Skipping Benefits - What you Don't Know?
The humble skipping rope is no longer the reserve of the boxing elite. The act of skipping is now proven to do more for you overall than the same time spent jogging. A skipping workout can be done anywhere, better still you can throw a skipping rope into your gym bag and take it wherever you go! Work, Home, even the Living Room. Skipping to lose weight will no longer feel like a chore.
Let’s be clear, if you are a beginner then you should be looking at a 2.5mm rope, for those of you who are better versed in skipping exercise you can start experimenting with the thinner ropes 1.8mm and under. I wouldn’t recommend a toy version, but if it's all you have you can still use it. Once you have your rope, please, make sure it fits you comfortably. Ropes ship long, but fear not, there are a couple of options. You can cut it to length – but beware once you cut it you can’t make it longer, alternatively and what we recommend is to get a set of adjustable handles. You can then feed in the excess and not have to cut the rope. For a perfect fit we recommend you place one foot on the middle of the rope and hold the handles comfortably at around the armpit, from there shorten until you are comfortable.
Let’s begin! Pick a flat surface to jump on like a wooden / concrete floor or gym / yoga mat. Something that absorbs the bounce a bit will be more comfortable but if you don’t have that type of surface, be practical grass will slow your rotations and dirt will reveal some surprises.
There are loads of benefits to skipping but we have pulled together some of our favourites that perhaps you don’t know about.
Skipping benefits your entire sporting repertoire. Athletes who play football, rugby, tennis and other sports often suffer foot and ankle injuries due to the stop, start, twisting, turning nature of the game. Skipping not only improves your foot coordination but also increases strength in the muscles surrounding your ankle joint and in your foot, decreasing the chance of injury to those areas. According to the Jump Rope Institute, “jumping rope teaches athletes to stay on the balls of their feet, as opposed to being flat footed or on their heels.
I eluded to this in the intro, but you can quite literally take it anywhere with you. To work, the gym and anywhere in between. It is the ultimate, must have in your gym bag, portable exercising tool.
Believe it or not, skipping can make you smarter. According to the Jump Rope Institute, skipping helps development of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which allegedly enhances spatial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert. Jumping on the balls of your feet requires your body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a consequence jumping improves dynamic balance.
The team at the American College of Sports Medicine, advise that skipping is highly recommended for aerobic conditioning. If you want to see gains in your heart and lung health you need to skip for between 15-20 minutes, three to five times per week.
Skipping, believe it or not, actually improves your coordination by making you focus on your feet. Whether subconsciously or not, your brain is aware of what your feet are doing and as such practicing over and over again, makes you “lighter” on your feet. According to research “the more tricks you do with a skipping rope, the more conscious and co-ordinated you have to be.”
So much so, that when compared to jogging for 30 minutes, skipping does in fact burn more calories. According to Science Daily, “Skipping can achieve a ‘burn rate’ of up to 1300 calories per hour, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump.Ten minutes of skipping can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.”
Dr. Daniel W. Barry, a researcher who has studied the bones of athletes and the elderly, advises the best exercise to improve bone density is simply jumping on the spot. “Jumping is great, if your bones are strong enough to begin with,” Dr. Barry says. “You probably don’t need to do a lot either.”
When skipping you are simultaneously working your body and brain at the same time. Boxers who skip are statistically calmer overall than those who don’t. The Jump Rope Institute suggests this is due to the biomechanical perspective. “As one dissects this exercise further and views it from a biomechanical perspective, it represents a composite movement combining a circular motion with an angular momentum. The body resembles a projectile subject to all the laws that govern projectile motion while the rope becomes a dynamic flywheel subject to all the laws that govern rotary motion. It is in the synchronous and harmonious coordination of these movements where the secrets and benefits are received.”
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a skipping rope and join the tens of thousands of people who are already benefiting from skipping rope. You’ll be amazed by the benefits both your mind and body will experience.