While more and more people are starting to join gyms in an effort to lose weight and get in shape, this isn’t always necessery – you can get a great workout just using your jump rope! Believe it or not the simple act of jumping rope can do more for you overall than the same time spent jogging. Jumping rope is also easy to do anywhere. A jump rope slipped in your backpack or bag can be brought along on a trip, to work, school or done in the living room while you’re watching your kids — or watching TV.
Maybe your vision of jumping rope is tripping about PE class with a beaded rope and a bunch of 12 year olds. We get it. We were there too. But if you haven’t picked up a jump rope since, or you’re just afraid of looking silly at the gym, here are a few reasons why jumping rope is one of the very best exercises out there (and a lot cooler than you think).
It’s Good For Your Brain
We know that exercise (even as little as 20 minutes) is good for the brain. But did you know that activities with BOTH physical and mental demands (like slacklining, ballroom dancing or jumping rope) have higher impacts on cognitive functioning than exercise tasks alone (like the treadmill or stationary bike). Turns out the very best workouts for brain health involve coordination, rhythm, and strategy. So the next time you’re jumping rope, challenge yourself to try some jump rope tricks. Turns out they’re really good for your brain.
Jumping rope actually improves your coordination by making you focus on your feet. Whether or not you’re paying attention to them, your brain is aware of what your feet are doing. This practice, over and over again, makes you “lighter” on your feet. Training for one of those warrior-style obstacle course races? Jumping rope can help. The more tricks you do with the jump rope, the more conscious and coordinated you have to be.
Decreases Foot and Ankle Injuries
Jumping rope is beneficial for those active in other sports. Many athletes in basketball, tennis, football and other sports often suffer foot and ankle injuries from running and then stopping quick and turning. This is very common in both tennis and basketball. Jumping rope not only improves your foot coordination but also increases your strength in the muscles surrounding your ankle joint and in your foot, decrease the chance of injury to those areas. According Jumping rope teaches players to stay on the balls of their feet, as opposed to being flat footed or on their heels. And since you are on your toes the entire time you jump rope, you will find that staying quiet on your toes when playing tennis will become easier and second nature.
Burns Major Calories
Compared to jogging for 30 minutes, jumping rope actually burns more calories. This aerobic exercise can achieve a “burn rate” of up to 1300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump.Ten minutes of jumping rope can roughly be considered the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile.
Improved Breathing Efficiency
In addition to improved heart health and stamina, jumping rope also improves how efficiently you breathe. This becomes very beneficial when doing other activities because you won’t be as out of breath after running down the court or swimming laps in the pool.
Of all the fitness options out there, rope jumping is still one of the most affordable. Shoot, even runners need to fork it over for high end shoes. But jump ropes? Even a top-of-the-line fitness jump rope is only $20. Very simple (but good) ropes can be purchased for as low as $3. And, depending on the surface you jump on, a rope should last you a while.
How To Jump Rope
- Jump 1 to 2 inches off floor, giving rope just enough space to slip under feet — only the balls of feet should touch the floor.
- Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
- If you tire out before you finish the workout, drop the rope, but keep arms and legs going. Work up to using the rope full-time.
- To find a rope that fits, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles — they shouldn’t go past your armpits.
Grab a jump rope, get hopping and be amazed by the different ways your body and mind will benefit.