For many years, skipping ropes were seen as either a children's toy, or else the preserve of battered nosed pugilists like Rocky.
Recently, however, it has become more widely recognised that skipping ropes are a great addition to anyone's workout program.
While some people use skipping ropes for their cardio workouts, long sessions can be quite tough on your joints, so most people will find they work best as either a short warm-up, or to introduce some plyometric elements to your training.
Plyometrics is a form of training in which muscles and tendons are conditioned to be are able to absorb the force of a landing, then quickly spring back into a take-off. This is an advanced form of exercise that requires good core stability and strength - it therefore should not be attempted unless you already have a good basic level of fitness.
Modern equipment is typically designed to be either light weight - to develop speed - or heavier - to develop power. Things to look for include:
- Durable materials
- Length of around 9 to 10 feet
- Comfortable handles
- Ball bearings for smooth turning