What is one of the least expensive, easily portable pieces of fitness equipment available worldwide that you can own? A Jump Rope!
It is often overlooked. Most people think of using a machine when they think of warming up before getting their workout on. They jump on the treadmill for a mile, or hop on a stationary bike for ten minutes.
I prefer the jump rope. Nothing gets your blood flowing like some rope work.
The benefits may surprise you. They include engaging your upper and lower body, cardiovascular health, increased lung power, core and bone strength, lung power, speed, agility, coordination, cognitive ability and endurance.
The wear and tear on your body is minimal with a jump rope, and you can modify your jump to make it even less so. Skipping rope is not as hard on your joints as jogging is, and it can be done indoors and on softer surfaces to help reduce the impact on your joints.
Jumping rope is hard at first, so if you are one of those people who do not like doing activities that you do not excel at immediately or look great doing, then this is not for you.
At K-FIT we have a Rock Steady Boxer named Bob. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 20 years ago. He joined our Rock Steady Boxing program to fight back against the disease over a year ago, right after we first opened the gym.
Bob came in on a walker. He watched as the other fighters all jumped rope to warm up at the beginning of class. Instead, we warmed Bob up with weights, or a ball or some other piece of equipment instead. Then one day Bob said it was his goal to jump rope.
He ditched his walker, and stood shakily on his feet on the gym mats. The first day he did this, he struggled to swing the rope from behind his body to the front. With practice, Bob managed to coordinate the swing. Then one day he was able to step over the rope after swinging it, without tripping, and the whole class erupted in celebration. Eventually, Bob, who was more determined than anyone I’ve ever seen, hopped over the rope. We all went wild. Then it was 5 hops in five minutes. Then 8 hops the next class.
Sure, he still got the rope caught, or tripped. Sometimes he fell. He had days that weren’t always moving forward, but that did not deter him from keeping on. Each class during the warm-up we counted his hops and we cheered him on.
Bob would wear himself out jumping rope at the beginning of class, and then he spent the rest of the class boxing from a seated position. But he was determined to reach his goal. The day came when Bob was able to jump rope thirty-eight times in five minutes, and many of these were consecutive hops.
If Bob can do it, you can too.
Were you aware that jumping rope may help with bone density and the fight against osteoporosis? When you compare it to jogging and other forms of cardiovascular forms of exercise, the jump rope stands above because it engages the entire body.
Jumping rope is whole body synchronization, something that is not possible with a machine. Learning to breathe, relax and jump is tough. It takes time, but without a doubt it has major benefits.
So yes it is hard, but never impossible.
Get a rope and start skipping yourself to a better you.