There’s a good reason the word’s most famous fighters skip rope when they train. So why should you? Sure, you may not be hopping into the ring anytime soon, but this exercise is phenomenal for improving your overall health and fitness.
Therefore, if you wish to build up endurance like your favourite boxer, continue reading.
Why Do Boxers Skip?
There are three main reasons why boxers use skipping rope nearly every day. First, it’s excellent cardio. Skipping rope keeps their lungs and heart in check, which is necessary if they want to maintain a high level of stamina in the ring.
Secondly, it’s a low impact exercise. Boxer’s need to preserve their strength, and pulling a muscle lifting heavy weights can keep them out of the ring if they’re not too careful.
Lastly, skipping rope keeps fighters light on their feet as it builds up the muscles and joints in their ankles, allowing them to stay agile. This stamina is also crucial if they want to avoid their opponent’s blows and land their own quick punches successfully.
Benefits of Using a Skipping Rope
It’s Easy to Learn
Many people get turned off to new forms of exercise. Certain sports and weight lifting, for example, require you to do some prior research before starting as not to injure yourself. But everyone already knows how to skip rope.
This means you can start exercising right now, without doing any frustrating investigative work.
You Don’t Need a Lot of Room
Not everyone has enough living space for a massive treadmill or spinning bike. However, a skipping rope is easy to store as it virtually takes up no space. You only need a small radius to workout too.
A skipping rope is also relatively cheap, so if you’ve had to cancel your gym membership due to budget concerns, rejoice! You can get a vigorous workout — practically free — with a skipping rope. A rope shouldn’t cost more one meal when going out to eat, so prioritize your fitness needs if you’re in a financial crunch.
You Can Burn Calories Fast
Skipping rope also burns hundreds of calories in a single session. (You can burn up to ten calories per minute. Feel free to do the math!) So, if you’re looking for an effective way to lose weight, skipping rope can be your answer to a toned and fit body. Depending on how long you jump, you may be able to burn up to 500 calories through this exercise alone.
This exercise allows you to get creative with your workouts. It’s excellent for creating supersets and full-body circuits. For example, pair 30 seconds of skipping rope with 30 seconds of wall sits. This combo will leave your legs feeling absolutely limp and sore the next day.
You Can Do High-Intensity Interval Training
If you haven’t already implemented high-intensity interval training into your workout routine, attempt it with a skipping rope. For this routine, set a timer and train for up to 15 to 20 minutes every other day. Do this preferably after weight training.
- Skip rope for 30 seconds, going as fast as you can.
- Rest for 30 seconds.
- Start again and repeat until you’ve reached the full 15 minutes.
Improve Your Agility
The main reason boxer’s use the skipping rope is to improve their agility, so try it out if you want to improve your speed and quickness in everyday life. Whether you’re a dancer, athlete, or the average person, being agile is a good trait to have.
Take Your Workouts Anywhere
If you find your surroundings dull and uninspiring, take your body and skipping rope elsewhere. Find a nearby park and enjoy the fresh outdoor air. One of the best perks about skipping rope is that it’s so easy to take anywhere, so take full advantage of the portability!
Skipping Rope Improves Your Brain Function
Not many forms of exercise have the unique ability to do this. However, skipping rope is phenomenal for this reason. It activates the left and right hemisphere of your brain, increasing spatial awareness, improving your memory, and making you more mentally alert.
The Basics of Learning How To Skip
For starter’s, you’ll need a skipping rope that is the right size for your body. As a good rule of thumb, step onto the middle of the rope and pull it taut. If it reaches your armpits, it’s a good fit!
Secondly, ensure the ground is suitable for the exercise. The rope may catch onto thick carpet and concrete may be too harsh on the knees. Wood, laminate, or tile flooring is excellent as they all offer a good amount of bounce.
Next, focus on your timing.
Skipping rope is all about following the rhythm of the rope as it hits the ground and comes back around towards your feet. You can practice this by jumping in place.
Now, that you’re aware of some of the basics, let’s get onto tips for the actual exercise.
- Start with the rope set behind you, draping the floor. Ensure you have a light grip on the handles. Using your wrists to create momentum, swing it forward.
- As soon as the rope passes your shins, bend the knees slightly and jump.
- Do this repeatedly and increase your tempo for more of a challenge.
- Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get it down right away. Continue practising!
There are several variations of skipping exercises you can try. For example, set a timer and jump until failure to test your baseline. The next time you attempt this, push yourself and add five minutes to your last personal best.
You can also create a full-body circuit. Try 30 seconds of sit-ups, 30 seconds of squats, and 30 seconds of skipping for a workout that’s guaranteed to make you sweat.
Should You Use a Weighted Rope?
Weighted ropes are excellent if you want to push yourself. But understand that it’s a lot harder than it looks! Always tart with an unweighted rope, and if you feel you need more of a challenge, graduate onto a weighted version to not place excessive strain on your wrists as a beginner.
Some Good Techniques
If you wish to upgrade your skills, try to implement some of these techniques to increase your speed and reaction time.
Keep Your Heels Elevated at all Times
If you watch a boxer skip, you’ll notice that they never set their heels down. This wastes time and can slow them down, so if you want to develop those same skills, implement this technique. Remaining flat footed also prevents your calves from getting a good workout.
Flick the Wrist
Your wrists attribute to getting that swift motion down. Stretch them out beforehand, so they don’t get sore and learn how to flick them quickly to produce the best results.
Grip With Your Fingers and Not Your Palms
Hold the ends of the rope lightly using just your fingers. Using a tight grip with your palms clamped around the rope will get uncomfortable over time.
Tips On Learning How To Jump Rope Like A Boxer
However, if you want to upgrade your skills and go full-on boxer mode, you’ll need to train just like them. Upon waking up, grab your skipping rope and start your day with a workout. Train every day, or four times a week at least.
Jump On the Balls of Your Feet
Many people think they have to jump sky high to get a decent workout. But this is untrue. Staying on the balls of your feet and mastering the mini-jump allows you to train as fast and as hard as a professional boxer. You only have to launch your body a couple of centimetres off the ground.
Avoid Double Bouncing
When training like a boxer, don’t ‘double bounce’ to keep a good rhythm going. Ask any fighter, and they’ll tell you that this is also an inefficient way to train. Learn to bounce once for every rotation, and you’ll easily pick up speed.
Listen to the Right Music
This tip may sound silly, but listening to music can help you formulate your rhythm and block out any other distractions so that you’re in the zone.
Superset Your Skipping With Jabs and Punches
One way you’ll truly feel like a boxer is by adding in a boxing workout in tandem with skipping rope. Practice by hitting a punching bag, or jab the air to work the upper body too.
You don’t have to be a professional boxer to pick up skipping rope as your main form of exercise. As you can see, the exercise is an effective workout that will obliterate body fat and keep you nimble. Skipping is also easy to do at home and only requires one single piece of equipment — making it incredibly accessible. If you haven’t got yourself a good skipping rope then go and grab one!
If you want to get fit quick, try implementing these techniques for a healthier and toned body. Look to the world’s most famous boxer’s for inspiration, and you’re bound to find a workout that you’ll actually stick to and love!