Are you looking to lose weight? Do you find jogging or treadmill really boring? Don’t have access to green spaces to run or jog outside? In this article we will talk about a great, fun way to get your cardio done at low cost and at home - Skipping. Read on to find out all the things you wanted to know about getting started with skipping:
The word skipping probably brings a smile to your face, taking you back to the time you had two friends on either side, twirling each end of a jump rope, counting in time to your jumps. Just like you, this childhood sport has grown up too, proving to be one of the most effective cardio workouts ever. That’s right, skipping burns anywhere between 14 to 20 calories per minute, making it a great option for weight loss. Here is a guide to skipping for beginners.
Which is better cardio: Skipping or running?
While running is a popular cardio workout, it places tremendous stress on your knees when compared to skipping. Running places almost twice the peak force on your tibiofemoral joint (knee) and is, therefore, more likely to lead to injury in the long run.
Studies have shown that between 30% to 75% of runners get injured annually. Skipping is easier on your joints than running, and it even burns up to 30% more calories, making it one of the most calorie-intensive cardio workouts.
Skipping can be done right from the comfort of your home, unlike running, which requires a treadmill or a neighborhood with a track, some trails, or at least a decent sidewalk, all of which could be scarce in many parts of the world.
All you need to get started with skipping is a skipping rope/jump rope, which is easily available and doesn’t cost much. Unless you are a hard-core runner, skipping is by far the more enjoyable of the two. Even if you aren’t a pro at it, jumping rope is enough to put a smile on your face. It’s easy to carry a skipping rope with you anywhere, to get in a quick five minutes to energize you in the middle of a dull workday.
Why is skipping good for you?
Skipping engages muscles across your entire body. Every twirl of the rope engages your forearms, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Every time you have to jump across the rope, you use the power of your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, while stabilizing your core and back muscles. Every landing activates your calves, ankles, and feet, making this a comprehensive full-body workout. Skipping improves coordination, dexterity and agility, and stamina while toning and strengthening your muscles as well. Being a weight-bearing activity, it also improves bone health.
Skipping with different ropes - Weighted vs Speed ropes Which one is for you?
The basic jump rope has evolved quite a bit since your childhood, and while its core benefits remain the same, it has taken on a few variations, each adding something special to your workout. There’s your weighted rope, which looks a little like the rope you played with back in the day. These ropes are heavier than normal skipping ropes and are intended for more intense calorie burn, like during weight loss, or to build more muscle in the upper body. These ropes can be a little trickier to maneuver for beginners though.
Speed ropes, as the name suggests, are made for speed and agility. These are usually made of PVC-coated cable and are lightweight. Speed ropes are made for quick workouts like sprinting, double under and crossovers, and single-leg jumps. They are a popular choice with boxers who use them for conditioning. A speed rope can be tough to use as a beginner as it is very thin and might be difficult to get a feel for if you are just getting started.
As a beginner, getting a combination rope (like our anti-slip combo bundles) may be your best best. Such bundles come with both thick and thin rope options that you can switch out as you become more advanced.
Skipping rope workouts for beginners
If you are just starting, it’s best to get yourself a rope that is not too lightweight, like our anti-slip adjustable combo skipping ropes, so that it gives you some feedback on when to jump. This rope comes with a choice of two thicknesses, 4 mm and 2.4 mm, with the former being perfect for beginners. If you have some experience with skipping you could opt for the weighted skipping rope, or the pro-anti-slip skipping rope, which comes with weighted handles. It is probably a good idea to wear a pair of comfortable trainers that can cushion your feet with each landing. Wooden flooring is preferable to concrete when it comes to skipping, and being outdoors is more enjoyable than skipping indoors.
Before you get started make sure to adjust the rope length to match your height. Watch this video to measure rope length
Start with bursts of 20 to 30 seconds, and as you advance, progress to 60-second bursts. Keep your jumps short and close to the ground and land on the balls of your feet. Remember to flick the handles with your wrists rather than use your shoulders to rotate the rope. Ideally, your wrists should be by your waist, not too far away from your body.
There are many YouTube videos that you can use to keep trying new things with your jump rope. This is a great video to get started with.
Mistakes to avoid when you start skipping rope for the first time
Always remember to size the jump rope to your height. Anti-slip adjustable skipping rope comes with an option to adjust the length of the rope to suit your height. Lengthy ropes can lead to tripping or wasting your energy in dragging the rope. Another common mistake is to hold the handles of the skipping rope too far away from your body. While holding the skipping rope, make sure that your elbows are close to your body.
Once you get well acquainted with your skipping rope, it is important to know how to jump correctly. Jumping with your foot flat on the ground can lead to knee injuries. It may also exhaust you too quickly. Be light on your feet and jump on your toes. Maintain a good posture by aligning your body in a straight line. Leaning too forward can be risky and can put a lot of unnecessary strain on the back. Another point to bear in mind while you start your practice is not to jump too high in the air. Keep your jumps low in height. This avoids tripping over and also helps conserve energy.
Skipping is a great way to add a lot to your workouts and burn a ton of calories relatively quickly. So whether you are a beginner or a pro, it’s time to get reacquainted with your rope and skip your way into staying agile, quick, and fit.