When you are a fitness enthusiast, you are always looking for that latest and greatest new program or piece of equipment that can hopefully take you to the next level. I have personally tried some new programs, such as Focus T25, that are definitely revolutionary in the approach that they take to a fitness routine. But never being one to settle on only one way of doing something, I have continued to search for what feels like the missing piece in my fitness routine.
That was until I stumbled across something that has literally been in front of my face for years and I had never noticed it: the jump rope.
You may be saying to yourself at this point, “Aaron, there are jump ropes all over the place, in every gym and even in school PE classes. How could you possibly not notice them?” And the only answer I can give you is simply because I almost never saw anyone pick them up and actually use them! In all the years I worked out at the W during college, I can only remember a handful of times I ever saw anyone skipping rope.
However when I was doing some digging into the routines of elite athletes known for their speed, power, and explosiveness, I found a reoccurring theme. They all swear by the results one can get by effectively using a jump rope in their training. Check out this video below of Floyd Mayweather, one of the best boxers in the world. He has been skipping rope for years to help develop his insane coordination and speed, as well as endurance!
So What Make the Jump Rope So Special?
In a society where trends come and go as quickly as they stop being popular on Twitter, why has the jump rope been able to effectively stand up as a useful fitness tool over years and years of use?
The answer is simple: because it works.
Skipping rope doesn’t just affect one part of your body, it affects every part of your body at the same time! This is critical for an athlete, because there is rarely a moment that they use only one muscle group in isolation when competing. It takes integration of multiple muscle groups firing and working together to create powerful movements, and the jump rope accomplishes that.
The jump rope at it’s very essences is a cardio/endurance conditioning tool. It is extremely effective at helping to improve anyone’s cardiovascular capacity if they use it regularly and efficiently. It has been proven that it even takes less time to get the same benefits from skipping rope as it does from cardio-specific exercises like running. And when done with proper form, it is also easier on your joints than pounding the pavement for miles and miles.
If you want to move quicker and jump higher, the jump rope has you covered there too. By forcing you to make very quick consecutive jumps, it helps train your central nervous system to learn to explode off the ground quickly so that you don’t get smacked. The combination of stability and explosiveness that it takes to maintain proper form while skipping for extended periods of time will eventually have you jumping higher and running faster than ever before.
But I’ve Used a Jump Rope Before and Didn’t Feel it was Helpful!
Chance are we have all skipped some rope and one point or another in our lives. That probably means that we also have an impression in our brain as to whether we are “good” or “bad” at it. And that is where the beauty of the jump rope comes into play. It is a skill based tool and something that you have to consistently put in work with in order to become better at it. You cannot pick up a jump rope once ever month an skip for a minute, get a little frustrated and then stop and say “This thing just doesn’t work!” It takes practice to develop the right form, and for you body to start to develop the correct rhythm and improve it’s coordination so that you can push yourself to skip for a few minutes straight. Of course you may miss a beat here and there, but you just flick your wrist and get going again!
One of the best things about the jump rope is that it is essentially a limitless fitness tool. Chance are you will never be “so good” at skipping that there is nothing left for you to do. You can always try to go faster, do more complicated footwork while skipping, etc. When you think you have done it all, check out some videos on youtube, such as the one below that shows many more variations you can try with a jump rope. It takes real control of one’s body to move seamlessly between these sorts of moves and when you can do that, you will truly start to reap the benefits the jump rope has to offer.
Well that’s all I have for now! There will definitely be more posts in the future about jumping rope, as it something that I have incorporated into my everyday workout routine. Look for future posts about how to effectively incorporate this incredible tool into your own workouts and even how to create new workouts with it all by yourself!
Your Friend in Success,
Independent Emerald Beachbody Coach