This simple piece of equipment could elevate your workout


Skipping rope requires lower body strength and coordination, but you can develop this skill with a little patience and consistency. Working up to 10 minutes of continuous jumping is difficult in the same way as working out for up to 30 minutes of running, so it’s important to start slowly, to give your body enough time to adjust. “Stay at your own pace,” Ms. Henry said.

Slowing down is especially important if you are just starting to train after a period of inactivity, if your body is not used to the impact of jumping, or if you are recovering from an injury. It is also important to speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

At first, it may be enough to do one or two jumps at a time, until you are sufficiently aware of how your feet and the rope are supposed to move together. Or try hopping in place to break it down into simpler components. Stand as you normally would, with the jump rope behind you, and jump without swinging the rope. This will help you feel comfortable with the movement of the jump, as well as establishing the coordination of holding the rope as you jump.

You can also run the rope over your head, letting it stop before it reaches your feet, in which case you step over it to develop a sense of timing for when the rope hits the bottom. ground.

Once your body is used to jumping, it shouldn’t be too hard. “You want to be relaxed and easy in your movements,” said Dwight Pratchett, a former Houston-based professional boxer and boxing trainer. “When you stretch, you use your gas too quickly. For Mr. Pratchett, the jump rope has been a valuable tool in improving footwork and aerobic capacity, both in his work as a trainer and in his own fitness program.

If jumping isn’t right for you, it’s important to watch your form. “You really want to master the basics,” Ms. Henry said. This includes jumping on the balls of the feet, rather than flat feet, with a slight bend in the knees. At first, it’s best to jump with both feet at the same time, until you feel comfortable enough to start alternating.

“It’s hard to have that beat, but once you get it down, you can feel it,” Mr. Pratchett said. “It’s almost like dancing.”

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