Do you remember all those rope games you played when you were a kid? Those were the times when you could eat a whole load of pancakes, cakes, and cupcakes, but you didn’t gain a single inch of fat. And one of the reasons is that just jumping rope was enough to burn everything. Jumping as an exercise is nothing new, but the thing is that as we grow older, the rope gets lost somewhere hidden in our toys. This article will make you understand why that rope should make a comeback in your life, especially if you want to firm the abdomen.

Benefits of jumping rope

Let’s take a look at all the benefits of jumping rope regularly:

1. It is one of the best exercises for cardio and HIIT (high intensity interval training).

2. Jumping rope burns about 1,300 calories / hour. Hence, it can basically be called an effective fat burner.

3. Jumping rope as an exercise burns more calories compared to running. At the same time it does not require going outside. It can be done anywhere.

4. It is one of the cheapest forms of exercise you can do.

5. Jumping rope helps in muscle toning as it is basically a bodyweight exercise.

6. Improves footwork, balance, coordination, and agility. Most runners and other athletes jump rope for training.

7. It is one of the best exercises for resistance and conditioning training.

8. Jumping rope gives a complete workout to the body. It is especially good for toning and building the thighs, calves, and calf muscles. At the same time, it also works on the abs and arms.

9. Engage and improve the hip flexor muscles.

10. Studies show that jumping rope exercises put less pressure and are less stressful on the joints than running. It is a low impact exercise and therefore a better option.

11. Improves cardiovascular health, as it improves the rate of heartbeat. It is beneficial for patients with blood pressure.

12. Jumping rope is something anyone can do, from beginners to advanced level.

13. It is also known that jumping rope helps in improving bone density.

14. All equipment required is a jump rope, which can fit in your carry-on bag and is travel-friendly. So you don’t have to miss your workout, all you need is a rope and an open area to burn calories.

How to perform the jump rope exercise properly

The first thing you should do before starting is to adjust the length of your rope. Keep the handles at each end of the rope, one handle in each hand, at the sides. Now, he goes through the middle of the rope, keeping the length taut with the ends extended upward. Shorten the rope until they both reach the ends of the armpits.

There are several ways to perform jump rope exercises , each offering its own benefits depending on what suits you best and what you want to achieve as a result.

Double jumps

The most common style of exercise is double jumps . This style is often practiced at high speed and burns more calories. The intensity of the double jumps can be varied according to the speed and also according to how high to jump; whether you take your feet completely off the ground or just enough to get the rope through. Jumping high results in slow jumping, but is good for muscle toning. On the other hand, jumping low and fast is good for high intensity and resistance training.

  1. Hold the rope stretched up and taut, with a handle in each hand at your sides with your elbows bent and your forearms parallel to the ground.
  2. Keep your shoulders back, chest out, elbows close to the sides, abs tight, and your weight on the balls of your feet.
  3. Bring the rope forward by twisting your wrists.
  4. Jump with both feet 2-3 inches off the ground to allow the rope to pass under your feet.
  5. Repeat the movement and vary the speed depending on your physical condition.

Crossed heels

Cross jumps are the least intensive of the jumping styles. The style is often incorporated into high intensity workouts when one needs a break from high aerobic exercise. It is preferred to continue with less strenuous cross jumps rather than stopping them altogether.

  1. The cross jump stance would be the same as the double jump stance.
  2. The difference between the two jumping styles is that the double jump consists of jumping with both feet at the same time and the crossover consists of jumping with one foot after the other.
  3. Bring the rope forward by twisting your wrists. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms and not by turning the shoulders or arms.
  4. Jump rope first with one foot followed by the other.
  5. Repeat the movement as quickly as possible without tripping over the rope or spraining your foot.

One leg jumps

Single leg jumps are an advanced level of jumping that requires good balance and putting more weight on one leg . It should be tried after one can do double jumps and cross jumps quite well. To prepare for single-leg jumping, you can start with balance exercises such as standing for a long period on one leg or doing asanas such as natrajasana and garudasana that require balance.

  1. Hold the rope handles in each hand; shoulders back, chest out, abs tight and navel in.
  2. Now lift one leg by bending it at the knee.
  3. Begin jumping rope with the only leg that is on the ground, keeping the leg raised in the air.
  4. Do your set of reps and then do the other leg.
  5. Single leg jumps should be attempted little by little and with practice. Very fast jumps can lead to leg injuries or falls.

Tips before jumping rope

1. Make sure you stay hydrated during training. Stretching before and after training is important as it prepares the body for high intensity aerobics initially and slowly brings the body down from that peak at the end. Cooling down also helps reduce cramps that can strike later in the day.

2. Since jumping rope is a cardiovascular exercise, it is important to eat a post-workout meal with good carbohydrates and protein.

3. Make sure you buy a good quality rope. A bad rope can break while exercising and could hurt. Therefore, it is better to get a strong and good quality rope to avoid it.

4. If you are a woman, wear a good high impact sports bra. Jumping rope allows a great deal of movement in the breasts. If you don’t wear a good sports bra, then it can cause tears in your chest muscles. It can lead to sagging breasts.

5. Yes, it is true that the jumping exercise can be practiced by people of any level on the fitness scale – beginners, intermediate and advanced. However, you should keep in mind that this exercise is used for resistance and conditioning training, not just for burning calories.

6. Therefore, it is advised to practice progressive jumping to build your endurance level and condition your body slowly over time. Start small and then increase the speed or the length of time. Otherwise, it can become exhausting on the heart and damage your joints.

7. The surface where the jumps will be made matters a lot. Jumping should not be performed on a carpeted or stone surface or asphalt surface. You should do the exercise on shock-absorbing surfaces, preferably wooden floors or other smooth surfaces to avoid tripping or rubbing that can lead to injury.

8. An adequate jump area is required for this exercise. Even though jumping can be done anytime, anywhere, you still need an open space so the rope doesn’t get caught in nearby objects. The area should also have high ceilings or open skies.

9. Jumping rope is a high intensity exercise and therefore one should do a good proper warm-up before starting the exercises. Stretching exercises are something you should do before attempting the jump. A light jog on the ground warms up the body during aerobic exercise.

So isn’t jumping rope really fun to you? We have to take into account the basics and not go all at once if it has been a long time since you last jumped. Bring your body to it slowly and keep it constant but progressive. Experiment with your own styles and sessions.

Include jumping as an exercise in different workouts or just do it alone. In the end, it always feels like a fun game and makes us feel so energetic and young at heart, just like when we were kids.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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