Are you looking for a way to add creativity and fun to your daily workouts? Perhaps you want an exercise to improve your bone health and density. Or maybe you want an efficient cardio exercise to help shed an extra layer of fat.
Regardless of your motivation, rope skipping can offer the desired results. And best of all you don't need any special skills to get started.
With the right-sized rope, comfy clothes, proper surface, and a little amateur know-how, you're good to go.
Rope jumping, or skipping, as it is offered call, has numerous benefits depending on an individual's fitness goals. If you're training for agility and speed, you jump at a fast pace. However, if you want to develop explosive power, you'll need to focus more on the jump moves.
Also, you can use rope jumping as a warm-up before lifting weights. This will help to get the blood pumping around your body and warm up your muscles, ready for the exertions to come. Alternatively, you can integrate it in an interval-style workout during bodyweight training.
Whatever your reasons for considering rope jumping here are 12 excellent reasons why you should seriously consider making it part of your exercise programme.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
One of the ultimate benefits of rope skipping is that it improves your heart health. As a high-intensity workout, jumping rope causes your heart rate to increase rapidly. During rope jumping, the heart rate response is much higher than other cardio such as jogging, walking, or cycling.
Rope skipping is a cardiovascular exercise that helps:
- Lower resting heart rate
- Reduce stress
- Reverse bad cholesterol
- Decrease blood pressure
- Lower risk of cardiovascular illnesses.
If you're seeking a powerful cardiorespiratory exercise, jump rope exercises are the best option. And with only fifteen minutes of rope skipping daily, you can enhance your cardiovascular health.
Work smarter, not harder; shift to rope jumping.
2. Boosts Bone Density
Rope skipping can help build bone density due to the jumping impact. When jumping, you exert weight on your skeleton, which improves your bone health. The impact force created after hitting the ground creates a force that improves bone strength and growth.
The exercise helps maintain bone density for adults while it aids in bone development in younger people. Also, bone-strengthening activities such as rope skipping can help enhance bone density. This is especially helpful for postmenopausal women.
As bone density reduces with age, certain conditions like osteoporosis occur and bones become prone to fractures. However, rope skipping can really help keep these conditions at bay throughout your life.
Symone English, Personal Trainer at RunMoveTone, advises “If you already have osteoporosis, consult your doctor before skipping. This is because the high impact on the ground can harm the already weak bones, worsening the condition.”
3. Creates More Muscle Activation
Another key benefit of rope skipping is that it's a full-body workout. Rope jumping with different weights can provide total body strengthening. Using a weighted skipping rope will activate more muscle groups with every jump.
A heavier rope translates to greater resistance, resulting in more muscle engagement.
What muscles do you use while jumping rope?
When you’re jumping rope you can expect to engage the following muscles:
- Calf muscles
- Oblique muscles
- Back muscles
- Chest muscles.
This means with rope jumping, you improve strength both in your lower body and upper body. You use the upper body muscles to control force as you swing the rope and the lower body to create the lift needed.
4. Increases Agility
Rope skipping is the ideal workout if you want to build good footwork and agility. You develop power, agility, speed, and quick footwork with proper rope jumping exercises.
This is an especially crucial exercise for sports requiring a quick change in direction, such as football, basketball, hockey, volleyball, and boxing. Whether you play these sports or just want to improve your legwork to get better at playing with your kids, rope skipping is the right exercise.
5. Improves Coordination
When progressing past the basic jump, rope jumping requires a lot of coordination. Rope skipping is a cyclic activity implying you do it steadily in a regular cadence. The regular rhythm and cadence of rope skipping require coordination of feet, eyes, hands, legs, and torso.
While achieving a high level of coordination might feel very challenging for beginners, your skills improve pretty quickly once you get started and it’s relatively easy to master over time. This will make coordination much easier.
As your baseline improves, you're able to do new footwork tricks and patterns. This helps to keep rope skipping feeling fun and fresh as you explore new tactics.
With time, you'll improve your footwork patterns and entire hand-eye coordination, which extends to other areas of your life.
6. Builds Balance
Apart from improving body coordination, rope jumping helps to boost your balance. When skipping, you need to re-gain your balance between every jump, and you'll also need proper balancing to continue jumping.
Developing balance goes hand in hand with coordination. Maintaining balance is crucial when jumping since you'll need to coordinate different organs when the body is in motion. And with consistency, it becomes much easier to balance and even do certain drills.
