The other day I was jumping rope with my kiddos and it took my breath away. Holy Cow! I think I hit my max heart rate within 1 min and every part of my body was tired in about 5 min. I have never really thought of using the jump rope for cross training but it's for sure on my list now. I don't know how my kids keep it up for so long. If only I could bottle up that kind of energy.
So what are the benefits of this little piece of equipment?
- You can burn up to 1000 calories per hour. Crazy! That's more than any other sport I know of. I believe it though. My heart was pumping and I was out of breath fast! However, if anyone can actually jump a rope that long I would be SERIOUSLY impressed.
- It targets just about every muscle in the body. The jumping will utilize your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes while turning the rope will utilize your chest, back, deltoids (shoulders), forearms, biceps and triceps in your upper body. No wonder it burns so many calories! Any exercise that recruits this many muscle groups is ideal because your toning your whole body and keeping it in balance. The chance for injury increases when there's an imbalance.
- It's easy to learn. For a great tutorial visit RopeSport.
- It's extremely portable and inexpensive. You can use a jump rope just about anywhere and it won't take up much room in your purse, brief case, gym bag, etc... Talk about a great workout on your lunch break. A good jump rope will cost you about $10-$15 at most sporting good stores.
- Boxers have been doing this for years! They use the jump rope to enhance coordination, agility, quickness, footwork, and endurance. Go Rocky!
Jump Rope Routines
The most common routine is to alternate jumping for 30-60 seconds and resting for 30-60 seconds. This is continued for 15-20 minutes.
Add it to your circuit training. If your doing lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, then add a jump rope segment to the end before repeating your circuit.
If your like me and you have a hard time hitting the treadmill for longer than 3-5 miles, add 15 minutes of jump roping to continue the cardio push.
Here's a couple great links for different ways to jump a rope.
FreeWorkOutsGuide - This is a 10 minutes circuit that uses 5 different jump rope techniques. Each technique is performed for 2 minutes before moving to the next.
FitnessMagazine - This is also a 10 minute circuit but you get to change jump rope techniques each minute. Good for those of us with A.D.D. The list is on the right and you click on each minute segment for directions (kinda annoying but still a decent workout).
RossBoxing - Jump rope training advice from a boxer. The whole page is great advice but skip half way down to start getting into the routines.
Jump Rope Terminology
– Single bounce: The player bounces only once to each turn of the rope, with both feet together.
– Heel-toe: The player bounces once to each turn of the rope, alternating her right and left feet so that the heel and toe of opposite feet make contact with the ground at the same time.
– Single speed bounce: The player performs single bounces at a rapid pace.
– One foot single bounce: The player bounces once to each turn of the rope, using only one foot at a time, alternating between her right and left feet. She counts and jumps once with her right foot and once with her left foot, then she counts and jumps twice with her right foot and twice with her left foot. The player continues this method of counting up to ten with each foot.
– Spread: The player moves her feet forward and backward alternately: the right foot forward and the left foot back on the first turn of the rope, and the left foot forward and the right foot back on the second turn of the rope, and so on.
– Straddle: The player starts with her feet together on the one count or on the first turn. She spreads her feet apart sideways 15 to 20 centimeters on the two count or the second turn, and she places her feet together on the three count or on the third turn, and so on.
– Straddle X: The player uses a single bounce on the first turn. On the second turn she crosses the right leg over the left leg, then she uncrosses her legs. On the third turn she crosses the left leg over the right leg, and so on.
– Crossover: The player bounces with her feet together on the first turn and on the second turn she crosses her arms at the elbows on the downward swing of the rope, jumping through the loop of the rope formed in front of her body. The player uncrosses her arms on the next downward swing of the rope. The crisscrossings are done with a bounce in between the crisscrosses, if so desired, and with the right and left arms alternating as the top arm of the crisscrosses.
– Double jump: The player makes a single bounce with her feet together while making two turns of the rope. She bends at the waist and speeds up the rope with wrist rotation.
– Speed single: The player makes a single bounce with one turn of the rope done at a fast pace.
– Alternate jump: The player runs in place while hitting one fast bounce for every tirn of the rope. She lands on the balls of her feet and flexes her lower leg to form a ninety degree angle with the back of her thigh. She may run in place with her knees up or down. Running with the knees up develops the quadriceps and running with the knees down works the hamstring muscles.
– Jump through the rope: The player doubles the rope and holds it taut at arm’s length, with her arms shoulder width apart. The player jumps forward through the rope, jusing a kangaroo jump (bringing her knees to her chest). There should be no rests or pauses between jumps.
– Triple turn: The player bounces high once and tries to turn the rope three times before the second bounce. She should concentrate on developing a higher jump and more rapid wrist action.
– Jump square: The player jumps in a pattern that circumscribes a square.
– Front and back: The player bounces with her feet together, alternating jumping forward and backward. She should concentrate on swinging her hips forward and backward as well.
– Side to side: The player bounces with her feet together and jumps from side to side. Again, she should concentrate on swinging her hips.
– Two right, two left: The player bounces once to each turn of the rope, twice on her right foot, then twice on her laft foot. She continues this pattern and constantly tries to increase her speed.
– Hula hoop: The player bounces through the rope on her first turn with her feet together. When the bounceis completed, she brings her hands together and swings the rope on the right side of her body as she bounces again. She moves her hends apart at the top of the swing and again bounces through the rope with her feet together. When this bounce is completed, she brings her hands together and swings the rope on the left side of her body as she bounces again. She continues this pattern as she builds speed and agility.
I don't kow about you but I have been motivated to include jump roping in my cross training. Anything that can target my whole body and burn that kind of calories is great in my book.