Burn Calories and Improve Your Cardio Health with a Skipping Rope
Few types of fitness equipment are as versatile as a skipping rope. These compact, inexpensive items are used by boxers, in cross fit, for HIIT and simply to warm up or add a burst of cardio to your regular routine.
When you compare the benefits with the time needed, the appeal gets even stronger. You could burn 800 calories per hour skipping.
It is rare that you’ll simply start to skip and keep going for an hour. There are multiple variations to mix things up. Another popular approach is to create a routine which includes both skipping and planks, push-ups or squats. This will not only keep things fresh, but it also allows you to create a challenging and varied set of exercises.
This quick guide to skipping rope workouts covers the basic moves and looks at the benefits for people with different goals.
Skipping Rope Workout Basics
Before getting to the different ways to jump, your environment needs to be right. Starting with the floor. You will be jumping a lot, giving multiple impacts to your knees. A rubber mat or even a yoga mat will avoid this. You should also look overhead; many a lampshade has fallen foul of a careless skipping rope workout!
Here are the basics:
- Single Under: This is the basic jump, make sure you are on your heels, when your arms are up (and rope overhead), your feet are on the ground, and vice versa. Start slow and get faster as you find your rhythm.
- Double Under: Here you make one jump and rotate the skipping rope twice. This is much harder with big jumps needed to get it right.
- Hops: Skipping on a single leg with the other one always off of the ground will test your balance as well as your ability to coordinate those jumps.
- Figure 8 to Jumps: This is a major test of your focus and rhythm, loop the rope in a figure 8 to each side of you, then jump, and repeat.
- Jumping Jacks: Advanced skipping rope users can move their legs sideways and back on alternate jumps, adding a new level to their skipping.
- Scissors: Add forward and backward leg movements to your skipping with scissors.
For more information on how to perform these jumps, see the video linked at the bottom of this page.
Different Fitness Goals: How Skipping Helps
Skipping is popular among many of the people you’d least expect it from. Many people focused on building muscle through strength training use it, adding the occasional HIIT session between using their multi-gym. The lower price point means that people who would love a NordicTrack treadmill, though cant’ yet afford one enjoy this workout. Those that enjoy regular cardio exercise in any form frequently add skipping to vary their routines.
Boxing (and more recently MMA) is where skipping first got popular. Fighters need to be in top condition. Skipping has multiple benefits for them – building stamina, cardio health, and coordination – while helping burn of any excess fat.
Cross fit is another group that make use of skipping ropes. If you want to jump in a competitive environment, then there is no shortage of routines which include skipping rope workouts.
Mixing Up Your Skipping Rope Workouts
Unlike spinner biking or using a cross trainer, a skipping rope is easy to pick up and put down. This makes it ideal for routines which switch exercises in interval training style workouts. You could do sets of skips, with planks, press-ups, or squats between each one. Finding the right mix of exercises for your own goals is key. If you already have an interval routine, you could look at this from the opposite perspective – adding a skipping session into the mix.
A quick warm up, or extra short session to keep your heart and lungs healthy and burn a few calories is the final way to get the best from skipping rope routines.
Videos: The Basics of Skipping Rope Workouts
Note: I have no association with the producers of these videos. I chose them as they clearly and succinctly explain how to do the routines from different perspectives. If you enjoy the videos, please consider liking and subscribing to their channels.
Types of Skipping Rope for Home Workouts
A basic skipping rope is very inexpensive. You can get a quality model, which will count your jumps and even estimate your calories burned for not much more.
#1 – Fitfort Skipping Ropes
Super good value ropes, with steel wire coated in PVC as the rope, and comfortable foam handles. You can even adjust the length of the rope. Thousands of positive reviews for this model – check out this dedicated product page at amazon.co.uk for the latest price.
#2 – Multifun Skipping Rope with Calorie Counter
For a top of the range model that includes an LCD screen and calorie counter, this model from Multifun ticks all the right boxes. It includes an alarm reminder, so you will know when to stop jumping. See this dedicated product page for the latest price and close-up pictures.
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