Tired of running as your cardio workout? Then change it up with jumping rope. It’s fun and a full-body workout!
If you’re not a fan of running for cardio exercise, then consider jumping rope. According to the Compendium of Physical Studies, jumping rope for 10 minutes can burn as many calories as jogging at an eight-minute-per-mile pace.
An added bonus is that it’s one of the cheapest pieces of exercise equipment money can buy—costing between $10-$20. It’s easy to tote along, too. Just stuff it in your purse, backpack or carry-on luggage for on-the-go convenience.
In addition to strengthening and toning your legs, jumping rope targets your abdominals, chest, arms, butt, shoulders and back. The major muscle groups have to work together to remain coordinated as you maintain balance with every jump. The end result is a full-body workout and many calories burned in a short period of time.
If you haven’t picked up a jump rope since you were a kid, though, here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a jump rope and getting ready to jump:
- To find a rope that works for you, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles. They shouldn’t go past your armpits.
- Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
- Jump ONLY 1 to 2 inches off the floor, giving the rope just enough space to slip under your feet. Beginners tend to jump too high, so keep it under 2 inches. Only the balls of your feet should touch the floor. Land with soft knees.
Here are some pointers on how to jump rope your way to a better body:
Be creative! Jumping rope for 10 minutes can be pretty intense, even if you have been doing it for a while. Break up the 10 minutes into two 5-minute sessions, or however you see fit.
Another idea is to pick 2 or 3 songs and jump rope for the duration of each song, with a 90-second break in between. Or put on one of your favorite shows, and instead of fast forwarding through the commercials, grab your rope and jump!
A simple routine to do as a beginner could look like this:
- 20-30 seconds of jumping
- 30-60 seconds of rest
- Repeat 6-10 times
Note: Make sure you give yourself enough recovery time between intervals to slow your heart rate and catch your breath. Endurance will build over time. Start with fewer and shorter intervals with more rest time, and work your way up to doing more intervals for a longer period of time with less rest.
Now get jumping because jumping rope is an inexpensive way to burn many calories and improve your overall health and fitness in a short amount of time.
To avoid injury risk, be sure to seek advice directly from your physician, especially if you have existing medical issues, before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. Additionally, stretch following exercise to avoid muscle and joint tightness.
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