Here’s a question for you: when was the last time you tried to jump? Maybe it was last week in the gym or maybe it was when you were 10 years old, in school and living the playground to the max.
Dear reader, I am now 30 years old. But with the passage of time, the skipping It has made a comeback, and when you delve into its endless list of benefits it becomes clear why. “It’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve fitness,” he says. Jolene Martin, personal trainer and skipping expert, specializing in strength training and functional fitness. She works the chest musclesthe back, the shoulders, the biceps, the triceps, the forearms, the glutes, the hamstrings, the quads, the calves and all the abs,” Martin adds. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
So, in my eagerness to want to learn a new skill (because it’s never too late), capitalize on those total-body gains, and give my cardiovascular fitness a boost, I decided to jump into a skipping challenge. Plus, if it’s good enough for Gemma Atkinson, J Lo, and Halle Berry… Me too.
My skipping challenge
My goal is to do 100 jump ropes a day for a period of 1 month, either at home or in a gym.
I usually work out four to five mornings a week, although this can fluctuate depending on how my body feels. Upon completion of my challenge, I will try to stick with my weekly 5K run, my online Pilates class once a week, and my three strength training sessions at my local gym, but I will definitely drop a session or workout if it is too much. . With that in mind, here’s what an ideal week would look like:
- Monday: 100 jump ropes in the gym + 45 minutes of upper body strength training (a mix of pull-ups, dips, chin-ups, chest presses, rows and shoulder presses)
- Tuesday: 100 jump ropes at home + 20 minutes of Pilates online.
- Wednesday: 100 Jump Ropes At Home + 45 Min Lower Body Strength Training (Squats, Deadlifts, Lunges, Abductors & Hip Thrusts)
- Thursday: 100 jump ropes at home
- Friday: 100 jump ropes at home + 45 minute full body strength training session (from dips, pull ups, chest press, squats, deadlifts and lunges)
- Saturday: 100 jump ropes at home + 5km run
- Sunday: 100 jumps at home
Remember this is my personal weekly training routine. If you are thinking of taking on a skipping or fitness challenge, talk to a physical therapist and make the necessary adjustments.
But first, what is skipping?
Skipping is a high-intensity exercise that involves holding a piece of jump rope on both sides of your body, swinging it over your head, and jumping over it. It seems easy, I know. But this dynamic and explosive form of fitness is anything but. To understand each other, it is to jump rope (the usual classic)
In addition to testing your aerobic (used for cardiovascular endurance), anaerobic (used for short, intense exercises like HIIT), and cardiovascular systems, jumping rope works every muscle in your body. Therefore, the jumps give a lot of themselves. And like any other form of fitness, the key is finding your form. To perfect the technique, it is recommended:
- Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Keep your feet together as you jump.
- Look forward, not down.
- Keep your knees soft and your spine neutral.
- Jump high and land softly.
What are the benefits of jumping rope?
A jump rope may be small but its benefits are huge.
- It’s no secret that exercise can help relieve anxiety. But a 2021 study demonstrated how effective skipping it can be in reducing anxiety levels and increasing serotonin (the happiness hormone).
- Jumping can also help improve balance and coordination, two aspects that unfortunately decline with age. researchers of the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine studied the effects of show jumping on the motor skills and body balance of young soccer players. The result? They found that those who jumped “improved overall motor coordination and balance” compared to those who didn’t.
- Do you need speed? Runners who run 1-5K will like to know that jumping rope can also help them run faster. The researchers have conducted a meta-analysis of 21 studies and they have discovered a relationship between jumping rope and running faster.
According to a study published in the journal Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sportjumping rope for 10 minutes a day for six weeks provides the same benefits as running 30 minutes a day.
- ‘Jumping rope can also increase and maintain bone density and contribute to a healthier heart,’ explains Martin. The latter was demonstrated in a 2019 study, in which the effect of skipping on physical and cardiovascular fitness was analyzed. In this experiment, a group of men was divided into two groups. Group A was tasked with completing two skipping workouts a day, while Group B was asked to do their usual training routine. After 12 weeks, group A showed “significant improvement.”
