Skipping Rope for Health and Fitness

Skipping rope is not just for kids and boxers – it’s a fun workout

Looking for a creative way to add some fun to your workout? Consider boxing training. Boxers are universally known as the hardest working, leanest, and most well conditioned athletes on the planet. That’s because facing an opponent in the ring for 12 rounds and dodging and delivering punches is extremely physically taxing. And boxing training prepares them for that.

But boxing training isn’t just for aspiring boxers. The average health and fitness enthusiast can use basic boxing training techniques to add fun, creativity, and intensity into their workout routine.

Today we’re going to discuss one of the boxer’s most important tools that is easy for others too – skipping rope.

The jump rope or skipping rope - essential gear for boxing style training

Basics of Boxing Rope Skipping – the Single Jump

Grab a jump rope and let’s get started. We’ll start simple – the basic jump is the single jump. You’ll jump over the rope with feet together, one jump per turn of the rope.

  1. Starting with the rope behind you. swing it overhead.
  2. As the rope approaches your feet, jump an inch or two off floor, giving the rope just enough room to slide under your feet. Stay on the balls of your feet at all times.
  3. Continue to “turn” the rope over again – using mostly your wrists – this isn’t an arm workout!

The secret to success? Jump just enough to clear the rope, and not much more! Also remember to keep the elbows close to your body as you turn the rope. Take a break as needed, and focus on technique. Do this for about 3 minutes, and you’ll understand why this is an effective fitness method!

Not having much luck? Make sure your rope is the right length. Too short or too long is a show-stopper. Secondly, as a beginner you might want to use a slower rope (as pictured above) versus the “speed rope” that we’ll recommend below. You have to start somewhere, and through progression you’ll get farther, faster. So start slow and simple, and work your way up to fast and complex.

Timekeeping during training
Free Timer for Jump Rope or Skipping Rope Workouts

All boxing training is done in the cadence of an actual fight – and that means 2 or 3 minute rounds, followed by 1 minute of rest.

The FitAtMidlife free workout timer is a great choice for boxing workouts. Simply set the round length setting to the desired time frame (3 minutes is typical) and the rest length to 1 minute, then click Start.

This fitness timer is free, and works on Windows, Mac, iPhone, or Android.

Whether you are shadowboxing, skipping rope, or hitting the heavy bag – use our timer to keep a fight cadence. Even if you don’t plan to ever step in the ring, working against a timer ensures you keep going as long as you should – and that’s where results come from.

More Complicated – the Jog Step

The next increment in complexity is the jog step. In the jog step, you’ll hop on one leg for every turn of the jump rope. Alternate between the left leg and right leg.

This is a step up in intensity because you’ll be jumping with just one leg – and that means double the work for the calves.

The Next Step – the Double-Under

Popular in CrossFit, and other methods is the Double-Under. What’s that? Basically, you’ll turn the rope twice under the feet for every jump. You’ll have to jump higher, turn the rope faster, or possibly both – and that’s an increase in intensity. There’s another step Turning the rope three times is called a triple under.

And More…

There’s at least two dozen other “rope tricks” you can do, but the methods above will give you a good start.

What About Gear?
All you really need for skipping rope – is a rope. But you’ll find it quite a bit more enjoyable using a proper jump rope.

The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is fast, easy to use, and adjustable.

For skipping rope – we recommend the WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope (Buy on Amazon).

The patented 4 bearing system doesn’t just make this rope blazing fast, it also helps beginners get into the rhythm, and recover from the inevitable bad swings that will happen. This particular speed rope comes in one size, and can be trimmed to the proper size for the user easily. It also comes with a spare cable and a carrying bag.

And lastly, it’s got rave reviews on Amazon – this is one high quality piece of equipment.

Tie it all together into a workout

Try three or four 3 minute rounds of skipping rope, or alternate between skipping rope and shadowboxing. Single jump, jog step, and double-under – switch it up to keep things fresh and interesting. Start the timer, and work hard and fast for the full 3 minutes. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat. Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll appreciate the ferocious intensity of boxing training. Now just imagine if a live opponent was in the ring with you!

Best of all, after you’ve completed 10 minutes of jumping rope at 120 RPM (about 2 hops per second) – you’ll have gotten the equivalent benefits of 30 minutes of jogging.

In our next installment, we’ll discuss another staple of boxing training – hitting the speed bag. Check back soon for updates on that.

Boxer in the ring, ready to fight

Photo credits

Skipping rope photo credit: efradera Skipping via photopin (license)

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