Skipping your way to fitness

 

Skipping is fabulous for fat burning, improving bone density, reflexes, muscular endurance, maintaining a healthy weight and weight loss. Consider its remarkable effectiveness:

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness and conditions muscles
  • Ten minutes skipping equates to running an eight-minute mile
  • More effective than cycling as a calorie-burner
  • Sharpens co-coordination and balance
  • Exercises both arms and legs

According to the Jump Rope Institute – yes, there is one – skipping helps to develop the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which improves space awareness, reading skills, increases memory and mental awareness. Even the American Heart Association endorses skipping, giving a stack of good reasons to give this fantastic exercise a go.

Cheap & cheerful

One of the cheapest and by far the most space-efficient piece of fitness equipment you can buy, don’t make the mistake of being too cheap. Invest in quality rope (you can get one for around £10/$15) as this is important for an even swing.  And don’t skip barefoot – wear a good pair of trainers to support your ankles.

Fun skipping exercises:
  • Basic skip – stand with a handle in each hand, hands at the hips and the rope resting behind your heels. Swing the rope over your head, then jump only a few centimetres over it, keeping both feet together and landing on the balls of your feet.  Repeat in steady rhythm.
  • Crossover – start with a basic skip and cross arms as the rope is above the head. Jump through the rope as it reaches the feet, uncross arms once it’s overhead again.
  • Hop – once into the rhythm on the basic skip, lift one foot of the ground and hop on one leg. Switch legs after a few minutes.
  • Twist – jump and twist at the waist, feet and legs are facing 45 degrees to the right, on the next jump twist to the left. Ensure your whole legs turn with you to avoid knee injury.

If in doubt about how to perform any of these exercises, speak to a qualified sports professional.

It can take time to get accustomed to skipping, but the results will be worth it.

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           About the author

Alex is a registered Master Trainer and Nutritional Advisor with Level 4 qualifications in obesity and diabetes. He is also a strength specialist and a Ni Dan in Shotokan Karate.

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