We love thinking about the things that made us happy as children, right? And skipping rope is one of those nostalgic activities that almost all of us can relate to. And while hopscotch and kiss-chase are probably best left in the past, there is a lot that we can take from skipping rope to apply to our lives as adults.
Firstly, it is cheap. We all love a bargain and gym equipment can be very expensive. A skipping rope will probably be one of the cheapest pieces of equipment that you use when you are working out. It’s portable too. Carrying your free weights or heavy bag around would be both difficult and highly inconvenient. The same cannot be said of a skipping rope though. It fits in almost all gym bags and barely weighs a thing!
Now just because something is cheap and portable doesn’t mean that it is beneficial. There is very little point in carrying this rope around with you if when you use it you don’t experience some benefits. Well fortunately skipping rope is an effective form of aerobic exercise, or as most of us would say, cardio.
At the end of the day the reason why we do cardio is to burn calories. Skipping rope is one of the best calorie burners out there. You always want to ensure that the cardio you are doing is of a high intensity and skipping definitely qualifies. Not to mention the fact it is strengthening your whole body.
Of course your lower body is doing most of the work and this means that skipping increases leg strength, which if done regularly enough will help to increase your overall running speed. But your upper body is working hard too. Your shoulders and arms are constantly moving the rope over and around your body. Add this to the work that your core is doing throughout and you can see why skipping is such a highly suggested exercise.
When you are considering which cardio to use for weight loss it comes down to calories in vs. calories out every time. So if you want to lose weight then you have to control both sides of the equation. So if you don’t control calories in, then no, skipping won’t do anything for weight loss. But if you can maintain a healthy nutritional plan then skipping is perfect for the calories out side.
It is a really transferable exercise too. Loads of athletes from all sorts of sports use skipping as an exercise because of the benefits it provides. Boxers especially are synonymous with skipping and we just expect to see it incorporated into their workouts.
But no exercise is considered perfect and skipping has its critics too. You can’t get away from the fact that this is a high-impact activity, so there is always a risk that you can develop joint pain. After all, there is inevitable direct stress being applied to your knees, ankles and hips. This can be reduced though by simply wearing appropriate, shock-absorbing footwear or taking your skipping on to some softer surfaces, like grass.
On top of everything already mentioned there are the general benefits that we get from any aerobic exercise, like preventing a whole range of health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
You can skip in all sorts of areas and in all sorts of ways. It helps you burn calories in the short-term and prevent serious illness in the long-term. So if you are looking for a new way to train cardio, or you just want to look as cool as Rocky Balboa when he did it, then why not give the skipping rope a go?