Jump rope for fitness

Photo: Sabarishr CC-BY-2.0

Photo: Sabarishr CC-BY-2.0

Would you be interested in a cardio exercise that can burn up to 1000 calories per hour? What if the only piece of equipment that it required could be purchased for under $5? If you’re answer is, “Give it to me!”, hold on to your hats, ’cause PhitZone has you covered; jump rope for fitness.

A trip to the local sporting goods store will reveal a wide variety of ropes. These may be less than $5, or as expensive as $40. On the “low end” there are plastic ropes, or nylon ropes. While on the “high end” you will find leather and again, plastic speed ropes.

Do not overlook those less expensive ropes, as they work just as well as the more expensive ones, especially when starting out. You will probably find that a decent speed rope will run between $10-15.

Ross Enamait from Ross Boxing recommends working on a surface like a gym mat, or other surface that has a little give. A carpeted floor works nicely. Add in some good cross training shoes, and you have a great low impact cardio workout that will wipe you out.

Training while on the road can often be somewhat difficult. Jump ropes are easily packed in luggage, making them a perfect workout while traveling, whether on vacation or business. You will be the envy of the convention.

Jumping rope is unparalleled for getting the heart rate up quickly. This is an intense cardio workout that will give you a challenge. Other areas targeted by skipping rope are the calves, thighs, and abs.

In addition to the cardiovascular benefits are the improvements of endurance, coordination and agility. Once the basic double foot jump is mastered, you can add running in place. From there you can perform double-unders (double jump), and crossing the rope.

Combine all of these skills together to form various patterns. This keeps your workouts fun, interesting, and constantly changing.

New to skipping rope, or haven’t done it since you were a kid? Start with some timed sessions. For instance, jump for thirty seconds, and rest for thirty seconds. As your skills improve, make you jumping sessions longer and rest periods shorter.

Adding a jump rope station to your circuit training is a great way to add this exercise to a fitness routine. String together four or five bodyweight exercises, including skipping rope, and you have one intense total body workout.

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