With Gym costs rising these days, people have begun looking out for cheaper fitness alternatives. If you too are looking for a cheap yet perfectly efficient fitness alternative, then look no forward than the Jump Rope or ‘Skipping’ as it is popularly known in India.
Rope skipping is an excellent cardio workout for those looking to lose weight and become healthy in the process. Jump rope or rope skipping helps in toning the exerciser’s muscle, working on the lower body – calves and hips and upper body - abdominal muscles and arms. With 1 hour of Rope skipping burning close to 750 calories, it is no wonder that rope skipping is considered as one of cheapest and the most effective forms of cardio or aerobic exercises!
Benefits of Rope skipping
Boxers make use of rope skipping in their training routine to increase their reflexes, balance and co-ordination. But rope skipping need not just be the domain of boxers, for it is fast gaining increasing acceptance as a good cardio exercise owing to the high number of calories it burns when compared to other forms of cardio exercises.
But Calorie burning or weight loss is not the only benefit that one can derive from Rope skipping, as jump rope or rope skipping offers many other health benefits. Following is a list of such benefits:
- Helps to lose weight
- It helps to speed up the metabolism
- Rope skipping helps to improve muscular co-ordination
- Helps in toning muscle mass and developing muscle mass
- Improves bone density
- Improves reflexes, balance and agility
- Helps in increasing concentration
While these are just some of the health benefits that can be derived from rope skipping, one has to keep in mind that rope skipping should be done regularly. The best way to skip is to start slow and gradually build up a rhythm, try and target a goal of 5-10 minutes of continuous skipping, for best results.
Pre-requisites for Rope Skipping
- Invest in a good pair of sports shoes that will support your feet and provide a better balance
- Skip on a padded surface that will help absorb the impact on your joints. Avoid skipping on concrete, grass and uneven surfaces, as rope skipping is a weight bearing exercise and skipping on these surfaces can put higher pressure on your joints
- Ensure that the Rope you choose for skipping is not too long or short. A 9 foot rope should suffice for those who stand between 5 -6 ft, a 10 foot rope is recommended for those above 6ft in height. Also the rope should not be too heavy or light weight
While these are the pre-requisites for rope skipping, there are certain conditions which do not permit rope skipping.
Who should and shouldn’t practice Rope Skipping?
Individuals who suffer from Hypertension, cardiac problems, hip or knee problems, osteoporosis and arthritis should seek consultation from their doctors before they take up Rope Skipping, as it is a high impact exercise that elevates the heart beat and puts pressure on the joints.
However individuals who are looking to lose weight or are looking for an alternative to the treadmill, when it comes to cardio should opt for rope skipping. Similarly, rope skipping is also advised for those who have diabetes, as it is a high impact exercise and the physical movement involved helps in better insulin absorption, rope skipping is also advised for the prevention of bone diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis, owing to its weight bearing nature.
How to Skip?
Skipping can be the best cardio workout, if it is done properly. Follow the below mentioned instructions to skip properly:
- To begin with, stand with your feet slightly apart. The rope should be behind you with the handles of the rope in your hands. Your arms should lie relaxed to your sides
- Start by jumping up and down, while swinging the rope to your side as this will let your body get used to a rhythm and make skipping easy
- Begin by swinging the rope in an arc, over your head and jumping when it comes to your feet
- Remember to not jump too high, as on landing the impact the cause damage to your joints
- Another suggestion for your jump is that, your feet should barely clear the ground level. In fact your jump must be only high enough to allow the rope to pass from under you
So, the next time you find a jump rope/ skipping rope lying around, pick it up and start jumping towards good health!