A long time ago, I started this series about alternate forms of “cardio” and suggested swimming. It was a pretty popular post and we got tons of questions about how to incorporate it into individual’s workouts. Now, since I have started working out a bit… again, it struck me that I should state my opinion on jumping rope.
Every discipline has its hero. Buddy Lee is that man when it comes to jump rope and as a result of watching a recent Buddy Lee video, I decided to go back to trying to get my jump rope game in its proper place. Two weeks ago, with my heavy rope, after 20 minutes of double-unders, I finally got a triple under and then stopped before my shins split in two. It’s challenging yet simple, effective yet easy, and there are tons of ways to jump rope… so let’s talk a bit about them in this introduction to jump rope.
Most people hit the machines when they need to burn calories or perform their “cardio.” In gyms, the easiest ways of doing this, keeping track of time, your heart rate and burned calories is with a machine such as a bike, treadmill or elliptical. Steppers are getting more popular although I love Jacob’s Ladder (Google it). As I mentioned before, swimming is more difficult because it is naturally more challenging and also makes it harder to really keep track of the calories you burn. Jump rope is in a similar realm which is why you don’t see it being used as a typical form of cardio.
But that’s enough of me dragging on, let’s look at some terms and what you need to consider.
1. There are different kinds of ropes. Cheap ropes. Expensive ropes. Light weight and heavy weight ropes. Ropes made of leather, sand filled rubber, cable and more. Your goals and style will dictate what kind of rope you should buy. If you are like me, you have just about every kind of jump rope. My recommendation is to buy a cheap one first before you make a bigger investment since not everyone enjoys it. Once you get serious, look at Buddy Lee’s line of jump ropes. (I’m not sponsored or paid by them, but they have served me well over the years.)
2. There are different kinds of workouts where you can jump rope. Do you want to have fun? Are you trying to get certain results? How about a little bit of both? Is it your warm up for a muscle workout? Is it a cool down or maybe even a part of a circuit? Jump rope can fit anywhere in there and whether you are a boxer, martial artist, sport athlete, or someone trying to stay in shape, it can be very beneficial to you.
3. There are different ways to jump rope. You can go for an hour straight or go in intervals. You could use a heavy rope for five minutes of single unders and then skip to a cable speed rope for a minute of triple unders. You could stay in place or move in any direction. You could stay on flat ground or integrate boxes into the workout. Any of these can help take away the monotony that is often associated with jumping rope for fitness.
4. There are different techniques. Some people at this point might not know what single, double or triple unders are. The name refers to the number of times the jump rope goes under your body. Heavier ropes make it more difficult while speed ropes typically make it easier. You can touch your toes or heels to the ground, use the full foot, alternate feet, hop laterally, high knees, kick your butt, essentially there are tons of variations and you can make your own up. Just remember to take your joints into consideration to properly distribute the impact throughout your whole body.. not just your ankles, knees, hips, spine, etc.
5. You can play with weights. I typically throw on some extra weight. When I used to jump rope every day, I would use a 40 lb weight vest, two 10 lb ankle weights, two 5 lb wrist weights and two 3 lb hand weights. That way I could jump at 306 lbs and then drop down to 225 and feel the difference. Be smart when adding weight, in terms of where and how much you add.
I am going to link a motivating Buddy Lee video below and eventually do a full YouTube video on jump rope because it is my personal favorite form of “cardio.” Look forward to more content on jumping rope and let me know in the comment section below about specific questions referring to technique, workouts, products, and what is right for you!
OH, and how could I forget to introduce Buddy Lee, an American hero and one of the greatest individuals in the world of fitness. He is an Olympic wrestler, International motivational speaker, and trainer to US soldiers and professional MMA fighters. I’m not anywhere near as skilled as Buddy but I have my own style that focuses on power and explosiveness, which is highlighted when I do triple unders with a regular rope with 100 lbs of added weight. Jump rope to stay hungry and fit!
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