When some people hear about jumping rope, they ignore it and assume that it’s unnecessary. Most assume that it’s for elementary school kids that are new to workouts. For the boxing fans out there, they think that the exercise is only meant for professional fighters. But did you know that this exercise can be done by anyone and is highly beneficial?
The Merits of Jumping Rope
- It helps you to burn calories because it exercises your entire body. In fact, you can burn as much as 10 calories per minute if you do the exercise correctly.
- It improves your speed and endurance by helping you to build stamina in your calves, shoulders, and forearms.
- It improves your balance, timing, coordination, and rhythm. This is because you need balance to maintain your position as your feet leave the ground and come back down. Doing the exercise over and over again creates rhythm and allows your upper and lower body muscles to expand and contract in unison so as to maintain a continuous vertical take-off.
- It keeps you mentally focused. Before you begin jumping rope, you have to decide how many jumps you have to take. After you begin the exercise, you have to be mentally disciplined and stop only when you have finished the count.
Picking a Jump Rope
Most boxers use two types of jumping ropes: speed and heavy. As you can guess, these two types of ropes are differentiated by their weight. Heavy ropes have weighted handles. Boxers use these ropes to build upper body strength. On the other hand, speed ropes are light and are used by boxers to improve their speed and explosiveness.
If you are new to jump rope exercises, you should go for a speed rope because it’s easier to handle and more practical for a full body workout.
The rope material is also another factor that you should consider when choosing a rope. Based on experience, it is better if you go for a rope made from plastic because they last longer and can cut through the air, minimizing resistance and maximizing speed.
Another thing that you should consider is the length of the speed rope. You don’t want a rope that’s too long because it can easily snarl up and make jumping difficult. If you want to test whether the rope is very long, you’ll feel it smacking the floor a lot as you jump. On the other hand, a short rope can hurt your back because you’ll have to bend as you jump it.
Here is how you measure the right rope length for you. Step on the middle of the rope with one foot, it can be the left or right foot, and then pull the rope handles to the side of your body. If you have never jumped rope before, the handles should reach your shoulders. That way, the speed rope can provide you with one foot of clearance as you jump.
If jumping rope gets too easy for you at this beginner length, you can make the rope shorter. This time, make sure that the handles reach your upper chest. One main advantage of reducing the length is that it helps you to increase awareness and minimize errors. That way, you develop faster reflexes.
Avoid the Following Mistakes as you Jump
- Don’t swing your hands too much. The proper way to jump rope like a boxer is to use your wrists to move the rope.
- There are some people that increase the height of the jump to make the exercise more effective. Don’t do this because you will put unnecessary strain on your leg muscles and burn out too quickly. The proper height is at least half an inch off the ground.
- You may be tempted to place your hands below the waist line as you get tired. Always encourage yourself and be motivated until the last minute. Furthermore, the proper hand positioning is slightly above the waistline.
The Techniques you can use to Jump Rope like a Boxer
1. Bounce Step
This is the simplest and most basic jumping rope technique. You begin the exercise with the speed rope behind your heels. Then, you whisk it over your head and bounce over it with both feet simultaneously. You can do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with.
2. Alternate Foot Step
This one is a bit different. Instead of jumping with both feet, you bounce with one foot at a time. It’s as if you are jogging. You can start off slowly, and then pick up the momentum.
3. Boxer’s Skip
This one requires some composure and patience. Boxers have their stances. The most common one is one feet slightly in front of the other. When doing the boxer skip, you have to maintain that stance and slowly increase the momentum.
If you want to jump like a boxer, there are many factors that you need to consider. First, the type of rope and height is very important. The jumping technique also matters a lot because it will determine the effectiveness of the exercise.