Skipping is a great way to help you get fit fast; not only is it a high-intensity cardiovascular activity, it can also help to tone you up all over, targeting shoulders, bottom, thighs and calves.
Skipping is lower impact than running, and is therefore kinder to the joints. It is also a great way to burn calories; just 20 minutes of skipping will burn 250 calories.
The benefits of skipping include:
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Increased coordination
- Increased muscle tone
- Weight loss
- Improvement in endurance
It's no wonder that many professional athletes and boxers incorporate skipping as a part of their regular workout routines and during training. Continuous skipping (for about 45 minutes) provides a high intensity cardiovascular or aerobic workout.
Skipping requires very little room, and all that is needed is a rope. Wear soft-soled shoes, and jump on softer surfaces where possible, e.g. a wooden floor or grass, over concrete or tiles.
The length of the skipping rope should be right for your height. Stand on the centre of the rope, and lift the handles upward. The point where the handles meet the rope should be level with your armpits. You can shorten most skipping ropes by tying the string shorter.
The Basics -How To Skip
- Stand tall but relaxed, with your head and shoulders straight. Hold the rope loosely, using the thumb and index finder for control
- Jump on the balls of the feet landing softly and high enough for the rope to pass under your feet
- Alternatively, shift your weight from one foot to the other as you skip
Aim for sixty to seventy turns per minute as a good starting pace (roughly 1 turn per second).
Remember, skipping is a strenuous exercise so start out slowly. As your fitness improves you can increase the time you skip for, vary the intensity and introduce advanced moves to add variety to your workout.