Skipping…one of the cheapest, simplest and most effective forms of conditioning
A skipping rope is one of the most effective pieces of equipment an athlete could ever own. It will specifically condition your entire body; improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, as well as effectively improving co-ordination, balance and footwork. And best of all, a quality jump rope won’t set you back more than about £7 ($10).
There are many ways a jump rope can be used. They can be paired with Calisthenic exercises in the form of a circuit, performed for a duration of time to improve aerobic fitness, perform in a sports-specific timeframe (e.g. three minute rounds) or performed in fast bursts to improve anaerobic fitness (e.g. Tabata Intervals). These methods can also be effectively mixed and match (e.g. Skip 2 three minutes rounds, sprint skip for five 30 second rounds). It is advised when skipping aerobically or for timed rounds, that you constantly mix up the skipping pace (e.g. gentle skip for one minute, fast skipping for 30 seconds).
There all many variations and techniques to skipping. They can seem difficult and unusual to a beginner but they come with great patience and time. It is advised that you speed much time trying to perfect the skipping techniques and improving your co-ordination before you engage in using it as a conditioning tool. Below are the different methods of skipping.
Bouncing on Spot
This requires hopping from left to right foot, both feet together or on one foot in time with the rope. This is the first technique that you will pick up. It is not an anaerobic exercises and no great speed can be produced for this movement. It is advised that you skip to music to pick up a rhythm. It is all about co-ordination and timing, as is boxing! A great progression is to skip in your boxing stance or move around whilst skipping.
Running on Spot
This essentially requires you to run on the spot whilst co-ordinating the jump rope. This can be done at any pace. The higher you lift your knees, the more difficult this would be. You can also run forwards and back to improve your co-ordination.
This technique requires jumping and passing the rope underneath you twice. This is very difficult and requires very good timing. This is generally an anaerobic exercise that is performed in fast bursts. Begin by jumping in the air with your knees up. Whilst mid-air, pass the rope around your entire body twice and continue with this form.
This is a more advanced technique that requires much practice. As you jump off the floor, you must cross your arms so that the rope handles are at your hips. As the rope crosses it will form a circle in front of you. Jump in to that circle and with your arms still crossed; pass the rope over your body.
Combine many or all of the above techniques for complete results in co-ordination, agility and endurance.
Below are some examples of Jump Rope training routines:
· Freestyle for 20 minutes without rest (aerobic)
· Skip at a medium pace, fast skipping at regular interval for 4 three minute rounds. Rest 45-60 seconds between rounds (mostly anaerobic)
· Skip fast for eight 20 second intervals with 10 seconds rest between intervals (Tabata Intervals).
· Complete 5 rounds of the following circuit:
Skip fast for 30 seconds
Shadow Box for 30 seconds
30 Jumping Jacks
(Complete the above circuit 2-3 times for one round)
· Skip fast for 5 rounds of 60 seconds with 45 seconds rest. Skip fast for 6 rounds of 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest (anaerobic)
Get yourself a rope! Jump rope can be done anything anywhere, not matter what the weather! Below are some recommended sites that you can purchase a jump rope: