The benefits of skipping

Skipping is no longer confined to the school playground. Boxers use skipping as training before a fight and it is now incorporated into many gym classes. An excellent way to keep fit, skipping can be done anywhere, anytime.

The benefits of skipping 

Skipping will help improve cardio-respiratory (heart and lungs) fitness, flexibility and co-ordination. As a high-impact exercise skipping is great for building bones and a good exercise to trim hips, thighs and backsides!

Burning calories skipping 

Depending on your weight and exertion level you'll burn between 70-110 extra calories in a ten minute session. 10min Skipping:

  • Moderate, 70kcal
  • Vigorous, 110kcal

Skipping: Getting started

If you haven't skipped for a long time, start by practising your timing – hold both handles of the rope in one hand and rotate it in a circular movement to your side. When the rope hits the floor, jump. Keep your jumps small to keep impact on your knees and ankles to a minimum – you only need to raise your feet about an inch off the ground. Progress to jumping over the rope once you are confident your timing is correct.

Remember,skipping is a strenuous exercise so start slowly. Try skipping for 20-30seconds, marching on the spot for 30 seconds, repeat. As your fitness improves you can increase the time you skip for.

Onceyou have perfected the basic move, you can make your workout more interesting by trying some of the following jumps:

  • Skip Jump - hop on one foot and kick the other foot to the front (or behind) the body, alternate legs
  • Jog Jump - alternate your feet in a jogging movement as you jump the rope
  • Hop Jump – hop on one leg for several jumps, alternate legs (start with 2 per leg and increase as you improve)
  • Jack Jump – do "jumping jacks" as you jump – one jump land with your legs apart, next jump land with them together 

Aim to have a session three times a week.

Getting the right skipping rope for you

Skipping rope – of the correct length for your height. To check the length, stand on the middle of the rope and pull the handles upwards until the rope is taut. The handles should be in the middle of the chest.  above chest level, it will need shortening. Most modern ropes come with instructions.

Cross-trainers or aerobic shoes are good as they provide stability and cushion under the forefoot.

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