Inject some fun (and some sweat) into your workout with these cardio moves using just a skipping rope.
Being at home is making children of us all. Hands up, who’s been eating dippy eggs and soldiers and listening to throwback albums everyday?
Going back to our youth might be the answer to keeping at home workouts entertaining, too. Skipping not only “mentally takes you back to the school days, but is also a total body conditioning workout that trains strength and flexibility,” explains Obie Pearl Campbell from alternative fitness brand Play Tone. “You can be so experimental with just a single wave.”
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But don’t fret if the days of sing-songs and jump rope in the school playground are long behind you. Equally, don’t dismiss skipping if you think you’re too advanced. Obie shares her best skipping moves that everyone can do for a proper sweat session.
Skipping workout tips for beginners
Bodyweight or kettlebell workouts are easily transportable from the lounge to the garden to the park. But skipping requires more thought, and not just because you need to be careful not to knock the lampshade off. If you are new to skipping, landing on a hard surface like concrete might put too much impact through your joints. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, just follow Obie’s recommendation of putting down a yoga mat beneath your feet to cushion the blow.
Then, learn the proper technique. “You don’t want to be an elephant when you jump, you want to be like a mouse,” Obie explains. “Practise doing really soft bounces, taking off from the balls of your feet to help you balance.”
As with all workouts, posture is key. “You need soft knees and a straight back, almost as though you’re in a high chair. And breath! Listen to the breath go through your body.”
The best skipping workout
“My first piece of advice is don’t set your expectations too high,” warns Obie. “Some people might be able to jump for a solid 20 minutes. For some, they just need to start with five minutes and then build up, like with any exercise.”
This is a simple skipping movement, and is the best place to start to get comfortable with the exercise. It just involves bouncing over the rope as you bring it under your feet.
This move is a level up on the single bounce. Add in an extra jump as the rope comes over your head, so that you are bouncing twice in one full spin of the rope.
Side to side
“Think about the move that boxers do, twisting the rope side to side and making figure-eight shapes,” Obie says. This is good to train up your speed and works on the mobility and strength in the wrists.
Skipping rope strength training exercises
“It’s so important to add in some strength and endurance training to skipping,” says Obie. That’s because you need strong leg, core and forearm muscles to move properly through the movement.
One of Obie’s favourite ways to implement that is doing a plank to jump. Do a set of single or double bounces, then drop the rope. Bounce down to a frog squat position, jump the feet back to a plank. Either hold the plank or, if you feel brave, add in mountain climbers. Then jump back to a frog position and up into a skipping set.
Play Tone are offering online classes on Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm. Find out more here.
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Images: Getty / Play Tone
Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).