Jumping for Health

January 19, 2016
Man jump roping on sunny rural path

Hey…jumping rope isn’t just for kids anymore! Jump rope training helps improve balance, coordination and performance. The reality is; it’s not only a great cardiovascular exercise, but it truly increases body awareness and develops hand and foot coordination.

It’s easy to get started. Just find some comfortable shoes and a good rope and you’re on your way. The best shoes for jumping rope are either aerobic shoes or cross-trainers. Make sure your shoes are reinforced and provide a lot of cushion for the balls of the feet and arch support.

Ropes aren’t what they used to be! Some have weighted handles these are usually too cumbersome. You should choose a light-weight rope with foam grips so it won’t slip away from you even if your palms get sweaty. So here’s how to choose the right length rope: Step one foot on the center of the rope and bring both handles up to the chest. The handles should reach about chest high.

Getting started:

• Lightly grip the handles near the end closest to the rope.

• Keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows close to your body.

• Your knees should be bent slightly.

• Turn the rope from the wrist and aim to keep a smooth arc in the rope as it passes over your head.

• Never hunch over. Keep your back straight and your head up.

• Jump low to keep the impact on your knees and ankles to a minimum.

If it’s been a while since you jumped rope, don’t worry, nothing has really changed. But what you need to know is that it’s one heck of a workout that can be really fun! One way to make it fun is to turn on some high-energy music. Now once you have the basics down, try getting a little creative. Jump backward or vary your foot patterns. Try bringing your knees to your chest, scissoring your legs or twirling the rope from side to side. But most importantly…stick with it. If you do you will see results in cardiovascular strength and endurance. And who knows…you might even feel like a kid again!

If you want more information or to put a jump rope training program together, visit totalufitness.com