Skipping is a fantastic full body workout. It’s cardiovascular, helps you with your rhythm, coordination and footwork. Plus, whack on a hoddie and some hand-wraps and you can pretend you’re Rocky (not that I do that of course…).
I tend to use skipping as a warm-up for my body-weight workouts. However, it is a great workout in its own right. All you need is a piece of rope. To get one the right length, stand on it in the middle. The ends should come up to your armpits. The kind of rope you use does make a difference. A regular piece of rope will do but it’ll be quite slow. A plastic ‘speed-rope’ as the name suggests, will be quicker, but it’ll sting when it inevitably whips against whatever exposed skin you have. There are ropes with weighted handles, counters and countless other variations I’m sure.
Start with the rope behind your feet. Have your hands about level with your hips, keep your weight on the balls of your feet. Try to keep looking straight ahead as you bring the rope over your head. Try to only jump as high as is needed to let the rope pass under your feet. Try to alternate using just your left then right leg to push you off the ground.Try to make and effort to jump rope on a surface other than concrete. Your joints will thank you.
You’re going to mess up a lot if you haven’t done much skipping before (I have no idea how 9-year-olds manage it). Just keep at it. Eventually you’ll find your rhythm. Once you do there are loads of little things you can do to mix it up:
- knee tucks
- try to lower yourself into a squat while continuing to skip
- push off hard and try and rotate the rope as many times as you can before you land again (double unders).
The variations are only limited by your imagination.