According to the International Rope Skipping Federation (IRSF), jumping rope is deeply rooted in history. It has origins in ancient China, and a game called “hundred rope jumping” was a favorite activity during Chinese New Year celebrations. Today, jumping rope has a place in fitness training and other activities, including boxing or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
What Is Jumping Rope?
Yes, this simple activity calls for an explanation! Jumping rope involves an appropriate-length rope with handles on each end. Grab hold of the handles, swing the rope over your head and in front of your body, and jump over the rope as it comes down to the floor. Swing it back over you in a fluid motion and continue at varying speeds as you improve your skills. The jump rope is a popular training tool for boxers because it helps work on cardiovascular fitness and foot agility. You can also incorporate it into a HIIT session because jumping rope quickly raises your heart rate.
How To Properly Jump Rope
Having the right technique and form makes the exercise more effective. This is true whether you are jumping rope or deadlifting. To properly jump rope:
- Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold one end of the jump rope in each hand with the rope behind you.
- Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides, swing the rope with your wrists up and over your head, and allow the rope to fall to your feet.
- Jump over the rope with both feet before the top hits your feet. Continue repeating this cycle in a seamlessly fluid motion. Try your best to keep your wrists at waist level and keep their movement minimal.
Finding The Right Jump Rope Length
Selecting the right jump rope size is integral for the success of this exercise. Make sure that the jump rope fits with your height in mind. A jump rope should not exceed three feet plus your total height in feet. That means that if you are five feet tall, your jump rope should not be longer than eight feet long. Another way to determine the size is if you stand in the middle of the jump rope so that the right and left sides are even in length. Pull the top up toward your armpits. If the handles come up to your mid-chest or armpit area, the rope is an appropriate length.
It Boosts Lower Body Muscular Power
The longer you jump rope, the more you train your lower body. Your legs and feet need training if you want to improve agility and explosiveness. Jumping rope can help you train lower body muscle groups in a fairly quick amount of time. This can be very helpful if you engage in sports that require you to change speed or direction, such as basketball or soccer.
It Enhances Cardiovascular Endurance
Incorporating the jump rope into a HIIT workout is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular endurance. Jumping rope trains the aerobic system in a short amount of time, which is great news if you don’t have time for longer workouts. Jumping rope is also a beneficial activity if you need to rehab an injury that cannot yet withstand the impact of runs, hikes, or bike rides.
It Improves Tendon Elasticity
Jumping rope works to improve the elasticity of tendons in the legs that support different joints. For example, a couple of these tendons include the Achilles tendon in your lower leg and IT band, which runs between your knee and hip along the outside of your thigh. These tendons work like a spring, storing energy and then releasing it. They require appropriate stiffness and flexibility in order to store and release this energy. By improving tendon elasticity, you help these tendons propel you when you need them to do so.
It Is A Good Mental Stimulus
More than a fun workout, jumping rope may help ignite fond memories from your childhood. Do you remember playing Double Dutch or jumping rope around the neighborhood with friends? Maybe you went from jumping rope, to hopscotch, to another fun activity with friends. Additionally, you may find that jumping rope helps improve your timing and coordination, both of which you need to successfully jump rope.