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Benefits of skipping for exercise

Published: 14 February 2019 - Fitness and Training

Image of woman skipping

Skipping is something we probably all did as children. It’s great fun – but skipping is also a serious exercise technique used by everyone from professional boxers to improve their conditioning to gym goers looking for a fitness fix.

Skipping raises the heart rate and tones muscles, all with a simple piece of equipment that’s just a single length of rope, cord or cable and two handgrips.

Jumping rope is both an aerobic and anaerobic workout and can be performed almost anywhere where there’s some free space.

Benefits of skipping ropes

Skipping is a great way to lose weight, tone up your muscles and most importantly have some fun during your workout.

It’s a great alternative to steady cardio like running, cycling or swimming and can inject some enjoyment back into your gym routine.

So to help you on your way, here are six of the best skipping rope exercises you can use to whirl your way to fitness:

1. Jump up and down

This is the basic building block of any successful skipping rope workout.

Swing the rope over your head using your wrists to rotate the rope, then jump up as it passes your feet – a little jump will do – and land evenly. Repeat the swing immediately and get a good rhythm going.

This is a great technique for getting your heart rate going. Once you've got the hang of this basic exercise, you can commence to the more complex "double unders" or spinning the rope around twice for each jump!

2. Jump from side to side

Use the same basic swing, but jump from left to right when you pass the rope beneath your feet. This side-to-side motion will get more of your muscles involved in the action such as your calves and glutes, and will get your heart rate up even further.

3. Knee lifts

Swing the skipping rope for a basic jump, then leap high and tuck your knees up to your chest as the rope passes under your feet.

Coordinate the movement so that when you land the rope is swinging around again so you can make another jump, again and again and again.

This technique takes some practice, but it’s a real fat burner so it’s worth the time.

4. Front to back

Similar to side to side, only this time you’re going to be jumping backwards and forwards, both legs together at the same time. This hopping motion uses lots of strength in the legs and can get quite intense – great for upping the pace of your workout.

5. Alternate feet

Think of this as running while skipping. Swing the rope like the basic move but instead of jumping, hop from one foot to the other as the rope passes under. You can go for speed with this one; the more swings you make the more you’ll be sweating.

6. High steps

This is very similar to alternate feet, but instead of a quick step, lift each leg up high to your chest, timing each lunge upward with the movement of the rope. Go as fast as you can and keep the rope swinging. 

Put it all together

Each of these skipping workouts can be performed on their own as an endurance exercise, but they are most effective when done all together in a single workout.

You can do each of the jump rope workouts for a minute, then switch to the next, performing them all in a row and repeating the sequence for your desired amount of time. This variety of techniques will keep your mind challenged and give your body a thorough workout.

Skipping is a convenient and very effective workout that can bring the fun back into your exercise sessions. All you need is a jumping rope and a few metres of space and you’re off – just like a kid again!

Of course, if you'd like a Motion Health physio to put together a personal training plan designed to help you acheive your fitness goals, find your nearest practice and make an appointment today!