By MARTIN JAVIER

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Since quarantine hit, it’s been extremely difficult for many people to find a sustainable workout that can substitute for what used to be their regular gym activity. Most have been so used to lifting weights, joining classes, and getting coached by trainers one-on-one that anything less—and done at home—would just not suffice. I’m one of those who get the feeling of not doing enough or feel that something is lacking every time a home workout ends. That is, until I started jumping rope.

It was my brother who convinced me to try it out. Seeing exceptional results on his body, I decided to give it a go. It’s been a month since I started. From struggling to continue beyond 20 jumps at the start to now doing double-unders, the progress has definitely been encouraging. But the experience is something more than just the physical results. I felt the burn and I was finally satisfied after each session. 

Jump rope, I discovered, is one the easiest, simplest, and most accessible full-body workouts one can do at home. 

Here are some reasons.

1. It burns a lot of calories

If you want a quick and effective burn, you turn to jumping rope. According to research, at least an hour of vigorous rope skipping can help consume over 1,000 calories. That’s definitely more than an hour of walking or running on a treadmill. 

In my experience, I noticed that I sweat more after just 30 minutes of intense jump rope compared with o my other workouts. It’s not the most accurate but it nonetheless is a good indicator of its effectivity.

2. It works out your entire body

From your lower body to the core, going up to the shoulders and arms, it can provide that total body workout. It also gives a full impact while reducing the risk of injury. 

I read somewhere that it helps get rid of stubborn belly fat as well, so it instantly piqued my interest. After over a month, I can finally say that, yes, it helps shred fat in the belly area. Continuous jumping puts a partial focus on the core so it works the muscles there. This is perfect for non-athletes who want a quick and easy way to work the entire body and don’t have time for more focused exercises.

3. You can try different tricks

One thing is guaranteed in your jump rope journey: You’ll never get bored with it. There are a lot of tricks to explore, starting with the normal bounce, which helps you get that rhythm and consistency for more difficult routines. When you get a hang of it, track your progress based on reps and time. For beginners, start with 10 to 20 skips or 20 seconds of nonstop swings. Once you achieve that, add to it little by little until you get to 100 counts or two minutes straight without tripping. At this point, it won’t feel like a chore anymore. Your rope will feel like an extension of your body. This allows you to transition to harder rope variations, and it’s when the real fun begins. You can try feet-based exercises first like running in place, boxer skip, in-and-out, and high knee. Then challenge yourself to more advanced jumps like double-under and crisscross. You can also combine these to make the workouts more unpredictable and exciting. 

4. Easy to mix with other exercises

What I like about this activity is how it can both be the warmupto your main workout or transform into a full-blown routine. If you’re not satisfied with skipping alone, add other exercises in-between sets. Here’s an example.

50 rounds of jump rope

20 pushups

50 rounds of jump rope

10 burpees

50 rounds of jump rope

10 air squats

 

You get to alternate the burn from your regular bodyweight exercises and the intensity from ropes. It’s easy to do with endless combinations to unlock. Shoutout to Jump Rope Dudes on Youtube for my circuits. Check them out, they’ve got great videos up there.

 

5. Improves coordination

Different body parts work simultaneously during jump rope. So it demands coordination. While it’s more centered on the feet, it needs to work and time with the arms and upper body. With each flick and turn, our brains take note of the movement in both areas, from the moment we put the rope overhead to timing the jump when it hits the ground. This is what happens with each skip. It may sound intimidating, but once it becomes second nature, you’ll see the effects right away. 

6. Great cardio: builds stamina and endurance

Among its main benefits are improved cardiovascular health and prime conditioning. As mentioned, skipping rope burns a lot of calories in a shorter time span. That means having an increased and sustained heart rate in the duration of the workout.

At the start, it’s important to pace yourself. This helps you identify your level of conditioning or if you have good stamina. From there you can move along with longer, harder, and more complicated routines. 

7. Fun and portable

One last point: It’s stylish, fun, and works anywhere with an open space. If you’re the type that likes to look good while breaking a sweat, this one’s for you. Aside from the motion looking cool and smooth, you can pick ropes with better designs to enhance your experience. There are different styles, colors, and patterns. Performance-wise, there are ropes that offer more weight and resistance to cater directly to your workout needs. 

I know we’re almost never out of the house these days, but in a rare occasion that you’re outside and you still want to work out, you can fold up your jump rope, bring it with you, and find an open space to use it. No reason to miss another workout in your life.

 


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/06/23/put-your-hope-on-the-rope/)