Jumping rope is something many of us used to do as a kid. It used to be a form of "playing" and having various contests. Through adulthood, aside from traditional cardio equipment , the jump rope is a great way to burn fat, condition your heart, and tone your legs. Jumping rope is also easy to add to quick transitioning circuit training workouts as it requires no time to adjust equipment which is great, however because we have gone through 20+ years of life and have possibly incurred some injuries along the way, read on how to jump rope correctly to prevent injuries, and learn about the different types of ropes available to determine which is best for you.
The thicker of the speed rope is best for someone just starting out, The thinner speed rope is best for an advanced skipper, boxer, athletes, or someone wanting to work on speed and footwork. The light-weight of the rope will allow it to move faster and the person can achieve more revolutions per minute.
A weighted jump rope contains extra (removable) weight in the handles which requires the upper body to use more strength. This is good for intermediate level skippers that already know how to skip and want to take it one step further by increasing the demand on their upper body. The great feature of this this weighted jump ropeis the removed 1lb weights which makes it a great piece to vary your workouts and for use amongst different fitness levels. Another great feature of this rope is it's adjustable length.
A leather rope is slightly heavier than a speed rope. It is good for establishing a consistent skipping rhythym. The rope won't move through space as fast as the ligher speed rope. This is also best for indoor training only vs a plastic rope which is also good for outdoor as it won't wear down or catch onto debris.
How To Jump Rope:
1) Length of the jump rope: Hold each handle up to your chest and step on the jump rope in the middle. When you do this, the rope should be straight, without stretching or without too much give or excess rope hanging onto the floor. The length of the rope is important when it comes to jumping efficiency and speed.
2) Where to Hold your Arms and Shoulders: Repetitive movements are the ones that need the most correction in technique. My next post will be about running technique and how to run correctly. Similar to running, jumping rope is a repetitive movement, having the correct hand position will help you skip to your best ability. Handles should be held at waist/hip height and not deviate too far during the time you are skipping (unless ofcourse doing fancy tricks like crossovers). Making big arm circles are energy-innefficient and will hinder success.
3) Staying on the balls of your feet. Further to repetitive movement - is repetitive impact. Jumping rope can be perfectly safe when you stay on the balls of your feet. This helps you to not only jump faster, it also absorbs shock better than landing flat footed - which can place a large amount of stress on your knee joints.
4) Lastly to jump rope correctly requires proper timing. The main error I see when one is attempting to jump rope is the inidividual jumps up too high, they manage to get a few revolutions in, then the rope comes down hitting them in the foot or the shins. When jumping rope, you only need to jump up about 1/2' off the ground, and only move the hands. The arms and shoulders stay relatively stationary. This part requires practice.
My secret jumping rope tip:
The key to adding skipping rope to your workout routine is to keep it short and keep it going. This means 1 minute of continuous skipping. For beginners - use this tip to help you over time increase how long you can skip for.
Start with holding both handles as if you are about to start skipping
Step in front of the rope, and just practice jumping while holding the rope.
Once you get a jump ryhthym (may need to jump higher in the very begining), then swing the rope up from
behind you, up over your head, and under your feet once
Continue jumping - but just keep the rope behind you while you are still jumping
Do 4 jumps while holding the rope behind you, then swing the rope under your feet again
Do 1 jump over the rope for ever 5 jumps. This means you only swing the rope under once every 5 jumps, holding the rope behind you for the other 4 jumps. This will allow you to get the rhythm of when the rope is coming and when to jump.
Once you can do this 5 times in a row without tripping or stopping, then swing the rope under 2x for every 5 jumps, and so on...
Remember to stay on the balls of your feet to minimize the load placed on your knee and lower leg joints. Start out with 20 seconds and slowly build up to 30 seconds, 40 seconds, and so on.
Good luck! Let me know how it goes in the comment section below.