Skipping Rope Tips for Beginners
The smell of the first strawberries this season at the Sunday market brought me back in my memories to the time, when I was a child and lived in my parents’ house. They had a nice garden with a big strawberry bed. After running around and jumping rope with other children, I used to restore my energy with sweet and juicy strawberries, eating them directly from the plant.
Yes…skipping was one of my favorite childhood games. We would do it with other kids indoor, outdoor, on both legs, on one leg, with a twist, on a run, from the dawn till dusk. At that time, we didn’t realize that we were doing fitness exercises, which are so popular all over the world. Apparently, there are even skipping sport federations in more than 30 countries of the world.
Have you ever thought why the workouts of all boxers and basketball players cannot do without a jump rope session? Skipping improves strength, reaction, develops cardiovascular and respiratory systems, tones muscles, helps weight loss and makes your body look fit, graceful and attractive.
Skipping rope is a perfect cardio training tool that is cheap, easy to transport and can be used anytime, anywhere. The research shows that skipping is more efficient for weight loss than jogging, biking or even swimming. An hour of jump rope exercises burns off up to 720 calories. Skipping brings our whole body in great shape. Hips, thighs and backsides benefit the most when you indulge in skipping, it also helps you fight cellulite.
Before you buy a skipping rope, which exists in a great variety and different price categories, but rarely are they more expensive than 5 dollars, please consider its length. To choose the right length, fold the rope in two, take the handles and straiten your arms at your chest level. The lower part of the rope should touch the ground. If the rope is too short or too long, exercising won’t be comfortable for you.
Another thing to consider is a perfect kit: comfy trainers or aerobic shoes would be the best, as they provide stability and cushion under the forefoot. Ladies, please don’t forget to wear a well-fitting sports bra, as it will help to avoid any skin stretch marks.
In my experience, it is better to start jump rope exercises at a low tempo, integrating them into your standard workout. Cardio skipping is efficient when mixed with crunches, lunges and press-ups. Start with 5 minutes of skipping a day and gradually increase it up to 15-30 minutes in 4-5 sets. Personally, I prefer a boxing-match format of three-minute rounds with a minute’s rest after each round of skipping.
You can start with skip, jog, hop or jack jumps going to scissors, cross-feet or high-knees jumps, as you evolve. I know 23 variations. Not that I can do all of them though. The good thing about skipping is that when you perfectly do all variations and it gets boring, you can always try them backwards.
Be prepared that you muscles will ache at the beginning, which is normal. If your muscles haven’t been working hard enough before, skipping might cause minor discomfort afterwards. Your muscles will eventually heal themselves in a few days. However, because of this damage and repair, your muscles will become very toned and strong.
Despite me being an absolute fun of skipping, there is a number of contraindications to it. First of all, never do skipping when your stomach is full. Ask your doctor for an advice, if you are heavily overweight, have cardiovascular or backbone or joint problems. Pregnant women shall also be cautious, when it comes to skipping.
Ladies, let’s not forget the best benefit of all kinds of sports – it’s a good mood! When we do sports our body produces endorphins, which help fight stress and make us feel happy. So, put on your trainers, take your skipping rope, water and mp3 player with your favorite tunes. See you in the park, girls!