Skipping is great for your overall fitness, whether it’s part of a warm-up or included in your main exercise session. Find out some of the benefits of skipping for fitness and suggested skipping exercises to get you started.
It’s no coincidence that boxers, who are arguably some of the fittest athletes around, regularly perform skipping drills to help with their hand-to-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness. So why not introduce some jump rope into your workouts and reap some of the fitness benefits listed below?
Some of the fitness benefits of skipping include:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Leg strength
- Bone strength
- Full body workout
Getting started skipping
Skipping has to be one of the cheapest exercises available. You need minimal equipment, minimal space and you can practice just about anywhere — indoors or out. To kick-start your skipping routine, this is all you need:
Check out our Skipping classes at Bayside Boxing.
Skipping ropes are very cheap and widely available in sports retailers, or you can even make your own. To make sure that your rope is the correct length for your height, stand on the middle of the rope and pull the handles upwards until the rope is taut. The handles should be in line with the middle of your chest. If the handles come up higher, cut a few inches of rope off one end until you have the correct length.
Cushioned training shoes
Skipping is a high-impact activity, which is good for bone strength, but it is important that you wear suitable footwear. The action of skipping – particularly if you progress to some slightly more advanced movements – means that your shoes need some lateral stability to provide support for your feet. Cross-training shoes that combine stability with cushioning are best – tell your retailer what you intend to do in the shoes to ensure you select an appropriate pair.
Correct surface for skipping.
On the same impact theme, cushioned training shoes alone aren’t the only consideration that you need to be aware of. Ideally, you should practice your skipping on a ‘giving’ surface such as a sprung gym floor, an exercise mat (ensure that the mat won’t move or slip), or a carpet. By skipping on a cushioned surface in correct footwear, you will avoid any lower leg problems that result from impact — such as shin splints.
Skipping exercise technique
It’s no coincidence that professional boxers look like they’re dancing on air as they skip in the gym – they have honed their skipping skills and technique through many hours of practice. Skipping is a straightforward exercise, but to get the most from your routine you should make sure that you adopt the following correct technique:
- Jump off and land on the balls of your feet.
- Avoid looking down at your feet, keep your head up and look straight ahead.
- Avoid hunching over; always skip with a straight back.
- Jump only a few centimeters into the air each time that the rope passes.
Skipping exercise suggestions
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can do much more than simply jump up and down on the spot. Try some of these variations to bring variety into your skipping workout, improve your hand-to-eye coordination and impress your friends!
Swing the rope slowly and complete a double jump for each revolution.
Skip jump. Instead of jumping with both feet together, jump on one foot only, kicking the other out in front or behind on each revolution. Alternate your feet between each jump.
Hop jump. Hop continuously on one foot as you skip. Start with a couple of hops before using the other foot, then gradually build up the number of hops that you can complete on each leg.
Check out our Skipping classes at Bayside Boxing .
Adopt a ‘jogging’ style by keeping the rope low and ‘jogging’ on the spot as you twirl the rope.
This is more demanding – lift your knees as high as possible on each skip.
Ski jump. A double-footed jump – but this time, as well as jumping a few centimeters off the ground, you should also jump from side to side. Start with short sideways jumps and gradually extend the width of your jumps as you improve.
The boxer’s classic – and it looks impressive too. Using a standard double-jump technique, as the rope comes above your head, cross your arms over as far as you can and perform a higher jump so you don’t catch the rope. Return to normal skipping and then repeat. Build up from one cross over in 10 skips until you can alternate between standard and cross over skips each revolution.
Still need a reason to start skipping?
You can see that as well as adding some variety to your exercise program, skipping brings a wide range of fitness benefits. Additionally, studies have shown that skipping is a great calorie burner – and depending upon your speed and intensity, 10 minutes of skipping can burn off as many calories as a 30-minute run!
However, aside from fitness and weight management benefits, skipping is also good fun – which is a key factor for any exercise, because then you’ll be motivated to continue with it. So, if you’ve never thought of skipping, perhaps now is the time to ‘borrow’ your children’s skipping rope and bring a whole new dimension to your training.
Benefits of Sports and Fitness
When you hear the word sports you probably think basketball, baseball, or football. When you read fitness you may imagine intense daily workouts at a gym. As a person with a bleeding disorder, you may not be able to participate in these activities.
The next time you hear the words sports and fitness, consider that physical activity—through safe sports and exercises—will strengthen your musculoskeletal system and reduce extra weight. The real benefit: your joints will become more stable and you’ll be less likely to have bleeds and pain.
A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study showed that being overweight was strongly associated with limited joint range-of-motion. This was true regardless of the severity of the bleeding disorder. However, it’s not just about being overweight. Do you ever get tired just from climbing up a flight of stairs or does that walk down the hall feel like it keeps getting longer and longer?
Just a few of the benefits of being physically fit:
- It increases your energy level.
- It boosts your mood and attitude.
- It helps your body adjust to even routine activities that can cause a bleed and other complications, especially in joints and muscles weakened by lack of movement.
Check out our Skipping classes at Bayside Boxing .
Some considerations when thinking about getting active:
- Your current fitness level and goals.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This is about you and not your peers.
- How comfortable are you with physical activity? Just like a car, you can’t start at 55 mph. You’ll need to work your way through the gears.
- Everyone has to start at zero and work up at different rates. You will get there! Do you have some limitations? An honest assessment of your fitness level will help you reach your goals quicker
What do you want to accomplish by being active? Make a list: Is your goal overall health or weight management? A specific event (like a Hemophilia Walk)? Or do you just want to play sports with your friends? Just like in other areas of your life, setting goals (fitness goals in this case) gives you something to work toward; you can create a plan and chart your progress, so you know when you’ve accomplished your goals.
Discuss your sports and fitness ideas with your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) team before getting started.
