My New Favorite Workout: Skipping!

October 3rd, 2012

My New Favorite Workout:  Skipping!

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for something new and different to change-up your workout.

For the past several months I’ve skipped and I have to say at first I thought, oh yeah, this will be easy just like when I was a kid, a piece of cake, well talk about a rude awakening!  I could hardly get through my first minute without tangling myself up in the rope but with a little patience,  persistence and a plan I’ve made it pay off and can actually say I’m loving it.

Starting out, I decided to use my interval music (Workout Muse – Spartacus Workout) that I downloaded for free which gives you a total of a 42 minute workout broken down into 3 sets of 10 – 1 minute sessions of work with a 15 second recovery followed by a 2 minute recovery between sets.  It’s a great way to get started as you only have to focus on 1 minute and then you get a 15 second recovery.  I was happy to get through one set at the beginning and now have worked up to doing 3 sets.  Still keeping the skipping part pretty basic with double (both feet together) jumping, jogging skip, one footed and side to side movements.  There are more challenging moves that I hope to work my way up to such as squatting jumps but let’s just say I’m not there yet!

I am certainly starting to feel and see the pay offs of this workout.  The best part is that a skipping rope is one the cheapest things you can buy and you can basically skip anywhere as long as you have enough space to turn a rope over your head.

Are you ready to give it a try?  Still need some convincing perhaps the benefits below will do the trick!

Physical Benefits:
Skipping will help improve cardio-respiratory (heart and lungs) fitness, flexibility, coordination, balance, rhythm and symmetry.  It is both aerobic and anaerobic.  Skipping is approximately 40% upper body and 60% lower body activity.  Along with your arms, your engaging your biceps, triceps, deltoids, chest and almost all the upper body muscles along with the obvious muscle groups associated with the legs. Skipping is both high-impact or lo-impact.
As a high-impact exercise it is an efficient way of improving overall muscle tone, particularly with the hips, thighs, calves and the gluteus maximus (bottom) along with building bones.  When you become more efficient it becomes more of a medium to lo-impact exercise.  Moving your arms less does not make it an easier workout, it actually allows you to utilize the correct muscles.  The key is to jump very low so that the rope is just traveling under your feet and minimize the movement in the arms and make the pivotal movement the wrist.  By doing this, the arms and shoulders are given a severe workout simply by clenching the muscles in order to turn the wrists.  Overall, skipping is a very efficient way to burn calories in a shorter period of time than other traditional aerobic workouts.  A good bang for your buck!

Mental Benefits:
A high level of coordination is required in order to skip to a reasonable level.  It requires cross-lateral and ambi-dexterity and a good level of fitness to skip continuously.  Both the sides of brain, both sides of the body.  But equally important is that you may find yourself smiling at the memory of all the skipping you did as a child and there is nothing better than a smile to go along with the thoughts that why was it so much easier than!

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