Skipping for me had always been something confined to the school playground however when I was introduced to it a few years ago at my boxing gym, I was incredibly surprised at how effective it was for burning calories and keeping you trim from your head to your toes. It is now an exercise I use personally in almost every session and one I also encourage my clients to adopt. This way, we don’t need to skip meals to fight fat, we simply just need to skip!
In a world where there are many obstacles in the way of us keeping fit, Skipping provides one of the most versatile exercises you can have in your tool box. It is inexpensive (just the purchase of a jump rope), you can do it almost anywhere (park, gym, office, home) and it provides a full body workout burning a good deal of calories as you go. On average, with just 10 minutes of skipping you can look to burn a good 70-110 calories (more so if longer and/or at a higher intensity). This goes a considerable way to meeting your calorie deficit as illustrated here – http://springboardyourself.com/the-sustainable-way-to-fat-loss-dont-diet-2/
and also has the added benefit of improving your CV system and toning those all important aesthetic muscles including (but not limited to) legs, bottom, abs and arms. So much packed into just one short session.
If you haven’t skipped for a long time, start by practicing your timing – hold both handles of the rope in one hand and rotate it in a circular movement to your side. When the rope hits the floor, jump. Keep your jumps small to keep impact on your knees and ankles to a minimum – you only need to raise your feet about an inch off the ground. Progress to jumping over the rope once you are confident your timing is correct.
Remember, skipping is a strenuous exercise so start slowly. Try skipping for 20-30 seconds, marching on the spot for 30 seconds, repeat. As your fitness improves you can increase the time you skip for. Once you have perfected the basic move, you can make your workout more interesting by trying some of the following jumps:
- Skip Jump – hop on one foot and kick the other foot to the front (or behind) the body, alternate legs
- Jog Jump – alternate your feet in a jogging movement as you jump the rope
- Hop Jump – hop on one leg for for several jumps, alternate legs (start with 2 per leg and increase as you improve)
A great medium for skipping is tabata as discussed in my article 5 minute workouts where you skip at a slow pace for 10 seconds, followed by a more intense pace for 20 seconds. Do this 8 times without stopping and if you are still feeling good at the end, look to repeat.
This is a short, sharp and highly effective workout. Aim to have a session three times a week and before long you will start to see and feel the benefits as well as starting to look very cool with all your new techniques!
Buying a rope
You need a rope which is the correct length for your height. To check the length, stand on the middle of the rope and pull the handles upwards until the rope is taut. The handles should be in the middle of the chest. Above chest level, it will need shortening. Most modern ropes come with instructions. Follow this link for my recommended rope which although not the cheapest on the market, is professional and in the long term will be the most economic as the cheaper varieties tend to break pretty quickly. However always ensure that you always skip on a non abrasive surface as not to damage the rope.
Cross-trainers or aerobic shoes are good as they provide stability and cushion under the forefoot.
Skipping may not be suitable for everyone. As a high-impact activity avoid it if you have joint problems. Warm up and cool down by marching on the spot for 3-5 min, and stretching your calves.
Train with Tom
Need a gentle push in the right direction? During a 30 minute personal training session, let me guide and motivate you through a challenge of your physical limits, introducing you to the huge benefits regular exercise (and good nutrition) provides and how to safely and effectively get the most out of this every session together. If you are interested, please click on the link below and drop me a line:Contact Me Here