Skipping Rope

Skipping can be an intensive, full-body workout that costs no more than the rope itself.

Jumping rope has all of the benefits of running but without the health risks. It’s an invigorating activity┬áthat gets you moving as fast as you can to your favorite tunes.

Skipping has played some interesting roles in society throughout the ages, and the practice continues to fill playgrounds with the chorus of chanting school children.

Skipping Through History

To skip, simply position your jump rope by taking a handle in each hand. Then, swing the rope using your wrists and jump over it when it reaches your feet. The form of exercise dates back to ancient Greek, Egyptian and Chinese cultures. The Chinese are thought to have invented the skipping rope as we know it today for a game called Hundred Rope Jumping. This was played during New year celebrations.

children playing together with a jump rope

The Dutch are believed to have brought the exercise to the Hudson River area in the 17th Century. The English ruling classes initially scoffed at the notion of people jumping over ropes for sport. Dutch children started playing games in the streets involving two kids holding one or two ropes on either end and one kid (or more) jumping over the center of the rope(s). They accompanied these games with songs. We now know this as double Dutch skipping. It wasn’t until 1802 that the English term skipping was actually coined, hundreds of years after the sport became popular.

How Effective Can Skipping Be?

It’s used by boxers who are known to be some of the fittest and toughest athletes in the world. Competitors use skipping to warm-up, cooldown and work out. Just some of its fitness benefits include building coordination, endurance and speed. Skipping can be seriously effective because it uses the majority of muscles in your body while fine-tuning hand-eye coordination as well as strengthening footwork.

Skipping is being hailed as a miracle sport that tones your body while pushing aerobic resistance and raising the heartbeat. You don’t need to go to the gym or pay exorbitant prices to develop some serious skipping skills. This means you can focus on choosing the best possible rope for the type of skipping you want to do. While you may have not even thought twice about this simple childhood game — it’s actually one of the most efficient workouts you can do. You can even develop some pretty impressive skills.

High-intensity Interval Training

In recent years, it has been noted that incredibly effective forms of exercise, such as running, can pose health risks if not done correctly. Technique is a highly important aspect of any workout, but some forms of exercise can put a strain on the knee joints and cartilage, which can lead to problems later in life. Skipping bypasses these, although, learning to do it properly is important.

In order to get the full effects from skipping, ditch the slow speed you got used to as a kid. Make sure you are focusing on speed and coordination when you skip. Add some skipping to your HIIT workout. These short bursts of high-intensity exercise are practiced alternately with other forms of exercise for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab that skipping rope and jump your way towards fitness. It’s more engaging than a stint on the treadmill and gives your arm muscles a workout too. You can even fit a skipping rope in your travel bag and bring the gym on holiday with you.