6 Benefits of Skipping Every Day
Playground Games, Double-Dutch and Boxers all spring to mind when you mention skipping. If you’re looking for an intense cardio workout that you can do at home with no bulky equipment, skipping is the one for you.
Benefits of Using a Skipping Rope
Can Keep your Heart Healthy
Skipping is great for raising your heart rate and getting your blood moving. It’s been shown in several studies that skipping is highly effective at lowering blood pressure and strengthening the heart muscle. Skipping has also been proven to have a positive effect on vascular function and inflammation, risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.
It’s a Full-Body Workout
Skipping might not look like much until you try it, but it requires hard work from most major muscle groups. Throughout your session, your core is engaged and your legs are pumping to keep your jumps small and controlled. All whilst your arms are keeping the rope’s momentum going. If you want to work every muscle in one exercise, skipping is a great option.
Skipping with a Rope Improves Coordination
Because this exercise demands hand-eye coordination, balance and movements where the body works as a whole repeatedly, skipping has been shown to improve motor coordination and balance. , Favoured by Boxers, as coordination and balance are key tools in the ring. Footballers, Tennis Players and Basketball Players also benefit from skipping exercises thanks to the gross motor skills it enhances.
Could Help You Run Faster
A systematic review of 21 controlled studies found that runners who incorporated jump training into their workouts, showed significant moderate improvement in time-trial performance over distances between 2.0-5.0km. It was found that, in part, this was due to the improvements in muscle strength in the legs and feet, enabling the runners to generate more force per step.
Stimulates your Brain
Because it has both physical and mental demands, skipping has a higher impact on cognitive function than other exercise tasks. Workouts that support brain health need coordination, rhythm, spacial awareness and strategy, all of which are involved in skipping!
Some studies suggest that skipping daily might protect memory function as we get older.
Might be Good for Anxiety
In a 2021 study, adults who used a skipping rope over seven sessions of two minutes, each showed a significant reduction in anxiety scores when they completed a psychological questionnaire after the exercise. Skipping led to improved attention span and cognitive function, and a rise in serotonin (the hormone associated with mood regulation). The rationale for this is that there are usually certain amino acids in the blood which can block tryptophan, a chemical which triggers serotonin production, from entering the brain. When the amino acids are directed towards the muscles, the tryptophan can enter the brain with ease and serotonin production increases.
It only takes a few minutes of skipping each day for these benefits to be felt, so if you’re able to skip, it’s worth giving it a go.
If you don’t have one stashed away from childhood, you can buy a fairly cheap skipping rope online.
JLL recommends: Skipping Rope
Skipping Rope Techniques
Skipping is easy once you get the hang of it. The technique usually comes with practice, but there are a few things to do to make sure you’ve got the best start.
- The Right Length: Check your rope is the right length. Stand on the middle of the rope and pull the handles up to your armpits. If it reaches all the way to your underarms on both sides, you have the right length. Some ropes can be shortened by tying a knot inside the handles. However, if your rope is too short, the only solution is to get one that isn’t.
- The Right Surface: It’s fine to skip on concrete or tarmac, but if you’re doing intense sessions this can damage your ankle and knee joints over time. Try skipping on grass, indoors or on dense rubber, like in some playgrounds or gym areas.
- The Right Posture: keep your back straight, your core tight and your head up. If you’re bending over to look at your feet, the rope will just hit the back of your neck when it comes over, so make sure you stand up.
- Hands, Knees, Toes: You should hold the rope handles firmly, but without squeezing. Make sure your knees bend slightly when you land so that they don’t take the full impact. Stay on the balls of your feet to protect your ankles. This helps you use your toes as a spring so you can jump more easily.
- Don’t Jump Too High: Keep your jumps quite shallow, so that you come only an inch off the floor each time. This is more efficient for your body and protects your joints. Be Patient: It’s normal to feel frustrated when you pick up a skipping rope as an adult. We tend to think that if a child can do it, it must be easy, but that’s not true. Be kind to yourself, and remember, everything takes practice.
Home Skipping Rope Routine
Experts advise starting slowly; just 60 seconds of skipping at a time is enough for a beginner to get a good rise in heart rate.
Here is a simple skipping rope routine that you can try at home:
- Jump over the rope with both feet at a medium pace, bouncing on the balls of your feet. Keep your ankle and knee joints loose to absorb the impact. Keep it as one fluid movement instead of two small hops.
- Increase the speed of the rope using your hands, which increases the speed at which you jump.
- Jump both feet side-to-side
- Jump on your left leg
- Jump on your right leg
Remember to cool down after exercise and stretch out those hamstrings.
Try Skipping for Exercise: a Fun Daily Cardio Workout
The best thing about skipping is you can take your rope anywhere. If you’re going on holiday, it will slip into your suitcase without creating extra bulk. If you skip for one minute, five minutes or ten minutes, just getting your heart rate up has huge benefits for your physical and mental health. To get started with your daily skipping workout, explore our range of adjustable skipping ropes at JLL.