When's the last time you picked up a jump rope? Let's be honest. It's likely that you left that bad boy on the playground a loooong time ago along with your bucket of chalk and kickball. At the time, you probably didn't realize it, but jumping rope is one of the most efficient calorie-burners out there, not to mention excellent for your heart and mental wellness. All you need to get started is a good rope, a piece of solid ground, and some great tunes!
I've always loved jumping rope, but I really got behind it after having to get hip surgery a few months ago. After years of wearing down my joints with competitive sports, high-intensity workouts, and running, I knew it was time to give them a little break. The jump rope quickly became my best friend, and it's been a huge help in strengthening my core and restoring my balance and glute muscles post-surgery. It's essentially a controlled, low-impact version of running with 10x the benefits. Who wants to run an hour on the treadmill when you can fling a rope around for 20 minutes, have some fun, and burn the same amount of calories? Not only is it great for your physical state, but jumping rope has also been a fantastic stress reliever for me. The jumping motion increases blood flow and oxygen circulation, and since it's such an aerobic exercise, your body releases a crazy amount of endorphins. You FEEL good, you LOOK good... what's there to lose?
So, grab a friend, get outside, and try out my 15 MIN JUMP ROPE ROUTINE (see below)!
A FEW QUICK TIPS:
Be light on your feet - Believe it or not, jumping rope (in this case) is not about how high you can jump. It's about quick, fluid movements that target the upper body just as much as the lower body. Stay on your toes and as close to the ground as possible.
Practice good posture - It's an incredible core workout when you use the right form. Make sure to "stack" your joints. Keep your shoulders back and your core engaged by pulling in those lower abs.
Find the right rope - The rope above (click image for a link to buy) is all you need, and it's only $10. It's also adjustable, so you can trim depending on your height.
Hold the rope correctly - Place your hands near the top of the handles to get the best control over your rope movement. This will help you swing the rope faster, too!
Take it at your own pace! - I'm nowhere near an expert, but I have been jumping rope for a while now. Some of these motions take practice. You can always modify the routine to fit your needs. Do what feels right for your body. A few minutes of plain old two-legged hops are just as good for you as any of the fancier patterns I've included!
Let me know how it goes in the comments below!