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Skipping or jumping rope is common among young children, but very few of us know that it is also a very good form of exercise in a number of ways. Therefore, in order to reap the benefits, include skipping in your everyday routine and see what good it does to you and your overall health.
What Are the Benefits of Skipping Exercise?
Skipping is an easy form of exercise which can be done anywhere. Being portable, it can easily be carried anywhere. Listed below are some of the benefits of jumping a rope.
1. For Better Co-ordination
Jumping rope makes you focus on your feet. Even when you may not be focusing on your feet while skipping the rope, your brain knows what to make your feet do. With regular practice, it becomes easier.
2. Reduces the Risk of Foot and Ankle Injuries
Apart from the other advantages, there are jumping rope benefits for legs too. People who play tennis, football, cricket, etc are prone to foot and ankle injuries. This happens when they are running and suddenly have to stop and turn. Skipping daily reduces the risk of injury in the foot and ankle by strengthening the muscles there and also betters the foot coordination.
3. Helps to Burn Calories
It rapidly burns calories. In fact, it is said that jumping rope to lose weight gives far better results than jogging. Skipping when done at a fast pace can lose about 1300 calories per hour.
4. Portable and Easy to Carry
The best thing about skipping rope is that you can carry it anywhere. All you need to do is fold it and put it inside your bag. Unlike other forms of exercise, it can be done anywhere.
5. Increases Bone Density
According to medical experts, jumping a rope is a great way to increase and improve your bone density. However, it must be kept in mind that people with a history of leg or foot fractures should avoid it or must consult a doctor before using a jumping rope for their daily exercise.
6. Good for Heart Health
There are several advantages of skipping out of which this is one of the most important. Being a good cardio exercise, skipping rope strengthens your heart. When you jump a rope regularly, the heart begins to pump blood more efficiently which boosts your stamina and energy. It also enables the body’s tissues to draw out more oxygen from the blood.
7. Improves Breathing Capacity
Skipping rope not only improves your heart health but also does a world of good to your lungs. Therefore, your breathing capacity improves which helps you by not letting you get out of breath while running, swimming etc. It can be very beneficial even for singers too.
8. Good for the Brain
Jumping rope requires you to continuously jump on the balls of your feet. This continuous pressure on this part of your feet is said to be beneficial in developing the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The growth of this part of the brain helps the brain to become better by enhanced skills of reading, better memory, awareness and mental alertness making you smarter and in some ways, intelligent.
9. Great for the Lymphatic System
Another great benefit of skipping is getting rid of the toxins from the body while you are at it. It is the lymphatic system in your body where all the toxins of your body accumulate. They get eliminated out of the lymphatic system when all the muscles in your body contract to squeeze out the toxins. Moreover, when you jump a rope, you sweat. The sweat also helps in throwing out the toxins and bacteria which can cause skin problems, thereby helping the skin to glow.
10. Cheap Way to Get a Full Body Workout
People spend a lot of money on buying exercise equipment, going to a gym or hiring a gym trainer to lose weight or to get a toned body. However, not many people know that skipping a rope is one of the best forms of cardio exercise which will help you achieve all your weight loss goals. Moreover, a skipping rope is inexpensive and can be bought by one and all. It is said that by jumping the rope 10-20 times a day can help you lose weight in a few months time.
11. Reduces Stress
Skipping is a great stress buster. If done on a regular basis, it can bring in calmness and relieve you from anxiety and depression. Skipping as an exercise causes your brain to produce chemicals called serotonin which makes you feel happy and endocannabinoids which relaxes you.
12. Makes You Quicker and Balance Better
Regular skipping gives you stronger muscles and healthier bones. Therefore, it makes you lighter on your feet and as a result, you become more agile and quicker on your feet. Moreover, when we skip, we do so by landing on the balls of our feet; this helps us to learn how to balance better.
Points to Remember While Doing Skipping
Skipping is undoubtedly a full body workout and has several other benefits. However, there are a few points that one has to keep in mind while jumping a rope.
- The skipping or the jumping rope that you buy should be light and of good quality. Lighter the rope, the easier it is to use it.
- The rope has to be appropriate in length and in accordance with your height. Therefore, before you buy it, check the length of the rope.
- Remember to warm up properly before you start skipping or else you may end up with muscle injuries.
- It is best to perform the skipping exercise without any shoes. This will help the balls of your feet to learn how to balance better.
- In case you wish to wear shoes while skipping, make sure your shoes are light so that they don’t pose a hindrance while jumping.
