A big thank you to Fen, my jump rope maestro, for being my first guest blogger. As usual, tonight the class was phenomenal, and I even managed to get a little video footage (therefore I am not in the video) which will hopefully enthuse and inspire you to join in. Your ropes will be in the post this weekend - they are currently piled up on my dining table. So here is Fen's blog post on jump rope. Enjoy!
There are numerous health benefits to skipping rope:
1. Improve cardiovascular endurance (10min of jumping rope is as effective cardio-wise as 30min of jogging)
2. Great option for high-intensity interval training (best way to torch calories)
3. Less impact than running - safer for joints (one should jump less than 1 inch from the ground just to clear the rope)
4. Burn ~700-1000 calories/hr depending on the speed and intensity
5. Total body workout (tone your legs, arms, abs)
6. Inexpensive and portable (of course you have to find a suitable surface and cleared space to jump, but still better than lugging a treadmill around)
7. Build bone mineral density (weight bearing exercise)
8. It's FUN - variety of footwork (mental health benefit - you won't get bored)
9. Improve athleticism with emphasis on speed, agility, power, endurance, timing, coordination, rhythm
10. Boost your metabolism (high intensity workouts elevate the metabolism for several hours post-workout - helps with weight loss goals).
The not-so-good news:
1. Learning to jump can be tough coordination-wise
2. There is a learning curve
3. It's aerobically challenging - you'll get winded
4. You may accidentally whip yourself (it's not that painful)
5. It can be very frustrating when you mess up over and over again.
BUT...IT'S WORTH IT! There's a saying "you have to be in good shape to get in better shape." It's hard to get the heart-pumping, endorphin high of rope jumping if you keep tripping on it. You may think it's more productive to do your usual elliptical routine (which you can do for 30min straight compared to the 'stop and go' action of trying to jump), but IT'S NOT. You'll benefit more from trying to jump for 5min than from doing your regular cardio.
You'll never experience the amazing benefits of jumping if you don't take the time to learn the technique. Get out of your fitness rut and try something new. Challenge yourself every time you are in the gym. Be patient, take your time, check your ego at the door, and don't give up - you WILL be able to master the jump rope.