The Benefits Of Jumping With Jump Rope, Full Body Conditioning And Cardiovascular Nirvana
One of the best cardio activities you can do is jumping rope. A mere ten to fifteen minute jump rope workout session at least three times per week is extremely effective at burning calories, melting fat, and toning every muscle in your body. Whether you are trying to lose fifty pounds or just can't get rid of the last ten pounds, jumping rope will help you reach your desired physical fitness level.
Jumping rope requires very little in terms of equipment and space. You do need a good pair of shoes, a jump rope, and a suitable surface to jump on... that's it. Once you have the physical equipment you must find plenty of willpower to keep up the workouts.
A Full Body Workout, Including The Heart
The motion of jumping rope engages every muscle in your body. It does a good job of keeping your abs tight as you need to engage your core to keep your balance and timing right. Jumping rope tones your arms, shoulders, and strengthens your legs. All the while your heart is getting a killer workout pumping blood to all those busy extremities.
It is such an intense workout that it may take weeks to build up to ten consecutive minutes. Start off with learning how to jump by doing several sets of as many jumps as you can without tripping up. Try to double your best effort with every set. If you start tomorrow and can only do 30 jumps before tripping, make your goal 60. You will reach your goal if you apply yourself.
The first couple of days you will notice that every muscle in your body hurts... then after a couple of days you will feel great and want to continue. The workouts do not get easier thou, they are always hell. That is how you know it is working.
Which Jump Rope Should I Get?
Several options are available when it comes to jump ropes. It is said that beginners should get a heavier rope such as a beaded rope or a weighted rope. These ropes are more suited to novices as they turn slower and give more control over their jumps.
Years ago I bought a Buddy-Lee jump rope. http://www.buddyleejumpropes.com/ The level of quality is excellent as I am still using the same rope today. The excellent craftsmanship makes it worth the slightly higher price tag. Buddy Lee is a very big jump rope advocate and a former U.S. Olympian.
A Few Words Of Caution
The right surface + the right shoes = happy legs and feet.
You must be very careful with the surface you jump on. Jumping rope is a very high impact exercise and if care is not taken to use the right shoes and choose the right surface you can get foot problems very quickly thus ending your excellent workout routine.
I use cross trainers, they have a good cusion on the front of the foot. You can also use basketball shoes, I have read of people swearing by wrestling shoes... There is a company out there called 'Ropix' who make shoes just for jumping rope. The front of the foot is padded and there is almost no cushion on the heel. They are also fashionable enough to wear as casual wear.
I am currently enjoying jumping rope on my exterior deck. It is perfect for jumping rope... it'a a flat surface that has some give to it and will not hurt my feet. An added benefit to exercising outdoors is the better quality of air pumped to your lungs. The oxygen level of outside air will increasing the level of oxygen transferred to your bloodstream thus improving the efficiency of your workouts.
I used to jump in my basement (on concrete) and got a bad case of plantar fasciitis. It took about six months for it to heal completely and ended my rope jumping workout for almost a year. Now If I must jump in my basement I use a half-inch foam-rubber padding between my feet and the floor.
Another word of advice is to stretch your muscles after each workout. If you don't you'll just be sore all over and lose flexibility thus rendering you grumpy and miserable from your body being in constant pain. I speak from experience. You really should stretch.
Also, the nature of this exercise being so intense, you should get the o.k. from your doctor to ensure your body is up to the rigors of this activity.
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