You’ve seen it in all the famous boxing movies, in fact I think it’s a Hollywood contract requirement. There has to be a montage with a semi-motivating and emotional song and someone has to be jumping rope. As overrated as it may seem in the movies, jumping or skipping rope is a killer bodyweight cardio workout in itself.
The only drawback is you do have to be coordinated enough to do it.
Fortunately if you can walk and chew gum at the same time (and not in rhythm), you should be fine. Just don’t try to jump rope and chew gum.
Let’s start with beginners. If you’re an advanced rope jumper, you probably don’t need to read this anyway.
Marie Mulrooney From Livestrong.com contributes today’s story:
Basic Hop And Skip
Before you start jumping, make sure the rope fits you. Stand in the middle and pull the handles up along your sides; according to traditional sizing methods, they should just reach your armpits. Then swing the rope and jump over it with both feet a few times: It should just clear the ground on every hop. Keep practicing until you feel comfortable with the basic two-foot hop. Then place one foot slightly in front of the other and try rocking from one foot to the other over the rope as it swings. Practice with the other foot forward, too.
Once you feel comfortable with basic hopping and skipping, add in the simplest of tricks: Instead of hopping up and down in place on both feet, jump from one side to the other with each hop, as if you were skiing moguls. For extra intensity, focus on jumping higher each time you go over the rope.
For more intensity and an even more grueling calf workout, lift one leg off the ground and hop on the other leg. Count your repetitions, or time yourself, and make sure to do the same amount of time or number of repetitions on the other side too.
Imitate your favorite boxer by lifting your knees up high with each step, running in place as fast as you can. You’ll have to swing the rope faster than usual to keep up with your feet. You can also run as if you were doing “butt kicks,” trying to make heel-to-buttock contact on every step. A high-knee run places extra emphasis on your hip flexors; butt kicks work your hamstrings.
Once you’ve got a good feel and rhythm for jumping over the rope as you swing it forward, try swinging the rope backward instead. Start with the rope just in front of your toes. Swing it back over your head, then hop over it as it swings beneath your feet. If you can make it through the first few swings, you will be able to establish a regular rhythm that makes it easier to clear the rope, even if you can’t see it coming.
For more workout variety, try side swings. Start two-leg hopping with a normal rhythm, then bring both wrists tight together and swing the rope handles down and to the left of your body, allowing the middle of the rope to hit the ground. Continue the motion in a figure-eight to the right, also hitting the ground on that side. Then spread your arms back to the normal position and go back to your double-leg hop.