Hop, Skip, and Jump Your Way to Better Health
Sure, it’s a playground favorite, but jump roping can have major exercise benefits well past recess. The cardio exercise gets your heart racing, while working out practically all areas of your body at the same time (your core, arms, and legs). Plus, it helps strengthen bones, improve endurance, better your balance, burn calories, and build up stamina.
If you’re looking for a simple workout that can be done just about anywhere, it might be time to head back to the basics. Here
are a few jump rope techniques to try on your own. No double Dutch team required!
Keep a steady pace, and jump with your feet spread hip-width apart. Keep elbows close to your side as you turn the rope, and let the movement come from your wrists and forearms – not your shoulders. Make sure your hips stay level as you jump, and always stretch before you start.
Jumping from side-to-side in quick succession with your feet close together works your lateral muscles and obliques. Be sure to keep your stomach pulled in and your back straight.
One-foot jump roping helps improve balance while strengthening muscles. Try doing a minute on one leg before switching it up to the other. Only the balls of your feet should touch the floor.
For the more advanced jumper, the crossover technique is a great way to amp up the level of difficulty. To do this, cross your arms in front of you and jump through the loop created by the rope. Once you’ve mastered the technique, take it a step further by jumping through the loop on one foot at a time.
The boxer jump places one foot out in front of the other as you jump, keeping weight in the heels. Start out by putting each foot out in a skip-like motion, then progress to heel taps when you’ve mastered that step.
Similar to one-foot jump roping, the high knees method takes it a step further by lifting the knees up close to your chest one at a time.
Top Tips for Jumping Like a Pro
Even though you might have been jumping rope since grade school, there are some tips you probably didn’t know then that can give you more bang for your hop.
- Jump with rhythm. Whether you prefer to jump fast or slow, keeping a rhythm can help you pace out your workout and make you less likely to fumble. The more you practice, the more rhythmic you’ll become.
- Keep perfect posture. Maintaining good posture – keeping your head and neck in line with your shoulders and your face straight ahead – while jumping will get your abs involved in the workout.
- Decrease impact. Make sure you’re not jumping too high or too low. This will help you with jumping overall while lessening the impact on your knees and feet. If you’re recovering from an injury, jumping rope is great, as it’s a comprehensive, full-body, low-impact workout when done right.