by Namita Nayyar
Jumping rope is an intense and effective aerobic activity. Skipping can actually tone the muscles of the upper body (especially the deltoids and to a lesser degree the chest and upper back) as well as the lower body (especially the calves and hamstrings). It also promotes definition of abdominal muscles and reduces cellulite.
As recommended by 'WF health and Fitness Experts', you can adapt moves, such as marching or running in place, from aerobics classes, while turning the rope alongside your body.
Research indicates that 10 minutes of jumping rope is equal to 30 minutes of running at a 5.7 mph pace.
A 150-pound person jumping 120 times per minute burns about 12 calories per minute.
Rope jumping improves your coordination, speed and agility - which can vastly improve performance in other sports. Jumping rope is a plyometric workout. Thus, it is excellent for developing power, speed and endurance in your calves.
Not only is it a good CV workout, but also it improves your agility, fluidity, coordination, lateral movement, explosiveness, speed, and timings.
While you cannot really increase your muscles' size by jumping rope, you can (and will) increase the muscles efficiency, and because of this, many coaches employ it as a means to complement strength or weight training.
Skipping also helps to improve coordination for sports such as tennis or racquetball.
Rope Jumping Tips:
- Always use proper form and hold stretches for a minimum of 10 seconds on each side.
- Keep elbows in. Turn the rope with the wrist, not the whole arm.
- Jump only high enough to clear the rope.
- Land on the balls of the feet and bring the heels down for shock absorption and to rebound for the next jump".
- Start out by alternating jumping for one minute and resting for one minute. Sixty to seventy turns per minute is a good starting pace.
- Start with 10 minutes and build up to 30 minutes.
- Build up gradually, listen to your body and with persevere you will avoid any pitfalls and reap the plethora of benefits from a good jump-ripe workout.
- Always wear a good quality pair of running shoes to absorb the impact.
- If you are looking for fat burning, it's a good idea to perform your jump-rope workout first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast.
- Always allow enough time to warm up and cool down. Pay particular attention to arms, shoulders, neck, calves and hamstrings.
Ms Namita Nayyar is President of www.womenfitness.net, a complete online guide for women to achieve healthy weight & optimum fitness. She is post graduate in Child Development (gold medalist) & a fitness trainer.