Not just for elite athletes or little girls, skipping ropes boast many health benefits.
We explore the top seven reasons why this underrated exercise is so good for you, with some helpful tips to get you started:
1. Burn baby, burn: Skipping exercise burns more calories than running. According to Science Daily, “This aerobic exercise can achieve a “burn rate” of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump. Ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly equivalent to running an eight-minute mile.”
2. It’s a full body workout: As it is a body weight exercise, skipping is especially great for toning and developing the thighs, shins, and calf muscles as well as working the abs and arms.
3. It can increase bone density: Studies have found jumping or plyometric exercises may be effective in increasing bone mineral density in adolescents.
4. It can make you smarter: According to the Jump Rope Institute, jumping can help in the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain, which can further enhance spatial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert.
5. It’s all about balance: Skipping can improve footwork, balance, coordination, and agility.
6. Take the pressure off: Studies show that skipping is a low impact exercise which puts less pressure on and is less shocking for joints, then running.
7. It prevents injury: Jumping rope can increase the elasticity and resiliency of lower-leg muscles, therefore reducing the risk of lower-leg injuries.
Helpful tips to follow when introducing skipping into your fitness routine:
• Get yourself a good quality rope. An inappropriate rope can break while you are exercising and cause harm.
• Wear appropriate footwear (to begin with). Wear trainers or good quality sports shoes to absorb the shock of your feet meeting the ground repeatedly. Many studies claim barefoot skipping is a great option as it makes your feet strong, developing the supporting muscles around your feet and ankle for efficiently. Whilst barefoot skipping comes naturally to some, it’s best to train yourself slowly and gradually to be able to jump rope for a good amount of time before barefoot skipping. If you feel pain when you try barefoot skipping, put those good quality sports shoes back on!
• The surface on which you exercise matters a lot. Skipping exercise should not be done on carpeted, stone or asphalt surfaces. You should do the exercise on shock-absorbing surfaces, preferably smooth wooden or rubber flooring to avoid injury.
• A proper jumping area is required for this exercise. Though skipping can be done anytime and anywhere, it still needs an open area so the rope doesn’t get stuck in any objects nearby. Be aware of your surrounding area, ensuring you have high ceilings or open sky above and plenty of room to work in.
• Rope jumping is a high-intensity exercise and hence one must warm-up before starting the exercise. Try running on the spot, warming up the body before stating the high-aerobic skipping exercise.