Most people don’t realize that one of the best exercise tools is also one of the cheapest. Offering a great cardiovascular workout, jumping rope will also help you improve your balance, agility, speed and coordination as well. Why bother with expensive bikes, elliptical machines or treadmills when you can get great results with a jump rope for under $10?
Essential Jump Rope Skills
When you first start to jump rope, you want to work your way up to being able to jump for two or three minutes without stopping. Proper form includes engaging your core so that you can hold your body in a nice upright position. While jumping, make sure to land and spring off from the balls of your feet. This will help to absorb as much impact as possible. Make sure to keep your arms at your sides. All of the rope’s movement should be powered by your wrists, not your arms.
Once you have the proper form down, you can try adding variations, such as jumping on one foot, then the other. When doing this, you’ll look like you are jogging. The rope will pass under your feet during the time when both feet are elevated.
You can also try adding some double unders into your routine. These are accomplished by the following: Start with a jump that is higher than normal. Then make a smaller wrist circle so that you can complete two revolutions of the rope for each jump.
Another challenging technique is to do a criss-cross. This move has you crossing your arms when the rope is coming down. This creates a loop that you jump through, then quickly uncross your arms as you pull the rope over your head.
For even more challenge, do a combination of alternating foot jumps, criss-crosses and double-unders.
Putting Together Your Jump Rope Routine
The trick is to practice your basic form, then work up to jumping for three minutes non-stop. Once this is done, you can begin a solid jump rope workout routine.
In order to build up your endurance, simply add jumping rope into your existing fitness workouts. You can do this by adding a minute or two of jumping at the beginning or end of your existing routine. Or, you may want to add jumping rope to your supersets.
Once you have the proper form and endurance, you’ll find that jumping rope is a great workout, all by itself. You get to set your own pace, including additional challenge by adding in some of the moves outlined above.
One of the most intense and effective jump rope workout routines is doing intervals. You can accomplish this by jumping for a minute, then resting 30 seconds. Repeat this for a great workout. At first you may not be able to do many of these, but give yourself a challenge by trying to get up to eight sets.
About the Author
I run the radical health blog LeanMeanVirileMachine.com, helping young, busy men build strong, attractive, healthy bodies quickly and efficiently.
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