements to try.
High knees: Almost like you’re skipping, pass one leg at a time over the rope. Move quickly and only count every time your right foot is on the ground.
Single leg jumps: Only over the rope with your right or left leg, don’t alternate between the two. Instead, switch legs every 20 jumps. Try going for two minutes at a time and rest for 30 seconds before starting again.
Jump rope burpees: Start with a push-up, jump up to your feet and explode up to jump your rope and get back down into push-up position. Repeat these movements eight to ten times with about 30 seconds to a minute in between.
Twist: Rotate your hips side to side as you jump. These movements will help to develop your agility and your core strength.
Double under: With this movement, you use explosive power to propel yourself upward and rotate the jump rope under your feet twice. It helps to develop your aerobic ability, as well as power in your legs, arms, and wrists. It’s a popular move with those who enjoy CrossFit.
Take Care of Yourself
When your routine is complete, that doesn’t mean your job is done. You need to take care of yourself to avoid injuries and reduce post-exercise soreness. Take some time to stretch when you’re done. Grant yourself some rest days. Get plenty of sleep at night.
Here are a few additional tips to keep yourself in good condition:
- Drink plenty of water. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t heal properly. Dehydration can also affect the quality of your workouts and impede progress.
- Eat a healthy diet. A diet filled with a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins ensures that your muscles can heal and that you’ll have the energy you need to keep working out.
- Mind your form. As with any other type of exercise, your form can make all the difference. Focus on (and maintain) proper form with every movement you make.
- Use a mat. Jumping on a mat provides a softer surface underfoot, so you reduce your risk of injury.
Jump rope can be a very effective workout, helping you to achieve your fitness goals. Keeping these tips in mind will help you to get the most out of your routine and enable you to achieve maximum benefits.