6 BIG Reasons Why You Need To Jump Rope
Jumping Rope is not only one of my favorite conditioning modalities, but it is also one of the most versatile. Here are 6 big reasons why you need to implement this basic yet under utilized training tool.
1. Low impact steady state cardio
Outside of a stationary bike, jumping rope is probably the lowest impact form of low intensity steady state cardio. When done at an “easy” pace (something you can maintain for 20-30 minutes) there is much less wear and tear on the knees, hips and ankles than running.
2. Can be utilized for interval training and sprint work
The Jump Rope can be used for much more than steady state cardio. By varying your tempo or incorporating ‘double unders’, you can transform any jump rope session into true sprint work. The jump rope is also a great tool for interval training. One of my favorite workouts is to take any normal lifting plan and swap out the one minute rest periods between sets for 60 seconds of jump rope.
3. Improves footwork and coordination
There is a reason that every great boxer uses the jump rope (besides building their aerobic base). Jumping rope on a regular basis will improve the footwork, timing and coordination of even the heaviest footed athlete.
4. Shoulder burn
Jumping rope is one of the few cardio modalities that will give you a great upper body burn as well. Don’t believe me? Try jumping rope for 1 minutes and let me know how your delts and traps feel by the end. Because of the upper back positioning required - shoulder blades pinched back - and the small repetitive rotation at the glenohumeral joint, the jump rope also functions as a great form of shoulder pre-hab.
5. Want big calves? Jump!
For years I trained as a bodybuilder, doing heavy calve raises - seated, standing, etc. My calves were tiny and never grew. Once Instated boxing and jumping rope daily all of a sudden my calves grew into proportion with the rest of my body. The calve muscles are stocked with tons of fast twitch fibers that respond well to high volume dynamic movements - running and jumping. I believe that eccentric plantar flexion (think of your foot absorbing the impact when you land, keeping your heel off the ground) is the the best tool for calve growth and size, and jumping rope provides you with 100s of reps per minute.
Like other workout staples such as the push up, body squat or even the Ab Wheel, you can jump rope just about anywhere. Even in the dead of winter I will jump rope in my garage when I need to get some conditioning in but can’t run outside. The jump rope may even be the best choice for interval training that mixes weightlifting and cardio because you can carry it with you anywhere in the gym. One of the keys to effective interval training is a seamless transition from station to station, and if you have to go from one end of the gym yo the other to get on a treadmill then it’s too much downtime.
Here are a few of my favorite jump rope routines:
1. The Long Haul
20 minutes - slow steady pace. Keep track of your number of “misses”, and after he 20 minutes is up do 10 pushups and 10 body squats for each miss.
2. Double Under Sprints
20 minutes - alternate between 1 minute slow pace, and 1 minute that incorporates 5-10 double unders.
3. The Shoulder Shredder
Incorporate 1 minute jump rope between EVERY set:
DB Shoulder Press - 4 x 8
Lateral Raises - 3 x 15
Shrugs - 3 x 10
Handstand Holds - 3 x 1 minute
Plank - 3 x 1 minute
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