A jumping rope is perhaps the easiest and most convenient form of exercise imaginable – it can be practiced by virtually anyone, of any age and level of fitness. You don’t need any special or costly equipment or a large area to do it – a decent rope which costs as little as a few dollars and a good pair of shoes is basically all you need.
Jumping ropes can be done alone or with others just as easily. It’s also the ideal exercise to do when traveling – a small rope can easily be packed in a suitcase or briefcase. Jumping ropes can easily be combined with other workout techniques such as walking or cycling.
And jumping ropes are a favorite of children, too – children are usually much more proficient at it than adults and most children like to do it, with little encouragement needed. Jumping ropes demonstrates to kids that exercise actually can be easy and fun, as well as helping to build self esteem and encourage competitive activity. Some children find it a good way to meet other children and overcome shyness.
Another advantage of jumping ropes is that even the least athletic of children tend to enjoy the activity and often sees it as fun, rather than as exercise. Most children, once they have mastered the basic movements, are usually keen to move on to more complex jump rope maneuvers.
Jumping ropes may seem to be merely something that children do in the school playground, but a large number of athletes and sports players incorporate the rope into their training routine. Some of the sports that regularly incorporate it into their training program include basketball, skiing, football and tennis.
For such a simple exercise, jumping ropes burns a surprisingly high amount of calories – up to 1000 calories in an hour. Surprisingly, jumping ropes is one of the most effective methods of losing calories in a short time when combined with a good diet. Just ten minutes of fairly strenuous exercise with the rope is as effective as thirty minutes of jogging, twelve minutes of swimming or running a twelve minute mile.
Jumping ropes actually have an advantage over jogging or running. With jump ropes, the shock of hitting the ground is absorbed equally by both feet, whereas with running or jogging, each foot may absorb up to five times your body weight when you hit the ground. With jump ropes, the calf muscles tend to absorb the impact, causing less muscle strain.
Using a jumping rope tones the muscles in every major muscle group, throughout the entire body. Regular jump rope practice will also help in the development of long lean muscles. A jump rope workout also optimizes cardiovascular conditioning and studies also show that jump rope exercises can help to build and maintain healthy bones.
Apart from the physical benefits, a session with a rope can also help develop basic coordination skills and balance as well as agility skills. Amateur and professional boxers have used jump ropes for many years to perfect their footwork. And anybody who uses jump ropes knows that you will learn to have a great sense of timing after a while.
Without a doubt, jump ropes are not just for children. If you haven’t participated since you were back in the school playground – get that rope out of the closet and start getting back in shape!