It’s 6 am in the morning and your alarm goes off. You let out a groan and roll to the other side of your bed, you can’t even be bothered reaching for your phone to shut the damn thing up. You lay there for a while, contemplating whether it’s worth leaving the confines of your cozy sanctum. It’s cold outside, your body aches and you’re eyelids feel like they’ve got sinkers hooked through them. Twenty minutes pass and you’re still lying there overthinking the next two hours of your life. You may as well just get up now. You grab your rope and head outside into the crisp morning air. It’s still dark and the street is dead quiet. You start to jump. You focus on your breathing and listen intently to the whir of the rope as it cuts through the air. A steady beat forms as your feet hit the ground. You’ve found your rhythm.
I have always had a passion for fitness, but if someone had told me a year ago that I’d be jumping rope every day I would have flat-out laughed in their face. See, I was of the opinion that skipping was merely a childhood past-time that I had abandoned when I left primary school. But that changed when I came across a YouTube clip of two fully grown men jumping rope and having the time of their lives while doing so.
Brandon Epstein and Dan Witmer are the epitome of easy-going. They call themselves the ‘Jump Rope Dudes’ and dudes they are indeed. But their laid-back ethos does not take away from the fact that they are two extremely determined and hardworking individuals, who have built a business from the ground up in order to help people live healthier, happier lives. So, after flicking through a few of their videos (which you can access here), I decided to dig out my old plastic rope and give her a twirl.
I was pretty uncoordinated to start off with, after all, I hadn’t jumped rope for about 10 years. But eventually, I stopped getting myself tangled and managed to find my rhythm. I have now been jumping rope for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes daily for the past two months, and I have never felt more invigorated. Below are just a few of the benefits that are associated with skipping and are some of the reasons why I plan to continue incorporating it into my daily routine.
- It’s super efficient and allows you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time compared to most other forms of exercise. In fact, studies have shown that when performed at a high intensity, skipping for 30 minutes can burn up to 700 calories!
- You can jump rope anywhere, all you need is a flat surface, some good quality sneakers and, a rope.
- When using weighted ropes (such as 1/4LB, 1/2LB, 1LB, or 2LB), you are utilising a variety of different muscles from the shoulders down. This helps to maintain muscle mass and condition the body. Additionally, heavier ropes offer more resistance, which helps to burn more fat in less time.
- Despite what you may think, jumping rope has a lower risk of injury when done correctly. This is because the impact goes through the ball of your foot rather than the heel, allowing for the calf muscles to absorb the impact rather than your poor poor knees.
- Because you’re making rapid and explosive movements which require coordination, skipping allows you to increase speed, agility and mental alertness.
- Skipping builds up your endurance, especially when done for long periods of time.
- By jumping rope for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes a day you are drastically improving your cardiovascular endurance.
- It’s inexpensive(well, depending on how much you’re willing to lash out on a rope). If you are thinking of incorporating skipping into your workout program, I would invest in a good quality, durable rope. Try and go for something that is easy to adjust and that uses ball bearings to connect the rope and the handle, as these tend to last longer. I personally have invested in two ropes from Crossrope, which are a little steep, but they do make a difference and the weighted ropes provide for a more intense workout!
- And last but not least, it’s fun!
So, there you have it. I am a firm advocate for skipping and I hope this article has encouraged you to try it for yourself. It may not be for everyone, but for some, it will have you buzzing for the rest of the day.