When fitness is a journey - why not skip along the way?
Known for its high impact, skipping has fast become a major part of exercise routines. The take anywhere, do anywhere aspect of skipping means that it's easy to blend into your everyday exercise and doesn’t require a gym membership, expensive equipment or intensive training.
If you haven’t skipped since childhood, it’s time to bring that fun back into your life whilst encouraging weight loss and higher levels of fitness.
Before you jump!
Avoiding beginner’s mistakes when skipping.
The internet abounds with great personal journeys of people who have re-discovered both the power and the pure joy of skipping. From tricks and challenges through to stories on underestimating proper technique, vloggers and influencers are getting onboard.
We’ve been seriously loving incorporating skipping into our routines and we have our good friend Alicia Sunshine sharing how she uses jump rope to fit in with her busy schedule.
Before you grab your rope and start to jump - there are some things you’re going to need to know to help you avoid injury and get the best from your work-outs. We’ve gathered some of the best tips we’ve heard to provide you with our Skipping 101.
Keeping you on your toes
One of the most common mistakes skipping beginners make is to jump flat footed. This puts way too much pressure on your feet and can cause injuries such as shin splints. Instead, it’s important that you adopt a jumping technique where your knees are softened and you stay on the balls of your feet.
For this reason, experienced skippers recommend that you make sure you have shoes which heavily cushion the balls of your feet and provide enough support. This is not a barefoot exercise!
Even though you’re jumping - don’t look down
Your posture when skipping is super important too. Just as with all exercise, it’s important to adopt the right posture to protect your body and to maximise impact. With skipping, make sure that you don’t watch your feet. Instead, focus on something at eye level and straighten your back. This will engage your core in a more substantial way and avoid lower back issues.
The sky is not the limit
You may have in your head an image of Rocky jumping knees high up with a rope. That’s not really the technique you’re after. Many beginners feel that jumping higher and higher in order to clear the rope is what you need to do, but in reality, you’ll get a better workout by simply clearing the thickness of the rope each time. You can see how your feet really only need to clear the width of the rope when you watch videos of experienced rope jumpers.
Skipping ropes are most definitely not one size fits all. In fact, the length of your rope is a critical aspect to your routine. The best way to work out your optimum rope length is by grabbing the handles in each hand, placing your foot in the centre of the rope and then measuring where the rope comes up to.
Your ideal rope length can be measured when the rope comes to just reaching your armpits. If the rope goes to your shoulders or beyond - it is simply too long and will make your workout slower and more difficult as you struggle to deal with a sloppy rope.
On the other hand, if your rope is too short, you’ll be inclined to stoop or bend which can cause injuries.
Make sure you go for a rope which is weighted and adjustable so you can incorporate a little upper body work as you skip.
Although you may have been a wiz with a skipping rope when you were younger, chances are that it’s going to take a little moment to get the hang of it again this time round. It’s important to remember that tripping is a big part of the process. Experienced skippers will still trip. You’ll find too that with each attempt, you’ll fine tune your rhythm and be able to skip for longer without tripping up.
Bringing your arms in close by your side - rather than holding the rope handles out like wings is the ideal position to skip in. Most of the action with twirling the rope will be in your wrists (just like it was when you were little). Keep your arms relaxed and you’ll find more ease with your skipping technique.
Fun with benefits
Skipping is fun as it allows us to do cool tricks and take part in fun challenges. But aside from being fun, the benefits are pretty amazing. As you work both hemispheres of your brain to stay balanced, skipping can actually make you smarter. Seriously! Spatial awareness increases, circulation improves and you get to work out your brain and body together.
Add to this that skipping can burn more calories than a 30 minute run and we’re left wondering why we left our rope in the schoolyard all those years ago!
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