Jumping rope doesn’t tend to be a go-to activity for most runners — at least not after the age of 10. But it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to gain strength, build cardiovascular fitness and improve foot speed. In fact, research has shown that jumping rope can improve aerobic and anaerobic capacity, shoulder strength coordination and proprioception in athletes. A jump rope workout is plyometrics in disguise, and a great way to prepare you body for more explosive exercises.
Of course, it’s also inexpensive! And easily packable for wherever you travel.
First things first: Be sure that your rope is the right length for your height. Simply step on the center of the rope and see if the handles reach your armpits. If they go above or below, your rope is either too long or too short. Also opt for a plastic rope over a cotton one so you can execute faster rotations.
To begin the workout, stand upright with good posture. Hold each rope handle at hip height with your upper arms at your sides and your elbows bent. As you begin to swing the rope, jump slightly off the ground to let it pass under your body, and land gently on the balls of your feet.
Begin with five to 10 minutes of easy jumping to warm up and then try the following moves. Complete the circuit two times, doing each move for one minute and resting for one minute between sets.
Article originally published May 2017