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Jumping Rope Benefits
I may not post about cardio a whole lot here, but that does not mean that I completely avoid it. Still, when it comes to cardio, I only do a little bit each workout. The intensity of my main calisthenic workouts are high enough that my heart rate gets going like crazy even without the cardio. Anyway, if there was one cardio workout I would do for all eternity, it would be jumping rope. Jumping rope benefits your health and fitness in so many ways that you don’t even realize. Where do I begin?
Remember how popular jumping rope was when you were a little kid? I wonder how many young kids realize that they are in great shape because they love to jump rope. It doesn’t matter if they’re alone or double-dutching with friends, jumping rope benefits them like crazy without them knowing it!
As adults, jumping rope is a teensy bit different. It’s used less for fun and games, and more for actual exercise. Nonetheless, the potential for creativity in your jump rope routine is high even as an adult, so keep reading for ideas on jumping rope and the benefits of doing so.
Buying Your Jump Rope
It is important that you don’t settle for a cheap jump rope. Although it is a simple piece of equipment, everything from the handles to the rope/cable can make or break your progression and skill with jumping rope.
It is helpful to get a jump rope with handles that have weights inside them. Usually they are thick metal cylinders that were simply slid into the handles. This is important to me because the tiny bit of extra weight helps build your strength and endurance through the repeated motions you will do while jumping rope.
Other than my recommendation to have weighted handles, I don’t particularly have certain preferences otherwise. Having special gripping for your fingers is a nice bonus if you can find a pair with them. I currently use a jump rope with foam handles, though it’s just kind of the way it is now, and it wasn’t an intentional purchase based on that. Plastic, wood, etc. should be fine for your handles.
This makes a huge difference although you may not realize it. Pay attention to how the cable is connected to the handles. You should try and make sure that it is attached with metal ball bearings. These ball bearings will allow the rope to swing fluidly and rotate in a full 360-degree motion, without getting caught or slowing down while you’re jumping. Metal is better because it will last longer in spite of the constant motions the rope is undergoing.
There is a lot of room for error with this part! Don’t settle for a cheap piece of plastic. I recommend the cable to be made of metal or steel, which means it is a weighted jump rope. This metal or steel wiring is then typically coated in rubber, nylon or plastic. It’s the inside that counts!
You Don’t Have to Spend A Lot
Despite my overexplaining, the truth is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a good jump rope. You can buy a jump rope like this one, which should be just fine. It’s not rocket science. Now let’s get to the jumping rope benefits themselves.
Jumping Rope Benefits
Muscle and Bone Strength
The repeated jumping motions are especially great for your lower body, but even your upper body benefits as well. If you jump rope enough (in addition to regular leg workouts), your leg muscles can eventually grow in lean muscle mass and become stronger. Regarding bone strength, aging will deteriorate your bone mass over time, but jumping rope benefits your bone density and thus can be a great way to maintain your bone strength.
Jumping rope is an exhausting exercise that increases your heart rate like crazy. Getting your blood flowing with jumping rope means an increase in blood circulation and a stronger cardiovascular system overall – in turn, there is less risk of a stroke, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
Have you seen how boxers and other martial artists jump rope? That’s because they need to have lightning-fast reaction times in the ring. You’ve probably noticed how fast they are while jumping rope. You can get like that, too, if you make jumping rope a staple in your workouts.
In my opinion, improved coordination this is one of the most unique and powerful jumping rope benefits. While you’re jumping rope, you are always focusing on your entire body. Swinging the rope with your hands, lifting your body up with your feet, all the while doing this motion in order to avoid contact with the rope against your feet. Again – practice makes perfect, and the more you jump rope, the less the rope will hit your feet. Better coordination through jumping rope translates to better coordination in your other workouts – and this increases your overall benefits from working out while also preventing injury.
In case you weren’t aware, it’s kind of tough to properly jump rope with poor posture. Jumping rope forces you to pull your shoulders back, face forward, and straighten out your entire back. The more you jump rope, the more accustomed your body becomes to better posture.
Burns Fat and Calories
This is pretty obvious, but just in case. You will burn calories like crazy during your jump rope sessions, and in turn your fat loss will increase as well. It’s an intense cardio workout, after all.
Additional Jumping Rope Benefits
Hmm, let’s see. In addition to being great for your physical and mental health, jump ropes are so great because:
- Jump Ropes are CHEAP
- Jump Ropes are PORTABLE
- Jump Ropes are FUN
Jumping Rope Benefits – Conclusion
This is not the only post I will make on how much jumping rope benefits your health, but I wanted to post it because it’s important to at least know and plant the seed. Again, I may not be big on cardio, but jumping rope is my one staple in that regard without a doubt. And as usual, remember to stretch!
Do you like to jump rope? How has jumping rope helped you on your fitness journey? Let me know in the comments below. And for other great ways to improve your lower body strength through calisthenics, click here!