The first time I was introduced to the skipping rope, aka the jump-rope, was in primary school gymnastics. I loved these classes, dancing around with ribbons, balls and ropes. So, early on, I became familiar with the skipping rope. However, back then I didn’t see it as a form of exercise. The skipping rope was simply one of my instruments for gymnastics classes.
I moved cities and schools for high school, and never did gymnastics again.
The next time I met the skipping rope was during college when I started Muay Thai, a form of kickboxing from Thailand. Every class would start off with everyone in the gym skipping together for 10 minutes solid, no breaks. The ropes were much thicker and my arms would actually take more of a beating than anything else. With loud house music playing, the fit and focused Muay Thai instructors would walk around, making sure that everyone kept going. This 10-minute warmup was really tough, but it woke my whole body up. Afterwards, I felt fired up for the gruelling 45-minute workout that followed.
Now, years later, the only time I do skip is at home or during 1-hour workouts called “funzionale” at a local Italian gym called Easyfit. The “Funzionale” classes are indoor workouts with an instructor. You do a series of exercises using weights, balls, skipping ropes, and lots of other tools. It is a fantastic workout, basically like an Italian version of indoor boot camp. The trainer sets up different exercises, and skipping is often one of them.
It’s interesting how important our first experiences are, and how they often stick with us in some way throughout our lives. My first encounters with a skipping rope were in my fun gymnastics classes, and now, even today, when I use the rope for exercise rather than fun, I still light up every time I see one 🙂
Skipping is great because:
It is low impact, so you’ll put less strain on your joints and knees. Some automatically assume that skipping is a high impact exercise because you’re jumping up and down. However, when done correctly it is, in fact, a low impact cardio exercise. Here is a great article on Low Impact Modifications for a Jump Rope, so that you can do it right.
It is a cardio exercise, so you exercise your cardiovascular system. Great for the heart.
It is a full body workout, working most of the muscles in your upper and lower body.
You don’t need much to get started, essentially just you and a skipping rope.
Tips for Skipping Better:
I am not a skipping expert, but this is what I have found to work best:
Pay attention to having a good posture. Posture is important and will keep the rope balanced. Stand up nice a straight. Keep your arms flush against your sides, with only your forearms up at 90 degrees on either side. Skip only using your forearms and wrists.
You can skip with or without shoes. When skipping at home, I prefer skipping without shoes as I find it makes my jumping more fluid. If you prefer without shoes like me, be sure to wear socks so you don’t feel the sting when the rope occasionally hits your toes.
Stand on your yoga mat, which will make the ground a little softer to land on.
Pay attention to your jumping. Make your jumps more fluid so it becomes a softer and smoother up and down motion. When you jump up, press into your toes so that your heels raise first and your toes rise up after. I hope this makes sense? There is also no need to jump very high, just as high as you need to let the rope move through.
15min Morning Skipping Workout:
Are you ready for your 15min Morning Skipping Workout?
What Do You Need?
- Skipping Rope
- Phone App: Runtastic Timer
- Optional: Yoga Mat
Step 1: Download and Set up the Runtastic Timer App
The Runtastic Timer is a really cool App, free for download on iOS and Apple. It’s quick and easy to do, and you only need to set it up once.
Download and open the Runtastic Timer App on your phone.
In the App, set up these settings by tapping the screen:
- Bottom left: Repetitions: 5
- Bottom right: Sets: 5
- Red part of the circle: Rest: 10 seconds
- Yellow/Orange part of the circle: Prepare: 20 seconds
- Green part of the circle: Workout: 20 seconds
- The top left should now show you a total workout of 14:10 min
Your App is all set up, forever. Now it’s just about Skipping.
Step 2: Start your Skipping Workout!
Get ready to skip:
- Fix your posture
- Set up your arms as described above
- Make sure there is enough space around you
- Put your phone somewhere nearby where you can hear it and press “Start” on the App.
- Follow the App instructions as you Skip on and off for a total of 14:10 minutes.
Done! Only 14 minutes of your whole day, and you’ve given your body a wonderful boost!
After Completing the Routine, Stretch.
When you are done, put the rope down and do a little stretching.
Even if just for a minute:
Stretch up your arms as tall as you can as you breathe in, and as you breathe out lower your arms and bend your whole body forward. Breathe in and raise up. Stretch up tall again, and keep going. Just stretch around however you like for a bit.
If you have a little more time:
Take as little as 10min to relax into some stretches, your muscles will enjoy it. Choose between one of these Yoga Routines to end off your workout:
I hope you try this Morning Skipping Workout. Aim big and just go for it. Commit to 15 minutes of skipping 5 days a week, Monday to Friday. Watch how it motivates you, making you feel like you’ve accomplished something before the day has even started.
Regardless of the exercise you prefer, doing as little as 15 minutes every morning during your week will have a positive impact on the rest of your day. I find that exercise, particularly in the mornings, has a strong effect on my mind. After my session, I am in a great mindset, feeling stronger and more motivated to take on the rest of the day. Start well and end well, they say.
Hope you have enjoyed this post, and are inspired to do a little daily exercise every day. Comment below if you have any skipping tips or stories to share, would love to hear from you!