When was the last time you picked up a jump rope? If you’re like most adults, it’s probably been a while. But contrary to what you may have thought, jumping rope is not only for school kids – it’s actually a great way to get a full body workout for people of all fitness levels.
Here’s why you should dig up and dust off your old jump rope and get hoppin.’
It’s great cardiovascular exercise.
Jumping rope gets your heart rate and blood circulation up fast, making it an awesome cardio exercise. The benefits of cardio are many: it’s good for your heart, it speeds up your metabolism, and it burns fat.
It’ll tone your whole body.
Unlike many exercises which target a specific part of the body and neglect others, jumping rope will work and tone your whole body. Your arms, shoulders, chest, core, and legs will all get a workout.
It burns a ton of calories.
For the average woman, jumping rope can burn 100 calories in 10 minutes—or 600 per hour. That’s 3-4 times as many calories as some aerobic activities.
You can do it at home—or anywhere.
No need to go to the gym – you can jump rope at home, or easily bring it with you wherever you go. All you need to get the most from your workout is a jump rope, a flat, firm surface and a timer.
For those of you new to jumping rope, here are some tips to stay safe and get the most benefits from your new workout routine:
1. Keep your elbows in close to your torso, not flailing out beside you.
2. Allow your ankles, knees, and hips to bend slightly as you land, to reduce the impact on your joints.
3. Keep your jumps low.
4. Hold the handles about waist-high, and keep them at this height.
5. Operate the jump rope from your wrists—not your elbows or shoulders.
6.. Turn the rope first, jump second. Don’t do the two movements together.
7. Keep your shoulder blades down and back as your jump. Also, keep your chest open, and your head held high.
Ready to get hoppin’? Here are 5 jump rope exercises to start out with.
1. Single jump
Jump over the rope with your feet together, one jump per turn of the rope. Try to jump at a steady pace, landing softly with each turn.
Keep your feet together. Alternate jumping forward 6 inches and backward 6 inches with each turn of the rope.
Keep your feet together. Alternate jumping to the left 6 inches and to the right 6 inches with each turn of the rope. Be sure to jump and land on both feet equally.
4. Jumping jack
With each turn of the rope, alternate landing with feet together and feet apart, as if you were doing jumping jacks.
5. Single step
This one takes a bit more coordination. The goal here is to run in place as you’re jumping rope, so the rope passes under one foot at a time. Start slowly with this one until you find your own rhythm.
Add jumping rope into your daily exercise routine, or simply give it a try the next time you want to work out but don’t feel like going all the way to the gym. Your body and heart will thank you!
-The Alternative Daily