What is Rope Skipping?

If you don't know what Rope Skipping is, please take a look here first!!! (35 Mb. mpg 320x240).

If you want to give it a go yourself, please read on below:

Before you get started with jump rope make sure you have a good surface to jump on (preferably wood with some spring to it; eg. best surface - wood, spring cushioned gym floor). If you are to be jumping on tile, cement, or asphalt you really need to take percautions as the pounding will reak havic on your joints.

Secondly, make sure you have proper shoes on. Running or cross training shoes are the best as they provide the most support for jumping. Deck shoes, sandals, bare feet, or even
mountain shoes can hurt you more than help you. Shoes that you would use for playing basketball, squash, running outside...are the type that would best work for jump rope as well.

Lastly as a preporatory plea, please do a proper warm up. Typically for beginner jumpers, doing some calisthetics (jumping around - jumping jacks, running on the spot with knee lifts, footwork...etc.) to get your heart pumping is recommended. About 5 minutes of warmup with at least 3 - 5 minutes of good stretching afterwards will suffice for getting your body ready. Make sure to really stretch your calves (lower leg), quadriceps (front of upper leg), bi's and tri's (upper arms), deltoids and trapezius (shoulder area) as well as your hamstrings (back of upper leg). These are major muscle groups that will probably feel the most "the day after". Make sure as a precaution, you do a proper cool down at the end of your "workout". Just repeat the same stretches you did at the beginning with taking deep breaths, holding your stretches for a minimum of an eight count for each stretch.

One last thing, if you feel weak, dizzy or extremely fatigued, take a break. Drink lots of water, remember to breathe and start slowly. You can do it!

For beginners, I would recommend putting on your favourite music for stimulation or bring a friend to jump with you. Working out can be boring and draining so bring aspects of your life that you like into your work out.
You can do a multitude of footwork jumps. The three basic ones are two foot bounce (jumping with both feet together at the same time), one foot bounce (repetitive jumping on one foot then switching to the other), alternating foot or "boxers step" (like you are running on the spot). Some other simple alternatives to change things up would be to do the "skier" (jump with your feet together but go from one side to another - to start off you can jump over a line back and forth to get the feel for it), the "bell" just going forwards and back with your feet together. Another would be the "side straddle" where you open and close your feet like when you do jumping jacks. There are many things that you can do with your feet to have a variety of movements. This will keep it from getting boring.

Some alternatives to foot work would be a double under (jumping high in a tuck jump position and turning your hands fast so the rope will go under twice before you land). Doing this repetitively can be tricky so don't give up. The criss cross (crossing your arms infront of you) can also be really good for increasing your shoulder flexibility and your control. Make sure you cross far, have your handles facing outward (and not back or up or down) and cross at about your belly button not up at your chest.

To get a cardio workout and tone your muscles...you will want to take it slow for a long duration. Doing 150 jumps with a 2 minute break inbetween, and repeating 3 times, will definetly be an endurance run. That is to burn fat in your body the way an aerobics routine would. If you are wanting to build muscle, shorter durations with an intense jumping style is better. Doing the alternating foot (running on the spot) at a faster pace, known as "speed" to us jumpers, is great. Doing this for 30 seconds as fast as you can without missing is optimal. Doing this 3 times with 30 second breaks inbetween would be comprable to hollow sprints for track stars.

This should be a good start for you. To increase your workout as time goes on...increase your jumping times by 30 seconds and decrease your "down time" by 15 seconds. Pretty soon you'll jump for 5 minutes straight and not need a break!

This article originates from :

Ronald R. Kappert, NCCP III

Past President, International Rope Skipping Federation (FISAC-IRSF)

Past President, Canadian Rope Skipping Federation (CRSF)

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