With all of the rain St. Louis has received lately, it’s obvious that spring is here. Spring thunderstorms often prevent people from going outside for a good workout, such as a bike ride or a run. So, how do you get a strong, effective calorie burn when it’s too wet to go outside? You jump rope!
Many of us haven’t touched a jump rope since recess back in Elementary School. In fact, a lot of people think of a jump rope as a child’s toy—with jumping rope being a game. Well, it’s time to get in touch with your inner child because jumping rope is an excellent form of exercise for adults.
JUMPING ROPE TORCHES CALORIES:
Jumping rope can lead to major calorie burn—it obliterates calories! According to Fitness magazine, you can burn approximately 135 calories with just a ten minute jump rope routine. Men’s Health magazine states that 10 minutes of jumping rope has the same calorie burn as 30 minutes of running. With that kind of calorie burn, it’s time to get a rope and start jumping!
THE MUSCLE GROUPS WORKED WHEN JUMPING ROPE:
Jumping rope works just about every muscle in the body—training muscles that rarely get used during other activities. Jumping rope really works your calf muscles. It helps tone your deltoids and arm muscles. And since you have to use your core muscles to stabilize your body while jumping, it very effectively works your abdominal muscles. When completing a jump rope workout for the first time, expect some muscle soreness.
HOW TO ADJUST YOUR JUMP ROPE:
Before you actually begin a jump rope routine, it’s important to correctly adjust your jump rope. First, place your jump rope on the ground in a straight line in front of you. Then, stand on the rope with both feet near the midpoint. As you stand on the rope, reach down and grab the handles, pulling them towards your chest. The handle tops should be about 5 or 6 inches below the collar bone. If the rope is too long, adjust it to the appropriate length.
BASIC JUMP ROPE FORM:
Step 1: Stand with the bottom of the rope behind your feet. Holding the handles, extend your hands in front of your body. (This step eliminates any kinks in the rope.) Keep your thumbs on top of the handles, pointing away from the body.
Step 2: Stand tall and look straight ahead. Move your forearms to where they are down and away from the body at 45 degree angles. Your upper arms and elbows should be close to your body.
Step 3: Start turning the jump rope. To do this, use your wrists and forearms to make small circles. Do not make big, excessive circles.
Step 4: As the rope turns, jump one to two inches off the ground—giving the rope just enough space to slip under the feet.
Step 5: Land softly on the balls of your feet. Do not land on your heels. In fact, your heels should not touch the ground while jumping rope.
Now that you know the basics of jumping rope, you are ready to try this exercise.** Start by seeing how long you can jump without hitting the rope. And stay tuned for the next jump rope articles, which will explain how to do different jump rope steps and will contain sample workouts.
** Please consult with your physician before attempting this or any other exercise plan.