I’ve jump roped nearly every day for the last fifteen years. And today, I hope to inspire you to start adding jump roping into your routine too.
My passion for jump roping was ignited by jump rope olympian Buddy Lee. I watched a YouTube video of him doing a jump rope routine that looked superhuman. The rope disappeared in a flurry of speed around his body, while he maintained a grace and poise in the centerpoint. To this day, if I need a little inspiration, I will watch a Buddy Lee jump roping video.
I bought my first jump rope after watching him, and decided to give everything I had to becoming proficient at this skill. Over the past fifteen years I’ve been jump roping, I can say without a doubt that learning to jump rope has been one of the best choices I’ve made for my fitness.
What Jump Roping Has Given Me
An average resting heart rate of 48.
That’s considered an excellent, athletic resting heart rate. This is usually accomplished with tons of long distance running, but my daily routine of 5-15 minutes of jump roping has helped me maintain this low resting heart rate.
After training, weight lifting, and exercising for over twenty years, I’ve only sustained one injury. That one injury is tendonitis in my ankle from a stint of long distance running I did last summer. Jump roping is low impact and has a very low risk of injury. In fact, jump roping can help prevent injuries by strengthening the feet, ankles, hips, and core. It can also help prevent injuries by improving coordination and balance.
Vitality is the level of energy and robustness we have throughout our days and lives. Throughout my adult life, I’ve maintained a pretty high level of vitality. Even during my worst times of depression and autoimmunity, jump roping increased my vitality to a level that carried me through. I enjoy a very high baseline level of vitality, even as I age chronilogically.
I actually enjoy my workouts. I truly look forward to exercising most days. That’s because I look forward to moving my body in ways that I enjoy. Jump roping brings so much joy and freedom to my workouts. It feels so good to soar through the air and jump rope, or to perfect a trick I’ve been working on for a long time. It feels so good to jump rope to my favorite music, to a rythm, and work up a sweat.
I can take a jump rope with my anywhere I go. When I travel, I bring my rope. There’s not always a good gym when traveling, but there’s always a jump rope in my bag, and that’s enough to give me a great workout.
Lymphatic drainage – Jump roping involves a series of little jumps, over and over again. This is fantastic for the lymph system. In fact, the only way to clear the lymph system is with movement! And the most powerful forms of movement for clearing the lymph system is dynamic movement like jump roping.
Enhanced mood – Jump roping has been shown to elevate mood. This is likely due to an increase in brain derived nootropic factor, combined with the lympatic drainage, enhanced cardiovascular function, and increased endurance. It could also be the childlike nature of jump roping, and the fact that it taps into our inner-child’s desire to play!
Conditioning the leg muscles – Jump roping offers a similar stimuli to the legs as dancing does. Because it requires constant little jumps, and a series of thousands of little contractions, the legs get a fantastic amount of conditioning. In short, jump roping is great for the muscles of the legs and feet.
How to Start Jump Roping
Jump rope length – Adjust your jump rope so that the handles reach your armpits when you step on the middle of the rope with both feet.
100 Basic Rotations – Start with mastering 100 basic jump rope rotations.
Elbows hugged in – Keep your elbows gently hugged into the body
Wrists not arms – Focus on twisting the rope with your wrist, and avoid swinging the rope around with your arms and shoulders. Your arms and shoulders will only move slightly. The main mover of the jump rope is the wrist!
Posture – Get your shoulders back. We tend to fold forward when we’re trying to learn something new and “figure this out”. A common mistake in jump rope is hunching forward, leading with the head, and trying to “think through” the movement. Focus on keeping your shoulders rolled back and your head looking straight forward.
A little every day – Practice for just a minute or two each day to build the jump rope habit. A great time for this is before you start your workout. Just set a timer for a few minutes, and let yourself play around and enjoy the learning process of jump roping
Have multiple – It’s a good idea to keep a few jump ropes handy. I keep one in the trunk of my car, one in my gym bag, and one hanging in my coat closet. This ensures that if I’m in the mood, no matter where I am, I can bust out a few minutes of jump roping.
Just get started. The most important aspect of making positive changes in our routine is to just get started. So get yourself a jump rope that calls to you, and just start jumping!