Skipping with a rope is one of the best ways you can keep fit absolutely anywhere! It is one of a few pieces of exercise equipment that you can fit into practically any bag and take with you wherever you go. This means that if you travel a lot, or simply do not have time to get to the gym, then you can still reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercise. A simple 20 minute workout is enough to get your blood pumping and your heart racing, leading to calories burned and weight lost! It is advised that you include upwards of three cardiovascular exercise sessions every week in order to help maintain the optimum health of your heart among various other health benefits.
When you skip rope you are engaging almost every muscle in your body as you jump up and down. The inclusion of your arms in this jumping workout makes the exercise all the more powerful and will equate to larger amounts of calories lost than with other jumping exercises. Not only is jumping rope great for your cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, it also helps to improve your coordination.
Whether you are going at it alone or learning from an exercise DVD or online video workout, then you generally will not have any trouble getting started! Think back to your school days when you would jump rope in the playground. Your new exercise regime can be just as easy and just as fun as this used to be! Putting some energetic music on in the background will help to keep you motivated and feeling positive about your workout.
The first thing to do, of course, is to buy yourself a skipping rope. You should make sure that it is long enough to comfortably swing over your head when you are holding each end in both hands. However, make sure that it is not so long that it goes too far over your head. This is because it could meet with a ceiling if you are exercising indoors. You should also make sure that the handles have a firm yet comfortable grip that is not going to harm your hands in any way. You can also choose to wear workout gloves while you skip just to add some extra protection against blisters.
You can choose to either skip continuously for an allocated amount of time or you can practice interval skipping. Interval skipping is thought to build muscle at a faster rate because you are giving your body a break and then reintroducing the exercise. To do this, you would typically skip at an intense pace for one to two minutes and then rest for the same amount of time before starting again. With with continuos skipping you generally don’t take breaks and can burn a seriously large amount of calories if you persist for upwards of thirty minutes - however, it may take a lot of practice to reach this point!
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can be applied to a range of exercises, but is especially great to utilise when it comes to jumping rope. The concept of HIIT is to alternate periods of extremely intense physical exercise with periods of recovery. It is a good general rule of thumb to exercise at a high intensity for one minute, with recovery periods of between two and three minutes. During the one minute period of high intensity exercise you should really push yourself as far as possible outside of your comfort zone. If you struggle to complete the minute then it means you are doing it right!
During your recovery period your heart rate and breathing should return to a comfortable level. If you don’t achieve this within the recovery time you have allotted yourself then it’s best to extend your time by 30 seconds or so. Before you get started with a HIIT skipping rope workout, warm yourself up with a few stretches and then start at a gentle skipping pace before attempting between up to ten interval cycles. As you progress with your training you can increase the amount of cycles and reduce the amount of recovery time to between one and two minutes.
High-intensity interval training is a fantastic practice to apply to your skipping rope workout. It has been shown to boost weight loss efforts as it improves the body’s ability to oxidise fat. As you progress with HIIT your endurance, stamina and strength will increase and you will feel much more energised.
Skipping is a great exercise but it is also a good way to unwind and eradicate stress after a long day. Try to use it alongside your existing exercise regime. If you do then you will soon find you achieve better results and the health of your bones will also be improved as your strength develops! Remember, when you are starting a new exercise regime, it is always best to ease yourself into it gently and do not be shy to ask your doctor for advice and guidance if you feel you could benefit from doing so!