Todd Wilson – Boxing Coach, KORE Wellness
Jumping rope is often overlooked, some even consider it a waste of time. Those who feel this way couldn’t be more wrong.
Jumping rope is an excellent plyometric routine. During my years of competition in boxing skipping rope was one of my favorite workouts and boxing warm-up routines. Although a jump rope is a simple piece of exercise equipment, it still remains as one of my favorite.
Some have referred to jumping rope as a self-limiting exercise. Skipping rope will not allow the participant to perform the exercise if poor technique is used. Thus, improper movement patterns cannot be reinforced. Many other forms of endurance training like rowing, cycling and jogging can allow poor form without a coach’s correction. The jump rope is the coach.
You may find it interesting that jumping rope reinforces three basic movement patterns from the functional movement screen (used in our initial client consult.) They are the squat, hurdle step and lunge. With the popularity of cross training, athletes of all skill levels use skipping rope as a tool to enhance sports performance. Boxing and the jump rope have been in partnership dating back to the 1700s. The jump rope has a variety of purposes in the sport of boxing. The rigors of boxing require incredible cardiovascular endurance with constant movement of hands, feet and head. Jumping rope not only helps boxers improve their cardiovascular endurance it also helps to improve coordination, footwork, balance and punching power.
Coordination: hands and feet must work together and the activity helps you coordinate your hands and foot movements.
Footwork: rapidly skipping over a rope while focusing on staying on the balls of your feet helps develop foot speed and agility.
Balance: weight shift plays a vital role in a boxer’s movement. The ability to gracefully shift weight from one foot to another is crucial.
How does this translate into a good workout routine for all of us? Although jumping rope may not seem sport specific, it is posture specific. There is far less impact jumping rope than other cardio workouts such as sprinting or jogging because most of the impact is taken through the leg muscles. The proper technique of skipping rope with erect posture and long spine focus the abdominal muscles and the back muscles to work “hand in hand.” Also with the focus of landing on the toes it uses the untapped power in the calves and the combined power of the quads, hamstrings, glutes and core. Jumping rope is excellent for interval work and allows for the individual to control the level of intensity by speeding up or slowing the pace of the rope.
Jump rope tips and routines
There are many types of jump ropes. As a beginner you should purchase a rope that can be adjusted. Stand on the rope with one foot in the center of the rope and center of the body, raise the handles to your armpits. The handles should measure to the underside of the armpits and no higher than the shoulders.
– Breath only through your nose.
– Land on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent.
– Stand straight without curling into a ball.
– Shorter faster jumps are easier than higher slower jumps.
– Spin the rope using your arms and wrists not your shoulders.
– Keep elbows in and rotate wrists.
– Let the rope hit the floor, to have an audible rhythm to follow.
– Do not focus on jumping the rope but on the rhythm of your wrist turn.
– Work on mastering basic jump movements.
Excellent Beginner routine: Video (Check out a video of this routine here)
- Basic jump, also known as easy jump – single under two footed bounce, jump with both feet together and land on the balls of your feet.
- Boxer skip – single under while shuffling feet back and forth and staying on the balls of your feet.
- Run in Place – single under jump right knee up, single under left knee up, repeat, jump over rope as you run in place.
- High knees – same as above but raise the knees for more challenge.
- Mummy kicks – single under jump with right straight leg kick forward, single under left straight leg kick forward, repeat, stay on the ball of your feet.
Thirty seconds for each jump listed above. Perform each 30 sec jump, rest 10 seconds between each and rest 1 minute between sets. Complete 5 sets.
Most of all have fun, relax and don’t get frustrated. Just keep jumping!