Skipping rope, though it seems like a childish game you once played in elementary school, is quite a workout. It combines a set of core workouts in one exercise, including cardio, mind-body coordination, fine motor skills, and footwork.
No wonder all the renowned boxers like Muhammad Ali, John L. Sullivan, and Manny Pacquiao were often seen skipping rope before their boxing fights. Even if we look throughout boxing history, one common exercise regime to be found among all brawlers is jumping rope.
So, if you also want to join the bandwagon and include rope skipping in your workout routine, you will not need some high-tech gadgets or weight bags to start skipping like a boxer. All you will need is a good quality rope and a lot of practice.
Before we begin, one rule of thumb that you need to remember before making this seemingly childish game as a workout routine is practice. The more you practice, the better you will get at skipping like a pro. So, let’s get started on how to get the hang of this aerobic exercise.
The Right Kind of Rope
Selecting the right kind of rope is the crucial step you need to take. It is wise to invest in a good-quality skipping rope that is not too heavy and comes with proper handles for optimal grip.
Another thing to consider while purchasing a skipping rope is the length of the rope. To avoid being snagged or tangled in a rope, it is best to choose a rope per your height.
If you are a beginner, our suggestion would be to select a rope whose handles are aligned with your shoulders while standing in the middle of the rope. You can gradually shorten the length of the rope as you get advanced in your skipping regime to develop better coordination and reflexes.
Once you have the right rope, you are all set to begin your training as a boxer.
Rhythm and Balance
Skipping rope is all about maintaining rhythm and balance. Once you have mastered the art of developing the rhythm and balancing your body at the same time, crisscross, double bouncing, and other such techniques would be easier to practice.
We have made a list of few steps to help you understand how to develop the right rhythm.
- First thing first, to attain the right rhythm, make sure that both your hands are in perfect symmetry, meaning they are aligning with the center of your body while maintaining the same distance.
- The next step is to ensure the correct movement of the wrists. The main rotation of the rope must be generated by your wrist, while your shoulders and elbows will have minimal movement.
- After this, you need to have consistency in bouncing. Do not jump too high or too low, and make sure to land on the balls of your feet. It might take a few failed jumps before you could acquire consistent bouncing. But once you are there, try to maintain harmony in your rhythm.
- The last thing to do is practice, practice, and some more practice. This is by far the key element that will take you a long way.
Basic Skips to Master
There is a huge misconception regarding skipping rope that it is a monotonous exercise and gets boring over time. However, in reality, there are many tricks and jumps that you can practice and make your workout fun and challenging.
Besides, if you want to jump rope like a boxer, you can incorporate this exercise into your workout routine in various ways. Many famous brawlers use rope skipping as a warm-up or cool-down workout. It is totally up to your creativity whether you do jumping as a warm-up or divide it into several sets in between your workout regime.
Anyhow, how you incorporate rope skipping into your workout is totally up to your convenience. But there are some basic skips that you can master to mimic your favorite boxer.
Bounce steps or two-foot bouncing are among the most basic skips that even children can do. Just as the name suggests, you bounce twice on the ground as the rope swings over your head. If you are a beginner, it is better to go slow to buy yourself a few moments to coordinate your jump with the rope hitting the ground. Once you have found the right rhythm try to maintain it.
Again, the main key to master this skip is a practice to gradually improve your reflexes and body coordination.
This skip is the same as jogging in one place without moving forward. Similar to two-foot bounce, you have to attain a certain rhythm and stick to it while alternating each foot on every other skip. To get a grip on this technique, our trainers suggest incorporating one-foot hops with jogging steps. That way, you keep hopping on one foot repetitiously till you get good at it. Then you repeat the same step with the other leg to get the hang of it on each leg individually.
This skip is an upgraded version of the double bounce in which, instead of jumping twice, you swing the rope two times for each skip.
Double under skip is basically for those who are somewhat advanced in their rope skipping journey because, in this method, you have to be fast and jump higher. However, to practice this skip, you can start by jumping higher without a rope, and once you have mastered the control, you can try with a rope while rotating your wrist faster simultaneously.
Also known as hand transfer move, it is a milestone for progressive rope skippers. This move comes under the list of many other advanced tricks as it allows you have complete control over each hand individually while increasing hand-to-hand coordination.
What you do in this movement is, transfer the rope from one hand to the other while swinging the rope continuously without losing the momentum. Therefore, to gain proficiency in this movement, it is better to begin by simply transferring the rope from the right hand to the left and gradually increase the motion as you began to get a hold of it.
Once you have mastered this move, you can then get advanced with your training and move to other techniques such as crossovers, side straddles, high knees, bell jump, foot cross, and backward jump.
All of these moves are somewhat a modified version of each other and are often called “Power” variations because you keep switching the power dynamics from one move to the other. There is no fix right or wrong when it comes to these exercises. You can get creative with them and find something that is in a completely different rhythmic progression, but as long as it gets your fluids running, it is good to go.
However, in the beginning, these moves may seem too hard to master, and you will mess up several times before you get them, but once you get a grip on these moves, it will seem as easy as riding a bike.
What Will you Get out of Rope Skipping?
As mentioned earlier, this one simple exercise is a complete workout regime that engages all your body muscles, including the calves, hamstrings, glutes, biceps, triceps, and even quads. Apart from building muscle endurance, it also offers many other benefits such as;
- It helps to develop better mind-body coordination and rhythm.
- It engages the body’s both aerobic and anaerobic systems to burn calories like any intense workout.
- It increases stamina, body flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
- Excellent work out to reduce belly fat.
- It increases the blood circulation to your brain and body that give a boost to your mental health.
- It strengthens your bone density and lessens the risk for osteoporosis.
- Hand-to-eye coordination is drastically improved with this exercise.
- Enhances your reflexes and reaction time.
- Strengthens the ability to move the upper and lower body in a synchronized manner.
Other than these, a prominent benefit of jumping rope is that it increases muscle memory over time, meaning if you keep on doing drills of this exercise, it will improve your footwork, unlike any other workout.
Therefore, skipping rope has always been a part of the boxers’ workout regime. There have been several pieces of research that have proved the effectiveness of rope skipping in footwork drills. Boxers who religiously follow this as a workout are seen to be more balanced and agile while fighting any opponent.
There is a lot more than skipping rope offers that go beyond these physiological benefits. It is not only the cheapest exercise but also the most convenient one, as you do not have to worry about the weather to go for a run or pay monthly bills to use high-tech machines for a cardio workout.
Precisely, you cannot find another exercise equipment that costs just a few pounds, fits into any bag, and burn a good number of calories in a matter of minutes.