Swing the rope and pass it under your feet - How complicated can jump rope be?
First timers to CrossFit would be surprised to see this 'child's play' in their workouts. It might look easy - hundred skip ropes scrawled on the board for the WOD, how bad can it be? One would wonder why this simple jumping movement is a staple workout in a multi disciplinary workout like of CrossFit. But all your prejudices will start to melt as you start whipping the rope.
The good old Jumping rope actually has unparalleled benefits to our bones and muscles, balance and coordination, that new types of exercise could not even match.
Whole body synchronization. “Boxers do it because the precise timing it requires in the movements of the feet and hands. It helps in integrating upper and lower body functions, for greater ease and energy efficiency.' says Tim Church, professor at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Center.
Controlled heart rate- Intensity could be controlled as high as you want it to be. While slow paced rope jumping is a good warm up, rapid jumping or double unders will leave you panting in a minute or two.
Sculpting of upper body.“It seems like all the rope spinning is coming from the wrists and hands, but there’s actually an amazing amount of work required from your upper arms and shoulders and back control to stabilize the rope” says Michelle Olson, professor of Sports Science at Huntingdon College
Increased bone mineral. a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that young women who jumped as high as they could just 10 times, three times a week for six months, increased bone mineral density in their legs and the lower half of their spines.
Less risk of injury compared to running. “Impact in skip ropes goes through the ball of the foot instead of the heel; in contrast to running which causes microfractures in the heel bone”, Olson says.
Jumping ropes may look easy, but it is no child's play. Start dusting off your childhood jumping rope skill and make your way to efficient single unders. Soon enough one has to face the dreaded 'double unders', where the rope needs to pass under your feet twice before landing. Scale it up further and you'd be swinging triple unders in no time!
Words by: Jek Llanos
Skip your excuses of not trying CrossFit. Get to know more about jumping ropes by starting with a free class!