This morning, short on time, I picked up my jump rope and gave it everything I had for 15 minutes. Of course there were a few breaks in there when I needed to catch my breath, or the rope came cracking down on my head or got tangled in my feet. I’m a little out of practice…
Throughout the cold weather months, I often jump rope for a few minutes before I begin my weight routine, and sometimes between sets. So many of us had so much fun jumping rope as kids, and then gave it up with the belief that skipping is really just child’s play.
Not so. Jumping rope is good for your heart, strengthens both the upper and lower body, and blasts calories. It can even make you a better tennis player… more on that in a minute. For starters, jumping rope is fun. It’s almost guaranteed to make you smile, if not laugh out loud. Some say the best measure of a good jump rope workout is the achievement of freedom and fun. I tend to agree.
Jumping rope torches up to 1000 calories an hour; makes one feel young in spirit; and can be done almost anywhere. A jump rope also costs less than $10 and is portable – take it to the park, the office, or on vacation.
But wait… there are more reasons to start jumping…
- Jumping rope is a form of weight-bearing exercise and can help prevent osteoporosis. Reduce the impact by wearing running shoes and jumping on dirt or grass instead of concrete.
- In addition to giving your heart and lungs a terrific workout, jumping rope tones the quadriceps, gluteus and hamstring muscles while also building core strength.
So what about the tennis player? What can jumping rope do for you? Let me explain…
- Jumping rope develops balance and coordination. Encourage your kids in particular, to play jump rope and skipping games. The athletic skills they acquire – things like balance and agility, will serve them well in other sports and throughout life. But don’t just stand and watch, join them!
- Jumping rope develops muscular power.
- Jumping rope can enhance player agility on the court by teaching one to stay on the balls of their feet… ready for action.
- Jumping rope will improve your cardiovascular fitness.
- Jumping rope is a great way to warm up for a rally or game.
Ready to get started? Begin by jumping for just a few minutes each day, taking breaks as you need them. Gradually work your way up to 10-15 minutes a few times a week. You can also blend jump rope or skipping intervals into walks and runs.