Written by: Kayte Corrigan
You probably haven’t done it since Miss Mary Mack in grade school recess. Jumping rope is one of the most effective and inexpensive cardio exercises. It’s good for your lymphatic system as well as your bones. Jump ropes also travel really well, the perfect on-the-go exercise to supplement your workout when traveling. If you are looking to purchase your very own rope, go for a “speed rope” which is usually made of plastic. Make sure to adjust your length, if you stand in the middle of the rope, the ends should come up to your armpits. In a pinch, you can wrap the ends around your hands to adjust length.
Jumping étiquette. The first few jumps after a few years (maybe decades) of jump rope hiatus may be difficult. Remember to start out slow and master the single hop and an alternating hop step. Stay on your toes and bend your knees after each jump. Executing your jumps properly will take pressure off your knees, making this a low impact exercise. As with most exercises, it’s about quality of reps, not the amount. There is no need to focus on increasing your speed until you master your rhythm, timing and technique. Your jumps should only be 1/4-1/2 inch off the ground and your arms near your sides, rotating the rope at your wrists. Most beginners will jump higher with more arm movement until they get a feel for rope mechanics. It’s okay to start out this way, but before you increase your speed, lower your jump and your arms.
Practice makes perfect. If you are using the jump rope as a cardio workout it’s a good rule to see how many jumps you can complete without tripping up. Just 5 to 10 minutes/day will not only increase proficiency, but also give you an extra interval of High Intensity Training for the day.