Far from being a playground pastime, skipping is an excellent cardio workout AND (this is the bit that gets me excited!), the energy burned is comparable to a fast jog – between 600 – 800 calories per hour! Oh and if that wasn’t enough to make you want to go and skip into the wild, it is a lower impact activity than running so there is less damage to the joints and less chance of an injury. I travel a lot for my job and can’t always go for a run for a variety of reasons such as being stuck in a hotel in a remote countryside lane. So for me the skipping rope is an ideal companion for when I have the urge to have a workout in a short space of time. Besides I love watching boxing and they love to skip. Have you ever seen a fat boxer? So if it’s good enough for boxers, it sure is good enough for the rest of us. So lets look closely at the benefits of skipping.
Skipping improves cardio-respiratory fitness (stamina), flexibility, co-ordination and balance. It’s also an extremely efficient way of building bones and toning thighs, hips, calves and glueteus maximus (known as bottom to me and you!). Jumping is also a hit with the Osteoporosis Society because it increases levels . And you only have to gawp at a boxer to see that the upper body is given a pretty intense workout.
You actually need a high level of co-ordination to be able to skip to a reasonable level. But the fact that it is a serious laugh is so beneficial to lift the mood – it makes you feel like a kid again. I challenge anyone who starts to skip and doesn’t break into a smile. As I said I carry my rope on my travels even when visiting family and before you know it my whole family is involved trying to out do each other by competing how long they can skip constantly. It’s a great way of encouraging children to get active too.
It burns calories
Skipping burns lots of calories. You can expect to burn off around 600-8– calories an hour. It turns the body into a fat burning machine when engaging in other forms of exercise as well. That’s whynot only professional boxers, but footballers, swimmers, martial artists , rugby players and many more athletes enjoy the benefits of skipping as part of their daily workout routine to improve stamina, muscle tone and to lose weight.
It’s hi or Lo
Skipping is both a hi and lo impact activity although when executed correctly it should be more medium to lo impact. Don’t be fooled though that by moving your arms less, it becomes easier to sustain a constant skip. It simple means you are utilising the right muscles. The key I have been told by fitness trainers is to jump very low, just enough for the rope to travel under the feet. By doing this the arms and shoulders are given a severe workout.
Skip the workout
No one is asking you to skip for the entire hour – that’s even hopping mad for me! But just 20 minutes or so will give you dramatic results. Here’s a short workout I do that makes me feel I’ve had a good workout whenever I’m on the move.
Warm Up continuous bounce skips (both feet together) 2 mins
skip running skip ( jump one foot to another) 2 mins
floor as many squats as you can 1 min
rest 30 sec
skip alternate running skips and bounce skips 2 mins
floor as many press ups 1 min
rest 30 sec
skip ski jumps (side to side jumping) 2 mins
floor as many lunges as you can (both sides) 1 min
rest 30 sec
skip bell jumps (jump fwd and back few inches) 2 min
floor as many crunches you can do 2 mins
rest 30 sec
skip bell jumps and skips jumps 2 mins
floor as many upper cuts (boxing style) 1 min
Cool down bounce jumps 2 mins
You can do this workout while watching TV if you have enough space in your living room. But beware, you may have the neighbours guessing what all that panting and breathing is about 🙂 Happy skipping!