In just minutes, you can easily learn to jump rope for better health, and for a better life.
Why You Should Learn How to Jump Rope
Jumping rope is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get an excellent cardiovascular workout. A jump rope costs barely ten to fifteen dollars, and as long as you've got a decent pair of sneakers, you don't need anything else. The benefits of jumping rope are plentiful, and they are not only physical, but also mental.
The Benefits of Jumping Rope
- Improved mental focus and concentration
- Increased hand, eye, and foot coordination
- It's a highly effective method of burning calories
- It increases muscle strength in almost every major muscle group
- Strengthens bones (excellent to fight osteoporosis)
- One of the fastest ways to improve body-fat index
Jumping Rope to Better Health
Unlike jogging, jumping rope proves an intense cardiovascular workout without the high-impact stress on joints such as knees and hips. The small jumps involved in jumping rope are enough to elevate the heart rate and burn calories, but not enough to introduce joint stress and back injury. Additionally, the fact that you are swinging the rope in time with your jumping means that your hands and arms will be moving much more than they would be if you were simply walking or running. Jumping rope is a full body workout. It increases overall strength and stamina and accelerates weight loss. This is why athletes such as boxers and football players use it as part of their overall training regimen.
Things You Will Need
In order to start jumping rope, you don't need very much. The basic necessities for jumping rope include the following.
- Good, comfortable sneakers
- Comfortable and loose clothing
- A jump rope that is correctly sized for the height of your body
To test if your jumprope is the right size, you should be able to step on the middle of the rope and you should be able to comfortably hold the ends of the rope up to the height of your chest. Find a suitable location, preferably on a semi-hard floor with a little bit of give, but not too much. Avoid any surface that's extra hard (like concrete) or extra soft (like grass). A wood floor is ideal, it is perfectly flat, and it limits friction.
Steps to Jump Rope Correctly
Initially learning to jump rope is very easy, and in time you will get so adept that you may be able to start incorporating some fun jump rope tricks. But the important thing at first is to get started with simple jumping, and work your way up in dexterity, stamina, and strength. To jump rope following the proper technique, stick to the steps below.
- Use mostly your wrist, and a little bit of your forearm, to turn the rope.
- In a "cranking" motion, with both hands, make small circles and keeping your arms close to your body (not extended).
- Keep your hands at the height of your hips at all times.
- You should be able to turn the rope with your wrist and forearm, with very little effort (a smooth stroke).
- Don't jump too high. You only need to jump a few inches off the ground, and then land softly.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed, and your knees slightly bent, absorbing the slight shock of each landing.
- Push off with the balls of your feet and land on the balls of your feet - your heels should just barely tap the ground.
- Avoid the "bunny hop."
An important note on technique is that the "bunny hop" is an automatic thing that most beginning jumpers do. It is how many kids learn to jump rope. However, the correct way to jump for aerobic exercise is to turn the rope faster and hop only once per revolution. Doing it this way will allow you to jump at the same tempo, and as you move on to more advanced jump rope techniques, it's important that you can jump with the correct single-hop technique.
How to Keep It Going
Jumping rope can be more exciting and fun than any other aerobic activity, because there are so many things you can do to keep it exciting. Play music as you jump and jump to the rhythm of the song. Even if you can't dance, you'll feel like you are. Once you get to the point where you are skipping quickly with very little effort, start to mix it up with intermediate tricks, such as the "skier" or "jumping jacks" which incorporate additional movements into each jump. These advanced jumps will enhance your workout, and strengthen additional muscle groups. It will also provide you with goals to work toward. As you master each trick, you can work on advancing to the next level, until you are performing the exciting advanced jump rope tricks as part of your regular workout.
Jump Rope for Life
Make jumping rope more than just a pastime or a boring 30 minute exercise routine. By adding music and giving yourself goals to achieve, jumping rope will become something exciting and fun to do, and it will be an activity that you actually look forward to every day.