BDO Featured Fitness Move: Jumping Rope

young woman jumping ropeLet’s face…exercise just doesn’t get more basic than jumping rope. But for something so simple, that requires nothing more than a rope, a shock-absorbant service, an adequate amount of jumping space and a pair of gym shoes, few other exercise can boast even half the great benefits.

Body Parts: The ENTIRE Body
Equipment: Rope

1. Basic Rope Jump
Reps: 15 – 20 Minutes

“Jumping rope develops endurance, balance, quickness, or both, depending on how you train – it improves coordination, timing, rhythm, agility, and upper and lower body muscle tone,” says Ken Solis, MD, aka Dr. Jump, and author of Ropics: The Next Jump Forward in Fitness (Human Kinetics, 1991). Jumping rope has a good cardio emphasis and could even offer some flexibility benefits if the arm and leg positions vary. “It will also produce an aerobic training effect if continued for 15 minutes or more,” adds Dr. Jump.

How To Perform The Move

“For a beginner, the best jump-rope will be made of a fiber rope that is able to turn at the handles so it doesn’t get twisted so easily. Ropes made of woven fiber cords don’t sting so much when you miss, and you can progress to faster leather, plastic-beaded, or plastic-cord ropes when you have experience and want to jump faster. Also, be sure the rope can be adjusted for your height. If you stand on the middle of the rope, the ends should come about up to your armpits,” says Dr. Jump.

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Over a six-week period, focus on gradually building your jump rope endurance from 140 to 500 consecutive jumps in small increments. Do not immediately focus on improving speed. Simply mastering these two techniques will provide you with a solid foundation for your jump rope training.

2. Bounce Step
Jump with both feet approx. 1 inch off the floor.
Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
Do not let your heels touch the ground on landing.
Master the bounce step before attempting the alternate-foot step.

3. Alternate-Foot Step
Instead of jumping with both feet at once, alternate your feet as if running in place.
Be sure to raise your knees to the front.
Jump a little higher than 1 inch off the floor.
Stay on the balls of your feet.

To get started, Marty Winkler, co-owner of RopeSport suggests the following:

• Use some wrist and forearm when turning the rope. Make small circles or a cranking motion.
• Jump only an inch or two off the ground.
• Land softly.
• Look straight ahead. Watching your feet doesn’t help.
• Keep hands level with the hips. Don’t let them raise or lower.
• Push off and land with the balls of the feet. Heels should just tap the ground.
• Relax your neck.
• Avoid hunching.
• Keep your elbows bent as if holding a curl bar. A rope that’s too long will pull your elbows away from your torso.
• Remain loose but controlled.
• Breathe normally. You should be able to have a conversation while you’re jumping.
• If you get tired, you can still get a great workout by turning the rope to the side of your body or by just holding onto the rope and continuing to mime the jumping motion.

The Calorie Burned

• Slow jumping burns about 9.4 calories per minute and about 281 calories per half-hour.
• Moderate jumping burns about 11.7 calories per minute and about 352 calories per half-hour.
• Fast jumping burns about 14 calories per minute and about 422 calories per half-hour.

And even more calories are burned when you incorporate other movements while jumping rope.