High, low, medium, slow, jolly ol’ pepper and away we go!
Photo credit: Marta Kierkus
When you think of a jump rope, you may think back to the days at the playground when you might have double dutched with the girls and sang along to cheesy songs. “Strawberry shortcake, huckleberry pie, who’s going to be your lucky guy?” But if you haven’t jump roped since those days, you are definitely missing out. The jump rope is one of the cheapest pieces of equipment you can bring anywhere you go to get in a quick workout. Here are a few ways to skip for a 20-minute jump rope workout. Keep in mind, your body is a lot different than it was at the age of seven, so get that stretch in before hand, especially in the calves, quads, and hamstrings.
Classic jumping rope
Spread your feet hip width apart and jump rope with both feet. You want to move the rope around your body with your wrist and not your arm, this will help with control of the rope. Your hips should remain level as you jump the entire time. Get started with an easy pace, and to switch things up a bit, change the speeds every few minutes or so. For an intense workout, jump rope intervals will get your heart racing. One minute quick, one minute slow, for approximately 20 minutes. It’s intense and kills the calves.
This type of skipping puts more pressure on the knees. If you have sore knees, or runner’s knee, this type of jumping should be limited. You do the exact same move as the classic jumping rope, but skip on one leg, then the other. This will increase balance and strengthen all your leg muscles. If you want to try intervals with one-foot jumping, go fast with both feet, then hop on one leg for the slow minute. Switch legs each slow minute.
Lateral jumps (skiers jump)
Picture a pencil laying on the ground, lead facing forward. You will have your feet together for these jumps, and jump in a side-to-side motion over the pencil. Lateral jumping targets your obliques: where those love handles sit, and the side muscles of the legs. This is a great way to switch up the classic jump rope workout.
Alternating and high knee jumps
If you want to try something fancy, and impress yourself, give this one a go. Alternating jumping is as if you are running on the spot with a rope moving around your body. At one point during this type of skipping, you will switch from running to kicking backwards, to lifting your knees high into the air at a 90-degree angle in front of you. It might sound difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it’s all about the momentum.