- Make sure that the surface in which you will jump the rope is clear of any kind of pebbles or things which could cause injury to the soles of your feet while jumping; especially people who wish to do it barefoot.
- Before starting with the skipping exercise session, it is important and a must for ladies to wear a good quality sports bra. Failing to wear one may cause damage and injuries in the breast tissues.
How to Perform Rope Jumping Exercises?
Skipping or rope jumping is one of the best forms of cardio exercise and also an inexpensive means to get a whole body workout. Listed below are four ways through which you can practice skipping exercises.
1. Double Jumps
This is the most common among all the rope jumping exercises. Usually done at a high speed, it is a high-calorie burner and can help you to rapidly shed those bothersome extra kilos. There are two variations of the exercise – higher jumps in slow pace which is a great way to tone your muscles and lower jumps at high speed which can be done during HIIT and endurance training.
How to Do
- Hold the rope with both the hands, keeping the handles on each side of your hands.
- Stand in a straight posture with the elbows near the sides.
- Pull your abdominal muscles and keep your body weight on the balls of your feet.
- Now by just rotating your wrists, bring the rope from the back to the front and jump so that both your feet are 2-3 inches off the ground. When you do so, the rope has to pass under your feet.
- Repeat the same 10-20 times to start with.
- With time and practice, increase the duration of the exercise.
2. Cross Jumping
It is a fun skipping style and is easy enough for a child to do. The starting pose of cross jump is the same as in double jump; the difference lies in the style of skipping. In the double jump, the feet go off the ground together, whereas in cross jump, the person has to jump with one foot on the surface and one foot off it.
How to Do
- Bring the rope in front of you and your arms to cross each other to check whether the hole is big enough for you to cross over.
- Once you have checked, come to the starting position of pulling the rope at the back of you and your hand at the sides.
- Then swing the rope and bring it in the front. Rotate your wrists and forearms to do this movement instead of your whole arm and shoulders.
- Then jump with one foot on the surface followed by the other foot, one after the other in a continuous motion.
- Continue it as long as you can or at least 10-20 times initially and then slowly increasing the time duration.
3. Jumping Jack
It is one of the simplest jumping rope exercises but highly effective in making your heart healthy, burning calories and shedding the extra flab off your entire body. It is an aerobic exercise and uses the weight of your body for resistance.
How to Do
- The starting position is with the rope at your back and the handles held in each hand by your side.
- Outstretch your arms in the front with the rope handles in your hands.
- Then outstretch your arms to your sides.
- Stand with your feet a little apart (however, it should not be uncomfortable for you to land in that position).
- Then swinging the rope in the front, jump over the rope in the same position and land in the same position (with feet a little wide apart).
- Then again swing the rope in the front and jump over it but this time, land with both the feet together.
- Repeat the process 10-20 times or as much duration as your body allows you to.
4. Single Leg Jumps
It is for people who have mastered the double rope jump and cross rope jump. People in the initial phase of rope jumping should not try this variation of skipping exercises since it requires a lot of balance on one leg. Yoga poses like Garudasana or Natrajasana can help you to prepare one for single leg rope jumping exercise.
How to Do
- Bring the rope at your back and hold the handles bringing them to your sides.
- Now bring the rope forward and sweep it under your feet.
- Before you jump the rope, fold your leg at the knee and jump with only one leg.
- Repeat it for 10-20 counts.
- The repeat the same with the other leg for 10-20 counts.
Sample Workout That Includes Skipping As HIIT Exercises
HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training. It is basically an exercise where an intense workout interval is followed by a less rigorous recovery interval. While the interval time may vary in different HIITs, it is usually that the recovery time is either equal to or double the time of the high-intensity intervals. Here is a step-wise representation of a sample workout of HIIT using a jumping rope.
- Start by jumping the rope for 30 seconds with your knees high up.
- Take a rest for 10 seconds.
- Then start again by doing 30 seconds of mountain climbers.
- Again take a rest of 10 seconds.
- Then again jump the rope with your knees high up for 30 seconds.
- Stop for 10 seconds of rest.
- Continue it with 30 seconds of stability ball push-ups.
- Again take a 10-second rest.
- Then do 30 seconds of high knee rope jumps.
- Rest your body for 10 seconds.
- Then continue it with 30 seconds of plank exercise.
- Follow it up with 10 seconds rest.
- Repeat this whole process 2-3 times.
- In case you want it to be more rigorous and your body can take it, decrease the rest time in between the sets.
Include rope jumping into your fitness regime and see the extra flab melt away, giving way to a toned up body.