It's popular with boxers, so skipping exercise within your training programs is an underrated activity that can be used as a warm-up, or simply as part of your cardio workout.
Skipping exercise has a lot going for it. It's easy to do, requires the minimum of equipment, and is fun. When done correctly, skipping is a medium impact activity, excellent for those who are looking for a weight bearing activity to offset the age effects of weight loss.
Skipping will also work on your cardiovascular (aerobic) fitness - if you've ever done it for more than a few minutes you'll know just how tough it gets after a while.
It is estimated that jumping rope for ten minutes is the equivalent of running a mile in eight minutes, and can burn off up to 1300 calories.
In addition, this is an activity that is excellent for your upper body. It uses about 60% lower body, 40% upper body, which means that unlike activities such as running and walking, you get considerable benefits to your upper body - particularly the shoulders and arms.
As with most sports, you need to build up slowly - this is a demanding activity, particularly on the feet and lower legs. Recommendations include:
- Get a good quality rope - they don't cost much (under ?20), so a few extra pounds will be money well spent.
- Choose a good, level surface.
- Avoid concrete if possible, using softer surfaces instead
- If your ceilings are high enough you can do this indoors.
- Start with just a couple of minutes, gradually building up by adding no more than a minute each time you jump rope.
- Allow a day's rest between each workout