Skipping, or jumping rope, is my go to work out. I carry one skipping rope in my car (for workouts on-the-go) and tuck one underneath my coffee table to grab and skip a few beats through television commercials. I also opt for a quick jump rope workout when the weather is too hot, cold, or wet to get outside for a run.
Skipping requires minimal equipment and space, plus it’s one of the best cardio workouts available. Here’s why I love skipping…
Tap Into Your Inner Child
If you’re dying for a workout that demands a little more fun and imagination—I urge you to try jumping rope to see how you feel. The first time I picked up a jump rope I felt carefree and instantly uplifted.
It may take a few attempts to get a solid, and steady pace (without the odd misstep) but skipping taps into your child—challenging you to try jumping on alternate feet, skipping with high knees, attempt a double or triple under, or even play Double Dutch with friends.
Works You Head to Toe
Think of what muscles and body parts are called into play when you skip. You use both arms and wrists to circulate the rope. You call on your quads, calves, knees, ankles and feet to skip. And you tighten your core to absorb shock with each leap.
Obviously you get my point. Jumping rope calls on most of your muscles—from head to toe, but you can also do it just about anywhere. You can even consciously do intervals, alternating feet, bringing knees up high, and skipping with feet far apart and close together to target every muscle in your arms, core, and legs.
You’ll Excel Quickly
I already talked about how skipping evokes a certain childhood playfulness. However, skipping is also familiar to most of us. Boy or girl, you likely skipped at some point as a child—either with neighborhood friends or in gym class.
Most people can pick up skipping quickly as adults from muscle memory. In a sense, jumping rope is sort of like riding a bike—you’ll excel at it quickly even though you haven’t skipped since childhood.
According to the experts at Shape Magazine, jumping rope burns an amazing 10-calories per minute. That’s why I don’t feel so bad “skipping” the gym to skip in my living room.
Not only does skipping provide an impactful strengthening workout for your arms, shoulders, core, legs, and butt—a 10-minute jump rope session between television commercials can be up to 100-calories.
You Set the Pace
Skipping like running can have a lot of impact on your joints. It is a high impact form of exercise after all, and it’s not for everyone. But a manual workout, like jumping rope, leaves you in charge of setting the pace and impact.
For instance, you can keep your jumps low, skip rope on a plush carpet or spongy gym mat, or skip along to a few favorite songs to get your heart rate up before a walk. Take it easy at first to test your joint comfort.