We’ve all heard the announcers on infomercials for exercise equipment and exercise videos say, “Speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise program fitness routine.” Heed this very good advice and talk to your treatment team before you start a sport or working out. Most likely you have been meeting with your bleeding disorder treatment team already, so they know you pretty well. They’ll have your health records, including information about bleeding episodes and other medical conditions, and will find your baseline and track your progress from that point.
Your HTC team can:
- Discuss activities that will help and, more importantly, not hurt your body.
- Suggest ways to alter the activities you want to do to minimize the risk of injury and bleeding.
- Review your infusion or prophylaxis regimen and help you adjust it, if necessary, to fit your increased activity schedule.
Help you make adjustments if you do get injured or have a bleed.
They can talk with your teachers, coaches, and even other medical staff to help promote your being physically active and help you avoid risks.Treating before and after specific activities decreases the odds of a bleed.
While you may be treating it prophylactically (which will make it easier and safer for you to take part in many activities), bleeding due to injury or overuse is still a possibility.
Whether you’re on a regular prophylaxis routine or treat prior to your activity, discuss with your treatment team when you should treat based on your activity.
Ideally, the activity should take place soon after treatment, when your clotting factor level is at its peak. Depending on the physical activity and any incidents that may have occurred, you may wish to treat afterward.
Don’t play through injuries!
All injuries need adequate time to heal. If you don’t take the time needed to recover, you could end up with long-term or permanent joint and tissue damage.
Use the R.I.C.E. protocol (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate).
Talk with your treatment team about your treatment options and determine when you can continue certain physical activities.
So you’ve decided to get active, but now what?
For much of your life, you may have been told you can’t do certain activities. That’s because the risk of injury or bleeding depends on the activity. Understanding these risks can help you make your own choices about what physical activities are right for you. Maybe you will choose to not participate in a contact or collision sport like football or hockey because you know the risk of serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine is high—and, of course, a neck brace (or head bleed) would put a serious damper on your social life.
When choosing a sport or exercise routine, it’s important to consider your body type, past bleeding history, and the condition of your joints. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Before you begin an activity, talk with your hematologist and physical therapist. They’ll go over all of this with you.
Your fitness plan doesn’t have to be an over-the-top routine. Having a fit body means you can participate in your daily activities and not injure or exhaust yourself.
Moderate aerobic activity for 30 minutes every day will give you better long-term results than exercising for a longer amount of time only once a week. You may wish to do a simple activity like walking, biking, or Pilates. Make your activity fun, so you’ll keep doing it. Consider how these activities affect different parts of your body. Are you developing your core muscles (abdominals, lower back, hips, and pelvis)? By developing your core, you build strength, balance, and stability, giving you better control over your body and potentially fewer bleeds. Even if your fitness plan is less strenuous, you should still decide how best to prepare for your routine by proper pre-and post-treatment and conditioning.
A few steps to lessen the risk of injury or bleed:
- Discuss with your bleeding disorder treatment team the best way to minimize any risk associated with the sport(s) you have chosen, and what to do if an injury or bleed occurs.
- Proper pre-and post-treatment. Treat close to the time of your activity so that your clotting factor level is at a peak during participation.
- Conditioning. When you know what joint or muscle may give you problems for your chosen sport you can work to improve that area. You can do this by:
- Stretching. Part of conditioning that makes your muscles more flexible and allows your joints to move more freely
- Strengthening. Part of conditioning that increases your muscle strength for greater joint support.
Social Benefits Of Exercise That Might Surprise You
1. It Makes You More Reliable
It’s not that you want to ditch your friends at the last minute, but if you aren’t taking prime care of your immune system, you’re more likely to get the sniffles. And if you aren’t active, you might lack the energy for those dinner plans you committed to.
According to research published in Europe’s Journal of Psychology (EJoP), when you stick to a fitness schedule, you’re likely to become more committed to plans outside of the gym. Since your pals will be able to depend on you, your friendships — and thus, your social life — will deepen.
2. It Helps You Find People Like You
We all seek to find our tribe — the people we can depend on wholeheartedly to be there through thick and thin. As another one of the social benefits of exercise, working out regularly can help you find people you actually want to spend time with. You’ll likely meet people at the gym who love to work out and are committed to a healthy lifestyle like you.
Meeting individuals with similar interests allows you to build a new, supportive circle of friends. Another great way to interact with like-minded gym-goers is through a social application like Planet of Triumphs, which can be a source of infinite inspiration and support.
3. It Improves Your Memory
Fitness isn’t just beneficial for your arms, legs, and core — it actually does wonders for your brain health, too! A study published in the journal Comprehensive Physiology found that exercise can improve your brain’s functionality, helping you to retain more memories and enhance your cognitive skills.
Ever disappoint a good friend by forgetting his or her birthday? Do you forget names minutes after people introduce themselves to you? While it happens to the best of us (and you’re definitely not alone) exercise can help sharpen your memory so you can stay on top of these small social graces.
4. It Makes You A Happier Friend
When you’re feeling down, there’s nothing like having good friends around to cheer you up. But friendships aren’t only about helping each other through the tough times. They are also built over shared laughs and fun experiences.
As the study in the EJoP showed, working out releases endorphins, which have been proven to make people happier. Not only is this a perk for your overall personality, but it’s a social benefit of exercise that reveals itself through the conversations you have, the connections you make, and the friendships you build!
5. It Can Help You Adjust To New Surroundings
Just moved to a new city or town? As a transplant, making new friends can be a little intimidating. That’s why many medical professionals suggest fitness as a way to break the ice. Not only does exercising create an easy way to strike up a conversation with others, but the gym is a recommended setting for healthy social interactions, too. Seeing people achieve their goals can enable you to connect with them on an entirely different level.