Skip Your Workout: The Top 5 Benefits of Jumping Rope
When folks think of working out, they definitely don't go straight to jumping rope. They think of weights, biking, and even yoga before they get to skipping. But overlooking this simple childhood joy may be a huge mistake. Jumping rope can be very beneficial to your health. Here's why.
- Better mind and body coordination.
Keeping track of your hands, the rope, and your feet all at once will build coordination and balance, even if it builds your list of self-inflicted injuries first. When you get into a rhythm, you can easily switch between feet and create an even more challenging routine by "double jumping," or swinging the rope under your feet twice before landing. The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine notes that pre-adolescent soccer players had better proficiency with coordination and balance if they added 10 minutes of skipping rope to their warm up routine.
- A killer calorie burn.
Jumping rope activates the muscles in both your upper and lower body. This means you get a more complete workout while burning about 10 calories a minute. While your chest and shoulders work to keep the rope steady, you're building muscle. While your legs bounce and balance, your ankles, calves, and thighs strengthen. Your core is engaged the whole time, keeping you steady and tall. Try to get that kind of totality out of a run!
- Simple equipment.
A rope travels anywhere: Your living room, backyard, the gym, the office — you name it. It's very small and lightweight, meaning you can even take it on vacation. If you're going to haul your rope around, opt for a beaded rope, which is the most-recommended type of jump rope and is more likely to hold its shape. The only other recommended equipment you should opt for is a decent pair of workout shoes.
- Easy on the joints.
You wouldn't think it, but jumping rope is easier on the joints than running. It's true! Skipping rope only requires tiny bounces from the feet and ankle instead of clomping leaps with the whole leg. Running is prolonged impact over a fairly decent chunk of time, while ten minutes of skipping can give the same exercise impact of a twelve-minute mile, according to Science Daily. Less impact over less time means that your workout is less punishing to your joints.
- Better bone density.
Loss of bone density is a real concern for anyone over the age of 35, especially women. As noted by the medical journal PLOS ONE, adding skipping or plyometric exercise to an exercise routine will increase your peak bone mass density (BMD). Studies have shown that hopping in place 10-20 times a day can increase BMD significantly in just four months.
With one inexpensive tool, you can increase your heart strength, bone density, and coordination. You'll also enjoy other benefits of moderate-to-intense exercise, like healthier skin through increased blood flow and less cortisol causing you stress. Jump rope just a few times a week, and it won't take long to see why this is the one exercise you don't want to skip.