Skip to Get Fit

It isn’t just child’s play

Skip to Get Fit

Skipping isn't just for kids! Try this fun and heart-pumping workout that you can do almost anywhere.

When was the last time you skipped? No, we don’t mean ditching class or staying home “sick” from work. We’re referring to the rope with handles. Not just for kids, skipping is a fun way to burn major calories while toning your legs, core, and arms.

Back to your roots

Along with losing the ability to swing across the jungle gym by our arms, hang upside down by our legs, and run for hours without getting tired, many of us have forgotten about a favourite playground activity: jumping rope. It was fun and freeing. We could hop, skip, jump, and play limitlessly, or at least until it got dark and we had to go home for dinner. But when did play turn into work? Likely around the same time work became work.

Of all the changes in equipment, theories, and methods relating to fitness over the last 100 years, the skipping rope has changed the least. It remains a monument to ancient training methods and an ode to the simplicity of good health: it is uncomplicated, it is cheap, and it can be done almost anywhere.

Roping in a keeper

The first, last, and only thing you will need to get back into skipping is a good rope. Really, you can skip with any rope, but finding the right one will make the workouts easier to pick up and, in the end, more enjoyable.

Weight and material

Ultimately, finding the optimal balance between weight and material is any skipper’s prerogative. Many of the ropes that carry a satisfying weight are made of dense rubber. While there is no motivation quite like the cold lash of rubber on your shin, skipping newbies may want to steer clear of rubber ropes.

If you are a confident and competent skipper, a heavier, thicker rubber will allow you to generate good rope speed and give you extra shoulder work. If you are a beginner, consider choosing a beaded-woven rope. While you should still be able to feel its weight in your hands, this type of rope is made of more forgiving fibres that won’t leave welts on your skin.

Handles

This is based on feel and is completely up to the individual. Technically, no one handle is better than another. Your choices are rubber, wood, plastic, and foam, but it’s best to avoid slippery materials such as plastic. Choose a rope with slightly thicker handles so that you can hold on loosely while you skip—not worry about your death grip fatiguing your hands.

Some ropes offer a ball-bearing attachment, connecting rope to handle. This offers an advantage not only because it gives you a smooth, uninhibited orbit, but also because the rope won’t twist and get tangled.

Length

Most skipping ropes are adjustable. After purchasing your new best friend, simply step on the midpoint of the rope and pull the rope up tight to your shoulders. The ends of the handles should line up with the tops of your shoulders.

From there, it is about the feel you get while you are skipping. Because people have different styles (for example, how high you hold your hands), you may need to adjust the rope length to get a better feel. When it all comes together, it feels magical!

A beginner’s guide to skipping

Skipping is done on your toes so that your heels never touch the ground. Everyone’s style will vary in terms of how far apart your feet are, how high your hands are, and how high and fast you jump.

The key to becoming a good skipper is to relax. This means that you should

  • keep your jaw loose
  • ensure your shoulders stay down and relaxed
  • maintain a tall upper body
  • feel like your wrists are doing most of the rotating rather than your entire arms

Don’t skip the rewards

Along with a diversion from your usual running, biking, or stair-climbing routine, skipping offers benefits not seen by other forms of cardio. You can burn more than 200 calories in just 15 minutes of skipping at a moderate pace.

Along with weight-loss benefits, skipping provides an obvious cardio challenge. (Believe me, it will be obvious when you get going.) This playground staple can also help you to tone your shoulders, biceps, and all your leg muscles, which will experience the resistance-training benefits of absorbing a light impact.

In addition, because of the cushioning and coordination-enhancing nature of jumping rope, it makes an ideal rehabilitation exercise in cases involving the knees, hips, back, and surrounding muscles. Another less obvious benefit of jumping rope? Core and abdominal activation while you jump means extra work on that waistline without having to slog through crunch after boring crunch.

Instead of skipping your workout, try this skipping workout for a whole-body toning session that’s sure to make you sweat.

Skip the indoor workout

It’s summer! You should be outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Perhaps the greatest benefit of jumping rope is that you can take it anywhere. Instead of running on the spot, you can actually run while you skip. You can also incorporate our workout into your usual running or outdoor exercise routine to add variety and an extra challenge.

Slalom

Slalom

Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds skipping, followed by 40 seconds rest

  • Throughout this exercise, channel your inner skier: keep your knees and ankles together and your shoulders square to the front.
  • Begin facing forward with the rope behind you on the ground.
  • Start to skip, jumping with both feet at the same time and getting into a rhythm.
  • As you bring the rope around for your next hop, jump and twist your hips as far to the left as possible (jumping over the rope).
  • As the rope comes up and over your head, crouch down slightly and jump over the rope as it passes underneath you.
  • While in the air, jump and twist your hips all the way over to the right side.
  • For a more basic version, simply jump back to the middle while twisting from one side, then twist to the other side.

Speed Skater

Speed Skater

Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds skipping, followed by 30 seconds rest

  • Begin facing forward with the rope behind you on the ground.
  • Start to skip, jumping with both feet at the same time and getting into a rhythm.
  • Once skipping comfortably, push off with your left foot, jumping over the rope to your right foot.
  • Land with both feet, but with weight mainly in your right foot.
  • Absorb the landing and then push off with your right foot, jumping back to your left as the rope passes underneath you.
  • Continue this rhythm, keeping in mind that while both feet are touching the ground when you jump and land, the focus is mainly on the leg of the side you are jumping to.

On-the-Spot Mountain Climbers

On the Spot Mountain Climbers

Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds skipping, followed by 40 seconds rest

  • Begin facing forward with the rope behind you on the ground.
  • Start to skip, jumping with both feet at the same time. This exercise should be done as quickly as possible, so it is crucial to establish a comfortable rhythm first.
  • Once you have established a rhythm, begin to run on the spot, bringing alternating knees up to waist height. One step should coordinate with one revolution of the rope underneath you.
  • Remember to maintain a tall upper body. Bring your knees up—not your chest down.

Iron Cross Hopscotch

Iron Cross Hopscotch

Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds skipping, followed by 30 seconds rest

  • Begin facing forward with the rope behind you on the ground.
  • Start to skip, jumping with both feet at the same time and getting into a rhythm.
  • Pick up your left foot and complete 2 hops with your right leg.
  • On the third revolution, land and jump with both feet.
  • Without pausing, pick up your right foot and complete 2 hops with your left leg.
  • On the third revolution, land and jump with both feet. This is the basic hopscotch pattern.
  • To spice up the coordination factor and try something new with your arms, cross your wrists as the rope comes over your head on every third revolution (the two-foot hop). Uncross your wrists as the rope completes a revolution and comes over your head again.

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