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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

EZee Fit - Jump Rope - JumpStart Your Fitness


Couple of days ago I joined a conversation on FB about Rope Skipping. I love Rope Skipping. It's not only my daughter's favorite form of exercise, but mine too. I like how easy it's to start, you just need little space, good workout shoes, a rope and some upbeat tunes. And for sure, practice makes perfect. Don't get discouraged if the few first attempts are not really flawless.

The best shoes for skipping rope are the Aerobics shoes or the Cross-trainers. Make sure they have reinforced toes and provide a lot of cushioning for the balls of the feet. 

NIKE Speed Jump Rope, it absolutely lives up to it's name. It has soft grips, weighted (or you can remove the tiny weights from inside the handles) and the coated rope makes it easier and faster to swing. I'm sure you can find other brands (Reebok for ex.) as good as my Nike, you just have to find the perfect match.
Jump ropes came a long way since I was a child, skipping around the playground. Today they are made from variety of materials and grip styles. Some of them are weighted or have heavy handles.  Some are made of leather, others are plastic or made of rubber. My personal favorite is

Most of the ropes today have an adjustable design that makes it very convenient to set the right length. It's very important to adjust the length of the rope in accordance to your height. 

Here is how to choose the right length for your rope. Step one foot on to the rope and raise both hands up to the chest. The handles should reach about chest high.

The Basics


Even if it was a while since you last skipped, the basics are still the same. Keep the shoulders relaxed and your elbows close to the body. Your knees should be slightly bent, don't jump too high to keep the impact low on your knees and ankles.  Turn the rope through your wrists and try to keep the stable arch while over your head. Don't slouch, keep the back straight, head up, look front, not down. And don't ever jump rope on a hard surface, like concrete or tiles. Instead, choose a surface that will absorb the impact.And the most important, try to have fun (at least I do). Before you move to some fancy footwork, make sure you've mastered the basic jump, you can build up from here. Get creative. 


Benefits


Jump Rope is a kind of cardiovascular exercise that engages the entire body through consistent hops in the air. It's believed to be an ancient activity, used by the aborigines as a form of play using flexible bamboos. Today it's used in many conditioning sports and in the last few years it became quite popular part of CrossFit. Jumping rope for weight loss is very common activity that's extremely effective, burning 10 - 13kcal. per minute (at average) for 150lb. person at a pace of 120 turns per min. Jumping rope can help maintain your cardiovascular endurance and even improve it. Most will feel clumsy at the beginning. But with practice you will notice that through forcing to keep a steady rhythmic pace your coordination and balance will dramatically improve. Jumping rope builds bone-mineral density and improves total body power. Athletes use it to improve their vertical jump height.

Jump Rope Workouts 


If you are a beginner you might consider  starting with short skip-rest intervals, like the Tabata Protocol (8 X 10/20). Now for some the 10sec. rest interval might seem like a very short time, don't give up. Increase the rest to 20sec., so that you will have two equal intervals 20/20. Once your endurance and coordination improves you can get creative. Decrease the rest interval back to 10 sec, increase the skipping interval to 30 sec, 40 sec, 50 sec and so on. Next step, go for continuous jumping - 2min, 5min, 10min ... the sky is the limit. Shortening your rope will give some speed to your skipping and in return will increase the intensity as well.

My favorite Jump Rope Interval is 10 X 10/50, which gives me 10min of workout. And depending on the mood, specific workout for the day or time available I'll repeat it 2-3 times with a minute rest in between. If my #WOD is Weights Based, I'll go for only one round of 10min. after the workout.

Try this workout by Funk Roberts: Jump Rope Cardio Workout


Jump Like a Boxer (Men's Fitness Magazine) 

Do one jump. That's it. Next, do two sets of two jumps. Then three sets of three. Continue this progression until you can skip for 10 sets of 10, or you've gone for 15 to 20 minutes. Whenever you miss a jump, go back and repeat the previous level. Do this workout four times a week. If you do it right, you will be skipping rope like a boxer for three-minute rounds in a week or two.

Having Fun

I can guarantee  that once your endurance and skills improve, you will have lots of fun. Time to spice up the workout and experiment with different techniques:

  • Bounce Step - Jump with feet together;
  • Single Leg Jumps;
  • Run Jump - Alternate Feet Jump, as in Running;
  • High Knees - Run Jumping with High Knees;
  • Forward - Backward Jump (you can do single leg as well);
  • Jumping Jacks;
  • Side to Side (single leg as well);
  • Scissors;
  • Butt Kicks;
  • Double Unders (a Friend's Favorites) 
Lots of choices there and I believe you can bring something yours too. 

Here are some of my favorite Jump Rope Videos:

Jump Rope Girl

Hungarian Jump Rope Team

And last but not the least, the First Lady Kicking Butt on Dr. Oz


Get your rope and have fun!


1 comment:

  1. Good help for beginners on this FB page.

    http://www.facebook.com/jumpropecom

    ReplyDelete

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