Skipping rope workout
When it comes to increasing your endurance and overall fitness, few tools can compete with the portable, affordable skipping rope. "Skipping may improve cardiovascular conditioning, stamina, mental toughness, agility, coordination, rhythm, timing, power, and speed," says Tim Haft, an ACE-certified personal trainer.
Start by practising the basic move. Stand with knees slightly bent, holding the rope handles in your right hand at about hip height, palms facing forward and away from your body. As you jump, push evenly off the balls of your feet, keeping your knees soft and upper body upright. Turn the rope, initiating the movement with your wrists, and jump as soon as you see the rope approaching your feet. After practising, grab one handle in each hand and start the movement with your wrists.
Take a break from high-impact jumping by holding one handle in each hand and swinging the rope side to side in front of your body in a figure-eight motion. Let your hips sway slightly, keeping the core engaged. Do 10 Side Swings, then one Basic Bounce, and repeat for 2 minutes. When doing the Basic Bounce, jump just high enough to clear the rope—jumping too high will tire you faster. To make the Basic Bounce easier, add a few stutter steps to slow the pace of jumping so you can find your natural rhythm.
Start with a Basic Bounce, then stagger your feet, bringing one foot forward and the other back, with a foot of space between them. Immediately after the rope passes beneath you, swap your foot position, maintaining a slight bend in the knee, mimicking a boxer's footwork. Make it easier by jumping with one foot forward and the other back and staying in that position instead of switching the position of your feet between each bounce.
The Double-Under is a staple in the CrossFit community and a move you may have to work up to. Start with a few Basic Bounces, then increase the rope velocity so the rope passes beneath you twice for each bounce. Try for three single Basic Bounces followed by one attempt at a Double-Under, and repeat as many times as you can.
To do this alternating-foot step, mimic a running motion, driving your knees toward the ceiling and keeping them in front of your hips as you swing the rope. To make it more difficult, bring your knees higher to increase your range of motion. Think of the movement as similar to what you see from a marching band. (If you’ve ever done “high knees” as a warm-up before a run, that’s basically what this is—plus a skipping rope.)
Before starting any new exercise routine, make sure to check in with your doctor.