Don’t start telling me jump rope is just for kids. Have you seen Muhammad Ali? or Iron Mike Tyson? All boxers do it, MMA fighters and many other serious athletes also skip (Jump rope). If these guys are willing to skip/jump rope, then there must be something to it. There are so many variations…singles, double unders, triple unders, side to side skipping, front and back…you can go for speed, endurance and more or less whatever you can imagine. You get the idea. A jump rope is cheap, anywhere from $5 to $25, depending on how fancy you want to get. There are versions that, count the reps, and have a built in timer in the handle, and the regular simple ones. They can be weighted or very light, made of beads, cloth or plastic. Get whichever one you want, I’m just here to tell you about the benefits. No sales pitch here. So let’s look at some benefits of jumping rope.
Portable Let’s start with the obvious one. C’mon, can you think of any piece of equipment that you can stuff in your coat pocket? I mean it barely takes up storage space. As far as usage goes, you just need the length of the rope, back and front of you. There is no reason not to have a jump rope. It is extremely convenient.
Great way to warm up Sure it is. You’re using both your upper and lower body simultaneously. Everything gets a workout. Within a minute of moderate skipping, your arms, legs, back and shoulders are worked. It’s low impact, and there is not much risk of injury, unless you’re so uncoordinated, that you trip and fall over your own rope. In that case, you have much bigger problems and should stick to walking, then try jumping without a rope and then use the rope.
Builds coordination Like I said before, you have to use the arms and legs in coordination with each other, whilst pushing off and landing on the ball of your feet. You’d be surprised how many people can’t do this. Don’t get me wrong…people can swing the rope around and jump over it, but look and sound like an elephant dancing… very heavy and clumsy on their feet, whilst flailing their arms…trunk? Now, if you add crossovers and double unders, the skill level jumps or skips or…it goes up. You can really tell a person’s level of coordination and athleticism by how they jump rope.
Excellent for conditioning An often talked about study, suggested that 10 mins of jump rope training was equivalent to 30 mins of jogging, in terms of cardiovascular benefits . In a study of 10-12 yr old boys, it was shown that a jump rope workout resulted in significant athletic and cardiovascular benefits, greater than with running. After an 8 week of training regime, there were improvements in aerobic power, muscular endurance and body composition .
Increases bone density This one is not too hard to believe. You are after all jumping and putting some stress on you bones. One study of low-repetition jump training, on bone mineral density, in young women showed significant increases in bone mass density (BMD) in the femoral neck . The control group showed no improvements. In addition, lumbar spine (L2–4) BMD increased in the jump rope group from the baseline.
Some Jump Rope Exercises and Skills
Beginner Jump Rope
Jump Rope Side Swipes
Jump Rope Like a Boxer
Bottom line If you’re into any kind of sport, jumping rope will help with agility, coordination, and endurance. A jump rope is cheap, portable and easy as pie to store. Even if you’re just warming for a couple of minutes for your main activity, jumping rope is a great way to go. Trust me, it’ll actually strengthen your joints and not hurt them. So you have the knowledge, go do something with it.