A Cardio Favourite Re-energized

So what am I talking about, and why is it back in my routine?

Jump rope, or skipping as some people call it. But truth be told, there is a difference; let's go over that quickly. Jump Rope; this involves jumping over the rope / wire / leather, with two feet close together. You can make this harder by jumping a little higher and trying for 2 revolutions - they call this 'double unders'. Why not aim for 3! 

Skipping; sounds a little childish right?

But once you have nailed the jumping, you can move onto doing things differently and a little more challenging. Skipping involves more of a hopping motion from one foot to the other for every revolution. This can be a 1-2 hop or 2-2 hop, meaning left, left, right, right. The 2-2 hop was a particular favourite from when I was boxing. You can then get really experimental with cross overs. This is where you cross your arms as the rope goes under. 

So that brings us to why I am happy that I have found skipping again. 

I've recently started JKD (jeet kune do), and I love it. It requires a level of fitness beyond every day activities. And with winter is coming, the nights are getting colder so due to my asthma, running outdoors in the cold air is a no no. I've never really been a fan of running machines, as they put pressure on joints, so that is also a no go for me. So I decided to add skipping to my morning routine. Hours spent in the garden, jumping on the spot. But something was always missing no matter how good I got. And I now know it was knowledge or equipment. Yep, believe it or not, there is more to it than picking up a rope. So I started doing some research about this, and came across a jump / skipping top made by WODNATION via Amazon. This isn't a plastic £3.00 rope; it's a coated cable speed rope, with swivel handles. 

Click the picture to go and find yours..!

It was reasonably priced, and was delivered on time. It came in a little storage bag, with extra mechanics AND an extra cable; so basically 2 ropes. Such a good deal...And it also comes in a variety of colours!

The rope is a really nice weight, so you can feel where the rope is around your body. Very important for when you start to pick up the pace. Having started skipping again using a cheaper rope, it was a god send to have found this. Even better still, the owner at WODNATION even emailed to make sure we were happy with our product.  

So what are the benefits of jump rope / skipping?

Well to start with, it is great for building cardio fitness and stamina. It helps develop muscular strength, and is good exercise for improving timing and coordination. Balance is also a big part of the results, as is agility. It's a full body workout; arms and shoulders get their turn (excuse the pun) just by controlling the rope. Your legs get their say from all the jumping and your abs, well they come in with stability and holding your body in balance. So you can see why so many athletes chose this as part of their workout. From children in the playground, to pro fighters. I say if its good enough for a heavy weight boxer to jump a rope then it is good enough for me. 

According to the British Rope Skipping Association, 10 minutes of skipping can produce equal health benefits as a 45 minute run.

Now that really is something to think about.