A busy and career-oriented lifestyle sometimes pushes you to the point where you start looking for compromises. It happens because you may simply lack time, energy, or money for everything planned. When setting your priorities, it's easy to forget about essential things for your health, like workouts. Little wonder that as for WHO, almost 1 in 4 adults worldwide aren't physically active. Then, is there a compromise for you to stay active and not sacrifice too much of your money, energy, and time?
Definitely yes! At first sight, you may become skeptical towards it, but we'll do everything to change your mindset. Well, ladies and gentlemen, meet the jump rope exercise! You may think: "Isn't it only for kids?". But let us assure you — everyone can benefit from practicing it, be you an athlete or a busy achiever. Read on, and you'll get to know all perks of this undemanding exercise and how to incorporate it into a busy schedule.
Skipping rope as a top time-saving and convenient workout
Those tiring gym workouts may make everyone exhausted or even stressed (some people feel anxiety when training in public). Costly gym membership could also stand on your way to an active lifestyle. At the same time, it's almost impossible to make yourself complete long and hard home workouts because you need to have powerful willpower for it.
Now, imagine a workout that you can practice almost everywhere (you just need a few meters of free space). In addition, this workout will give you instant results after a short session. Yeah, that's all about skipping rope! What's more, if you'll manage to grow a habit to practice jump rope regularly, you'll also face numerous health and productivity benefits. Let's look closer at them:
Benefits of skipping rope
This exercise, despite all its health benefits, is still underrated among people who work out regularly. Still, jump rope is a powerful cardio exercise that can be even more effective than some gym workouts. So how incorporating this exercise into your schedule may help you?
Skipping rope supports your heart health
If you're looking for a short but efficient workout to strengthen your heart health, then skipping rope is among the best exercises for that need. Murray University study claims that just 10 minutes of skipping rope is as effective for boosting your health as 30 minutes of jogging.
Since this exercise involves your whole body and can be pretty strenuous, it raises your heart rate a few times faster than other types of workouts. Therefore, you can achieve a heart-strengthening effect quicker — in 10-15 minutes instead of an hour spent at the gym.
By incorporating rope skipping into your workout routine, you'll be able to reduce your resting heart rate and lower blood pressure. At the same time, practicing this exercise also assists you by boosting your cardiorespiratory endurance, which helps your body use oxygen more efficiently.
Cardiorespiratory fitness also links to anti-inflammatory and glucose regulating properties, lowering your risks of getting chronic diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Thus, if you care about your heart health and want to live longer, practicing jump rope three-four times a week would be a good decision.
Skipping rope strengthens your bones and prevent osteoporosis
A hard workout or a sharp movement can sometimes lead to bone injuries or even broken bones. Plus, if you don't consume enough calcium and vitamin D, your risks of spending a month in a cast become even higher. Still, scientists claim skipping rope will help make your bones stronger. As for Suzuka University research, only ten jumps three times per week will help you increase your peak bone mass.
In addition, a University of Missouri survey has proven jumping exercise can slow down the age-related bone density loss that leads to osteoporosis. Remember, you shouldn't wait for the first signs of low bone density — start rope skipping now and prevent bone issues in the future.
Skipping rope boosts your brain performance
Do you feel your brain can work more efficiently, allowing you to accomplish tasks with better results and memorize more? It definitely can — if you'll grow a habit to practice rope skipping regularly. It's an intense aerobic exercise that can quickly disperse your blood through the body, supplying your brain with extra oxygen. University of Georgia research has found that such an effect boosts your information-processing speed and increases working memory capacity.
But what about overall intelligence — can jumping rope boost it too? As for Jump Rope Institute, skipping rope contributes to the development of your brain hemispheres, increasing your alertness, reading skills, and creativity. Moreover, aerobic activity like this can help you improve the size of your hippocampus — part of the brain responsible for learning skills and memorizing. Thus, by practicing rope skipping, you boost your brain and work performance, increasing your chances of growing a successful career.
Skipping rope enhances your endurance, muscles strength, and metabolism
An International Journal of Sports study has found that jumping rope helps runners achieve more significant results during a 3-km time-trial performance. It means that by practicing this exercise, you're expanding the physical capabilities of your body, allowing it to stay energized for a longer time.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research claims jumping rope has a more substantial impact on your muscles growth and endurance than other plyometric exercises (those that involve jumping). At the same time, jumping rope is beneficial for your muscles since it involves so many of them in the process. In a nutshell, skipping rope is a full-body workout because your muscles need to lift the whole body weight many times in a short period. Full-body activities, in turn, boost your resting metabolism, allowing you to burn calories even when lying on the sofa.