To challenge and boost your balance, you can further jump from side to side or on a single foot.
7. Improves Overall Wellbeing
With rope jumping, you not only add years to your life, but you also add life to your years. Physical activity such as rope skipping aids in different areas, including;
- Sleep quality
- Mental sharpness
- Ability to deal with stress
By jumping rope, you start appreciating the little things translating to a more fulfilled and satisfying life. Thus, jumping rope will extend its benefits beyond physical health.
8. Rope Skipping Is Fun
When it comes to a sustainable, effective workout, the fun factor is imperative. And to attain your fitness goals and enjoy lasting results, consistency is key. But to be consistent with workouts, you'll definitely need to enjoy what you're doing.
This is where rope jumping comes in to transform your workout sessions and make them enjoyable. Jumping rope helps you learn a new, fun skill and ensures you compete with yourself and your workout peers.
9. Helps With Weight Loss
Jumping rope exercises burn more calories than cycling or swimming and you can even burn more than running.
Depending on how hard you workout jumping rope can burn more than 200 calories in just 15 minutes. Five days per week for once month equates to 4,000 extra calories burned each month, 48,000 per year – that’s the equivalent number of calories to 16lbs of weight loss.
How Many Calories Are Burned Using A Skipping Rope?
Use our exercise energy calculator to get an estimate of the number of calories you could burn with jump roping and compare it with other exercises.
10. Improves Spatial Awareness
By jumping rope regularly, you also improve your spatial awareness. This is because you become aware of your environment by constantly checking what's at the side, front, and back. This is especially crucial when you're jumping in a small space where you can easily hit objects with the rope.
With enhanced spatial awareness, you become a better athlete. This will also extend to other spheres of life where you become more conscious of what's around you.
11. It’s Portable, Accessible and Versatile
One of the most important factors about rope jumping is that you can do it almost anywhere. A skipping rope doesn't take up space, it's very light, and you can comfortably carry it around in a small bag. This makes it a convenient a convenient exercise you can do even when travelling.
Also, you don't need a lot of room to jump. As long as you have a reasonable ceiling height, then you're good to go. And if you don't have adequate space indoors, rope jumping can be done outdoors.
And don't forget buying a jump rope won't dent your wallet. There are lots of affordable options out there can you can opt for. However, if you want high-end jump ropes you'll need to pay more.
The Best Jump Ropes For Your Budget
In reality, even a simple piece of string can be enough to get started with rope jumping, but a professionally made piece of equipment will pay dividends in terms of usability and durability, yet they don’t need to cost the earth. Here are three great options you can try depending on your budget:
- Budget Option – Muza basic skipping rope: £3.99 from Amazon
- Best Seller – Gritin skipping rope with memory foam handle: £6.99 from Amazon
- Premium Option – Bind weighted skipping rope with carry case: £22.99 from Amazon.
12. Helps Prevent Injury
Strong bones are harder to break and strong muscles are less likely to tear and therefore rope jumping can help prevent injuries. By developing stronger bones (as discussed above) and muscles your body will be better equipped to cope to modern-day exertions and therefore become less prone to injuries.
Skipping Rope Guide For Beginners
If these 12 benefits have convinced you to give this versatile activity a go, where should you start? First of all, before beginning any new physical activity it’s worth checking with your doctor or medical practitioner.
Assuming that there’s no reason for you not to get started you’ll need a rope – obviously. Refer to benefit 11, above, or choose a rope that suits your needs.
Once you’ve chosen your jump rope and adjusted it to your height (see below for guidance), you’ll probably need some tips on how to get started. This video is a great introduction to the basics.
How Long Should A Skipping Rope Be?
It’s not uncommon for someone to think that all skipping ropes are the same. They’re not. As Symone English observes “Using a skipping rope that is too long, or too short, for you can make it difficult to properly develop your jump rope skills. Worse still, you risk injuring yourself.”
A properly sized skipping rope should enable you to hold your arms out at a comfortable distance from your body, while enabling you to swing the rope around over your head and under your feet at a comfortable distance, but not too slack. A good indicator of cable length (excluding the handles) is your own height plus 3 feet (90cm).
This video from RXSG provides some helpful guidance.
Nutrition Is Key For Any Exercise Or Weight Loss Programme
Rope skipping may have once been viewed as a children's pastime, but it's definitely one of the most beneficial exercises. It can help improve balance, cardiovascular health, agility, balance, and more.
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