Jump rope (or skipping) is a must have exercise for anyone who runs, is trying to improve their cardio or wants to take on an event like Tough Mudder. Jump roping is simple in theory, but not always easy; you swing the rope over your head, jump over it as it comes to your feet and repeat, over and over and over again. It may be a passed time enjoyed by little kids, but there is an incredible amount of coordination that goes into doing it well and being able to do it for an extended period of time (efficiently).
6 benefits of learning to jump rope:
- It burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time, especially for a simple movement.
- Helps build up cardio and endurance.
- It is easy to change up the surface under your feet and so simulate different types of ground.
- Will develop reactive strength and strength endurance which will help you get your feet off the ground faster.
- You can do it pretty much anywhere without a lot of equipment.
- It is easy to progress (make harder) and regress (make easier) for those days when you want to push a little more or a little less.
Nail your jump rope technique:
- Keep your body upright and tall, pretend that you’re going to zip up your coat to the top.
- Keep your toes pointed up, this is called dorsiflexion. You can leave the ground and land on the ground in this same position.
- Use your wrists, not your arms. It’s a lot of work if you use your whole arm to move a tiny rope so you’re more likely to get tired. The less movement you have to perform, the longer you will be able to keep jumping.
- Stay relaxed…. This is the hardest part if you’re just learning a new skill but as you get better, you will find it easier to keep your body relaxed and jump with the flow.
Now for the level-up question: “I’m terrible at jump rope, how do I get better?”
Easily master the basics:
Now you’ve mastered the building blocks of jump rope, these are two simple exercises to help improve your technique. You’ll be a jump rope expert in no time.
Ghost jumps – Hold both ends of the jump rope in one hand and position your other hand like you are holding the other end. Swing the jump rope around and practice efficient, upright jumps as the rope hits the ground each time. This way, you can focus on your posture and your jumping without risk of getting tangled in the rope. Keep practicing until you feel relaxed and comfortable jumping and standing tall.
Numbers – Assume the jump rope ready position (one handle in each hand, rope behind your feet, standing tall). Start with one jump and focus on great technique. Reset after one and then jump twice. Continue climbing the number ladder until you miss a jump, then you can either start over at one (if under 10 jumps) or revert back to the nearest 10 (back to 10 if you are between 11 and 20). This gives you a target to hit and you can focus on perfecting your technique.
Jump roping is not easy, but with practice and repetition it can become a regular staple of your training routine. We have plenty more training guides and a official Tough Mudder Challenges group. Feel like you’re ready? Book your ticket today, here are all our upcoming events.