Jumping rope isn’t always seen as an exercise, but rather a fun activity that many of us have grown up around playing with a group of friends at school or simply using a jump rope at the house by ourselves. What we didn’t know at the time, was that this simple and fun activity is also a very effective exercise to burn calories in a short amount of time. In fact, jumping rope can elevate your heart rate so high that it can be used as a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) anywhere you have the space for it. Jumping rope is almost the equivalent of performing sprints for a great extended period of time.
How To Make The Most of Jump Rope
It’s important that when any person is using a jump rope, they make sure that they have proper balance while maintaining the weight of his/her body on the heels or balls of your feet. When jumping, try not to jump really high off of the ground. Instead, keep the height of your jumps minimal to just allow the rope to clear under your feet while you perform each jump. This is to make sure that when you land back on the ground you minimize stress on your feet and joints.
Jumping rope also helps strengthen the upper body via the arms and shoulder muscles, and the lower body via legs, feet and hips. What makes jumping rope a greater exercise besides the significant calorie burn when compared to the most common form of cardio, jogging or running, is due to the nature in which jumping rope is putting the stress of the movement and the body weight directly on the knees, hips and feet.
Although this may seem like a bad thing, in a way it’s actually a good thing. By placing the strain on the knees and hips and feet directly, you are eliminating the harsh, slamming motion most people’s feet and joints have when they are running. Although there is still an impact on the joints and muscles, it is far less when compared to jogging/running.
The next benefit of jumping rope is that anyone who can run has the ability to jump rope. All you need extra is the jump rope which you can buy cheaply at almost any local store, such as Walmart, or a fitness store nearby. In fact, if you’re already a member of a gym, don’t be surprised if you can find a jump rope available to use since almost all gyms have them, you just have to ask.
How’s Best To Perform Jump Rope?
Jumping rope, although one can perform in a steady state or constant routine without a break in between, it is best wused as a form of HIIT cardio. Instead of jumping rope for 20 minutes straight, which is very difficult to do to begin with, try jumping rope at a fast pace that you are comfortable with and will not trip on the rope for around 2 minutes straight, followed by performing a few push-ups or crunches for 1 minute straight.
Do this for about 10 intervals and you will end up completing one of the greatest HIIT workouts you can perform at home or anywhere with little equipment. Since it’s an exercise that requires lots of cardiovascular endurance and strength, this means that jumping rope will also help increase stamina and health within the heart and lungs. By performing jump rope a few times a week, your cardiovascular system will strengthen, and you will notice that any exercise or activity that used to make you get out of breath quickly, will now take longer to achieve the same out of breath state or feeling.
The last benefit of jumping rope, is that it not only is a great form of cardio or a method to increase stability over time, but since it requires full mental focus in order to jump rope safely, it’s also a great way to increase cognitive ability and increase reaction times within our brain. By using your brain to perform this exercise, you are improving your basic coordination skills that are required in many daily activities or sports, such as boxing or baseball by focusing on the rope constantly flying in front of your face and your feet.
Take Home Message
So there you have it, a few of the many benefits that available to you by using one of the simplest, cheap and basic forms of exercise equipment anyone can buy. Try including jump rope for about 10-20 minutes into your next workout. Or try working out with a partner and jump rope together to help eliminate part of the mental aspect of viewing it as cardio and make it more fun and enjoyable. Happy jumping!