One of my favorite movies is Rocky IV. I love the scene where Rocky is training old school while the big Russian is using the latest technology. We’re going to go old school and break out our jump ropes. Jumping rope is one of the best aerobic, cross-training activities you can do. I have seen 12 calories/min torched on my heart rate monitor and it costs less than $10 to get a good rope that you can take anywhere. Why then, isn’t everyone doing it? If you’ve ever tried to do a double-under and missed, the literal sting may have been enough to have you hang it up. (A double-under is where you pass the rope under your feet twice per jump.) I am going to put you on to 5 keys to have you jumping like a boss.
Choosing your Rope
Sounds simple enough, but the rope we jumped with as kids won’t cut it when you are trying to burn calories and sculpt sexy calves. Cloth ropes are too light and I have found the ones with the cylindrical beads to be too heavy when you are really trying to get some speed going. Who knew the length of the rope made a difference? It does. When choosing a rope, stand in the middle and pull up on the handles. The rope should reach your underarms.
Something else to consider. Your surface should be flat and hard, but with give in it to protect your knees. Carpet is not the best place to try to jump rope and can cause your rope to bounce and catch the fibers, throwing off your rhythm and causing you to miss. You will also want to avoid jumping on cement if you can help it to save those poor knees.
One mistake I made and often see people make is jumping too high and lifting their heels to their backsides. It wastes energy and will cause you to have a lot of difficulty with the more advanced jumps.
Your jumps should be small, about 1/2-1 inch off of the ground, knees bent, landing on your toes. When you jump, you should be light on your toes, heels never touching the ground to protect the knees.
When I was learning how to jump, I asked a young lady who was KILLING the double-unders what the secret was. She told me, “it’s all in the wrists.” It still took me a while to get, but what I found it that in addition to jumping too high, most people also waste a lot of energy with big arm circles. To jump like a boss, you must handle the rope like one. Keep your arms close to your sides and flick your wrists, don’t swing your arms.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Remember when we were kids and we couldn’t wait to get home to go outside and play? Whatever it was-double dutch, jumping rope, hula-hooping, we did it every day. Here is no different. If you want to get good at something, you have to practice, practice, practice. Yes, the plastic rope will sting a little, but eventually, you’ll connect a few of them, then a few more, until the only thing that stops you is your level of fitness, which will also improve. Heck, if you just take 10 minutes a day to practice, you will burn nearly 1,000 calories in a week. How’s that for incentive?
I did a You Tube Video to show you some of these principles along with a few different drills you can do to start working on your rope skills. If this helped, please share this post with your friends and if you have any questions or comments about how to jump like a boss, please post them below.