Marginal note: This is my personal jump rope journey and if you decide to undertake a similar challenge, know that it will never be exactly the same as mine. And nothing happens. In either case, Martin recommends honing the practice. Like anything new, he starts slow, learns the move, and works his way up,” he says. Start by trying to jump for two minutes straight and build from there.”
However, if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, or have been diagnosed clinically overweight, Martin advises, “Low-impact, low-intensity activity would be more appropriate.”
7 Things I Learned From My Jump Rope Challenge
1. Jumping rope will burn your legs
And that is an understatement. Completing 100 jumps will leave you feeling like you’ve worked from head to toe because, well, you have. This was great because it helped me warm up before working out or running.
For at least the first week, my calves hated me, but after talking to Martin, I found the solution to all my jumping-induced woes: “Make sure you stretch your calves after you’ve completed your 100 jumps,” he says. If not, you might feel like you’re wearing high heels after a night out.”
2. Skipping requires a supportive sports bra
We all know that the sports bra takes the prize for the most useful fitness garment. However, a tight-fitting sports bra is really helpful when engaging in high-intensity physical activity, such as show jumping. So take this as a reminder…
3. Jumping rope is great
Don’t take my word for it: “One of the great things about skipping is that you can pack it up and take it anywhere in the world,” explains Martin. It’s so light and takes up so little space that you have no excuse not to continue training.”
I checked it myself. Over the course of 30 days, my little pink skipping rope has taken more steps than the Covent Garden tube station. I have taken my jumping partner to Mexico, she has ventured to three different gyms and been to my local park. No matter the time, place, or location, all you need is a rope, enough space to swing it, and the motivation to jump.
4. Jumping rope is great for mental health
Yes, seasoned jump ropes make this form of fitness look easy. But spinning a rope across your body, jumping at the right time, keeping score, and aiming for 100 jumps is as much a mental exercise as a physical one.
In my experience, jumping rope requires most, if not all, of your concentration while putting your cardiovascular endurance to the fore.
If your coordination falters like it did at the beginning of this challenge, you may end up accidentally hitting your legs, arms, or any other part of your body with the rope. I found out the hard way.
5. Dividing the 100 jumps into several series will help you
I find it easier and more enjoyable to exercise in the morning as it sets me up for the day and gives me an endorphin rush that no oat latte could give me. But at first it was hard for me to find the rhythm with the rope and catch my breath. To help myself, I decided to divide my 100 jumps into 5 sets of 20.
By the fifth day, I was already able to do about 40 jumps in a row and, after a week, I had accumulated 60. It was on the fifteenth day that I finally reached 100 jumps in a row and felt like I could keep going.
6. Your timing and coordination will improve a lot.
Yes, really. In addition to finally finding my jumping flow, over the course of 30 days I was also able to reduce the time it took me to perform 100 jumps. At first, completing 100 jumps took me about 2 minutes.
By the end of the challenge, he had reduced this time to less than 60 seconds. Also, once I mastered the basic jump, I started to add some jumps with alternate steps.
7. Jumping rope is very profitable
Jump ropes are very cheap and in these times of expensive life, hearing that is music to my ears.
It turns out that a lot can change in 30 days. After a month of jumping trotting, my hand-eye coordination has never been better. Do you want me to do 100 jumps in one go? Clear. And some tricks? Consider that I have perfected my footwork. Need to do a little warm up before running? Jumping has become my companion. Also, as shown by my rate of recovery (measured by time and shortness of breath after jumping) and my desire to do more jumps even after I’ve completed 100, my cardiovascular fitness has improved.
Will I do 100 jumps a day for the rest of my life? I would be lying if I said yes. But on days when I don’t feel like going to the gym, when I need to clear my head, or when I need to go for a run, I’ll reach for the jump rope to work all the major muscle groups in a matter of minutes, warm up the calves and stimulate endorphins. Boxer jumps, side swings and double unders… I’m coming for you!