Jumping rope has started to make a comeback in schools and sports training; skipping was big in the 40’s and 50’s but then started to see a decline though some sports, such as boxing and martial arts, have always used skipping as a conditioning tool.
Skipping has been used as an effective method to help condition the cardiovascular system and to develop foundational skills such as co-ordination, body awareness, dynamic balance, foot speed, landing mechanics, agility, quickness, rhythm and not to mention lower leg conditioning for running,
Training the foundational skills also helps to form the basics of many of our sporting movements; failing to develop basic motor skills can make it difficult for learning more complex manoeuvres in sport.
Skipping is a skill that can take a little practice to get the movement correct and therefore you should strive for achieving a good proficiency in the technique before using it as a conditioning tool, although it can be exhausting just trying to learn to skip! The whole process of getting it right teaches many valuable skills to the exerciser; posture, timing, proper mechanics and contraction and relaxation of muscles which is needed for speed.
Remember when we first start to learn anything new we use our conscious mind to discover the movement – the movement may not be very smooth, the body not in a good position trying to adapt and possibly feeling heavy footed when landing. When the movement becomes ingrained in our sub-conscious mind the action then becomes smoother and lighter and faster and you can then start to build on the basic movements.
Skipping is a great tool on its own – just trying to skip for 1 minute on and 1 minute off and repeat 3-5 times is a great short workout. For another workout try skipping moving forwards or skipping moving backwards. For balance try skipping on 1 leg for 5 jumps and repeat on the other leg for 5 jumps and then combine with 5 double foot jumps.
Have fun and be better today than you were yesterday