At the last gym I worked at, we had a member who came in six days a week and steadily jumped rope for an hour and a half. He was in incredible shape. In addition to strength training, he would just stand in some free space among the cardio equipment in front of the TVs and listen to his iPod while skipping rope as effortlessly as most people walk on the treadmill. He was quite a spectacle and great for selling new memberships!
Jumping rope, in my opinion requires a lot of coordination – something I have very little of at times. This member tried to teach me to jump rope as effortlessly as he did, but I couldn’t make it more than 45 seconds without getting tripped up.
Yesterday, I came across an article that really broke down the details of why jumping rope is a perfect maximal cardio workout. I may give it another try. Check out these stats:
- Jumping rope torches 13 calories per minute: In 20 minutes you will burn more almost 300 calories!
- Jumping rope is a fast and easy way to tone your calves and legs.
- Are you a slow runner? An hour of jumping rope torches as many calories as maintaining an 8 mph pace while running, for a 160 pound person.
How you do you find a jump rope that is just right?
Tim Haft, owner of Punk Rope Boot Camp in NYC gave Fitness magazine readers these tips:
- Size matters. Step on the center of the rope with one foot and pull the handles straight up until the rope is taut. The handles should reach just below your shoulders. If it is too long, you can take out the slack with a knot below the handle. If it’s too short, well, you need a different rope. If ordering online, try this rule of thumb:
- If you are 5’3” or under, order an 8-foot rope
- If you are 5’4” to 5’10”, order a 9-foot rope
- If you are taller than 5’10”, order a 10-foot rope
- Method. Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness. Turn the rope first and jump with your feet together second. Most people get tangled by trying to do the motions simultaneously. Haft says that to minimize impact, you should clear the rope by only an inch as you hop.
- Twist. Jumping rope is really just a simple twist of the wrist. When you swing your arms away from your body, it wears out your shoulders. Keep your elbows glued to your ribs and use only your wrists to rotate the rope.
Ready to jump your way to physical fitness? You can order a basic, adjustable length rope from PunkRope.com for just $7 or, you can get Jump! The Ultimate Rope that has one pound weights in the handles to sculpt your arms and a counter to keep track of your reps. Order at JackieWarner.com for $17.