Skipping rope promotes your weight loss
Sedentary lifestyles and fast food hit us hard. These are among the main reasons why 39% of adults are overweight globally. Still, some short but intensive exercises are perfect for burning fat, and skipping rope is one of the best among them.
According to Health Research Funding, 20 minutes of mid-intensity rope skipping will help you burn:
- 190 calories if your weight is near 120 pounds (54 kg);
- 238 calories if your weight is near 150 pounds (68 kg);
- 317 calories if your weight is near 200 pounds (90 kg).
In addition, if you compare the effectiveness of this exercise with other types of workouts, you'd see how intensive jump rope can be. For example, 10 minutes of rope skipping with 120 jumps per minute equals 660 meters (720 yards) of swimming or half an hour of jogging. So by practicing jump rope exercise, you can burn more calories in a shorter period.
Then, why skipping rope isn't widely spread as jogging if it brings so many benefits to your health and productivity? Mainly because this exercise can be pretty hard when you've just started practicing it. At first, you may stumble or step on the rope itself, which can knock you off your fighting spirit. Still, don't let these minor obstacles stand in your way! In turn, we've prepared a few tips to help you start your jump rope workouts in the right way.
Tips for practicing jump rope exercises like a pro:
- Pick a jump rope with a suitable length. The essential thing when picking a jump rope is to find the size that suits your height. If it's too short, you may hurt yourself with the rope; if it's too long, you'll continue stumbling. However, there's a trick to choose the right length. Step on the rope with one of your legs, take the rope handles, and pull them up. Ideally, they should come up to the line of your shoulders.
- Don't look down when jumping. If you're afraid of falling when skipping rope, looking down won't help. Actually, you'll only increase your risks of tripping. In turn, if you want to keep up with the rhythm, look forward and jump when the rope crosses your sight. Even if you failed a few times, don't stop trying — it's a matter of practice.
- Make not too high jumps. To make more jumps in a second, you shouldn't bounce up like a kangaroo — high jumps are too slow and energy-consuming. Instead, try to make your leaps not higher than 1-2 inches (3-5 cm) off the ground. It will help you make your rope skipping exercise longer and more efficient.
- Maintain the right pose. When you practice jump rope, your body shouldn't form a straight line, as if you're a soldier in a line. Bend your knees a bit to distribute stress evenly over all your muscles. At the same time, after each new jump, you should softly land on the balls of your feet to avoid injuries and leg muscles' overexertion. Plus, don't forget to maintain a tall spine position and your feet close together while jumping.
- Use your wrists while moving rope, not arms. If you want to do your skipping rope workout in the right way, you should involve only wrists when moving rope. Otherwise, you won't be able to make more than a few jumps until you lose breath and rhythm. Plus, moving the rope shouldn't cause extra inconvenience. Though, if you'd involve your whole arm, you may feel muscle sore and tired soon after starting.
- Try different types of ropes and workouts. When you feel confident enough to complete a basic skipping rope workout flawlessly, you can level up your performance. Firstly, you can choose a weighted rope to engage more muscles in an exercise and burn more calories. Another way to diversify your jump rope workout routine is to try other types of moves in the process. You can practice the alternate steps, sidestep, or knee raises step patterns to get more out of your workout.
- Globally, More Than 1.4 Billion Adults Are At Risk Of Disease From Not Doing Enough Physical Activity (2016)
- Comparison Of Rope Skipping And Jogging As Methods Of Improving Cardiovascular Efficiency Of College Men (2013)
- Build Endurance And Heart Health By Jumping Rope (2010)
- Anaerobic And Aerobic Responses Of Males And Females To Rope Skipping (1982)
- Sedentary Behavior, Exercise, And Cardiovascular Health (2019)
- Effect Of Low-Repetition Jump Training On Bone Mineral Density In Young Women (2006)
- Exercise May Reverse Age-Related Bone Loss In Middle-Aged Men (2015)
- Effects Of Acute Bouts Of Exercise On Cognition (2003)
- Four Healthy Benefits Of Jumping Rope (2020)
- Regular Exercise Changes The Brain To Improve Memory, Thinking Skills (2014)
- Jump-Rope Training: Improved 3-Km Time-Trial Performance In Endurance Runners Via Enhanced Lower-Limb Reactivity And Foot-Arch Stiffness (2019)
- Effects Of Weighted Rope Jump Training On Power Performance Tests In Collegians (1993)
- Skeletal Muscle Metabolism Is A Major Determinant Of Resting Energy Expenditure (1990)
- Calories Burned Jumping Rope (2020)
- 10 Awesome Benefits Of Rope Jumping For Busy People Who Hate Exercise And Need A Reason (2018)