Sometimes, it can be hard to get excited about your cardio routine. Indoor bikes and treadmills are valuable tools but if you are hitting the gym several times a week, they can get mighty boring, mighty fast. When you just can't face another treadmill run or cycling class, you have other options! No need to sign up for a fancy class or enlist a trainer, just grab a jump rope and get going! Jumping rope is a go-to cardio workout for Victoria's Secret models and with good reason. Mark Jenkins, celebrity trainer who has worked with Beyoncé and Missy Elliott, uses the jump rope as a staple in his workout programs. Here are 5 reasons he recommends you do the same!
It works for all fitness levelsWhether you are a regular gym goer or a regular couch potato, jumping rope is always challenging. If you are new to this kind of workout, Jenkins suggests you start with 5 minutes of jumping rope, adding 2 minutes every new session. "Or you can just keep your allotted time frame and see if you can pick up the number of jumps you can do within that time frame. There are a lot of ways to make it exciting," Jenkins says.
It keeps your heart rate upA really great use for jumping rope is as a form of active rest between your strength training sessions. "I use it with my clients to keep their heart rate elevated between sets so they continue to burn fat and build muscle at the same time," he says. Jenkins usually has his clients perform 100 skips at a time, as fast as possible. [bctt tweet="Bored With Your Cardio Routine? Here's 5 Reasons You Should Be Jumping Rope Instead!"]
It's the quickest, most effective form of cardio"Just doing five minutes, depending on how fast you jump, can be equivalent to running a half mile to a mile," Jenkins claims. And what's more, it can be better for your joints than pounding the pavement.
It makes you focus to get more out of your workout"What I like about jumping rope is that, because it's a rope, you have to think about what you're doing," Jenkins says. "It doesn't become mindless, like riding a bike does or doing the treadmill. You actually have to think about your timing, development, and your reflexes at the same time as working your heart rate."
It's extremely versatileA jump rope is not only a portable piece of equipment that you can take with you anywhere, it can also help you add some variety to your routine. If you want to target your thighs, Jenkins recommends doing lunge jumps or squat jumps. If you want to focus on your abs, kick your knees above your belly button when jumping. Try doing double unders (rotating the rope under your body twice in one jump) to work your arms and calves. Jumping rope can also help you spot weaknesses in your body. When you do single-legged exercises, you will notice right away if one side is weaker than the other and you can adjust your training around that.
Try this:Here is a quick (7 to 9 minute) workout Jenkins recommends as a great place to start.
- Start with 60 seconds of regular skipping.
- Alternate between 30 second "bursts," kicking the knees above the belly button, and standard jumping for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Cool down with 60 seconds of skipping.