Most folks think jumping rope is either for kids or professional boxers, but it is one exercise that is highly underestimated as it burns off more calories per minute than running or swimming and the mid-impact nature of it has been shown to help with bone strength and osteoporosis.
As well as being great for weight loss it is excellent for balance and co-ordination. Plus you can take your jump rope anywhere you want. It’s highly portable and you don’t have to worry about having to head to the gym to work out. All you need is a little bit of space and you can start jumping, oblivious to the conditions outside.
Jumping rope isn’t as easy as it might look, either – you can’t just grab any rope and start jumping. In order to get the best results you need to pay key attention to the techniques involved. Also, choosing the right kind of jump rope is highly important.
Jumping rope is a magnificent exercise for both the upper and lower body. It can help in calorie burning and weight loss but it all comes down to how you are training yourself. One thing is for certain: it’s not just for bodybuilders who are only looking to spice things up, nor is it just for kids playing around. Anyone can try it and benefit a huge deal with this simple exercise.
Here are few tips on how to get started on jumping rope for weight loss.
Buy a Jump Rope
It sounds incredibly silly to suggest purchasing a jump rope when you’re looking for ways to lose weight by jumping rope, but you would be surprised at how many people just gather info and forget about the whole thing. So, if you have a jump rope, great, but if you don’t, you need to go out and get one right now. They’re available for as low as £10, so buy one you are comfortable with. You should also take into account the length of the rope as your body structure will play a part when choosing the right length for your jump rope..
Set The Right Type Of Goal
Setting a goal is extremely important, but make sure the goal is one you control. If your goal is to lose weight and you set your goal as “I want to lose 10 pounds in ten weeks”, this is an outcome goal and although you can do the things to help you lose weight, you cannot control exactly how much. For this reason you should not look to set goals based around an outcome but around the things you need to do to achieve your goals.
By setting these outcome goals you need to set goals you control that will help you attain your longer term goal. In the case of losing weight by skipping, your goal could be to skip for ten minutes every day. If you stick to these goals you will inevitably achieve your long term goal.
This will help you build good habits but you can also add in a carrot to make this work even better. For instance, let’s say you set up a goal to jump rope every day of the week for at least 10 minutes for ten weeks. When you have reached this goal you can treat yourself to a small gift. Do not make this something that will set you back like a tub of ice cream, try to align these rewards with your long term goals. For example buying yourself a shiny new speed rope or a session with a personal trainer. As you make new goals, reward yourself in a similar manner.
This progressive strategy will help you to stay motivated and you will be able to improve your jump rope skills. Attaining short-term goals will gradually lead you to achieving long-term goals. Just make sure you don’t divert away from your goal. Set an alarm to remind you about your jumping routine if need be, but most importantly just keep practicing.
Jump Rope Every Day
Although it seems pretty obvious, the only way you are going to achieve your goal is by jumping every day. It’s great that you have made a goal, but now you need to stick with it. You need to maintain discipline and jump rope each day. Do it whenever you like, morning, afternoon or evening, the point is that you need to do it.
Creating a routine is the best way as you will get used to skipping. You can set a time to do it but I find it easier to have it occur at a set point in my daily routine. For example I get up, make the bed (OK, fluff the duvet!) and then work out before I hit the shower and clean my teeth. I leave everything out so I have no excuse, I don’t think about it I just crack on with it once you have made the bed.
Don’t worry if something does come up at that particular time though, you can jump rope at any time of the day to catch up.
OK, But Does It Work?
Of course it works, do you think I would spend all this time writing this article if it didn’t? 😉
However I know there are a few doubting folk out there, so here is an example of skipping to lose weight and body fat.
Ten minutes a day with those results is pretty good, especially as he was not in bad shape to begin with!
So What Should You Do In Those Ten Minutes?
You may have heard the term High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) but what this means is doing short bursts of intense work, interspersed with short breaks. There is plenty of research to show how effective this is and skipping fits into this model perfectly.
The skipping protocol I use is 2 minutes of skipping, followed by 30 seconds of rest (do not sit down though, make sure you move around and shake out your limbs) which I repeat 5 times, which gives ten minutes of skipping time in a little over 12 minutes.
I use the 30 second rest to note down things like the number of revolutions I managed and any other notes, which brings me very nicely to the next section.
Keep Track of Your Progress
I am going to head off on a bit of a tangent for a moment, but stick with it, it does make sense in the end, I promise!
The comedian Jerry Seinfeld was once asked what his best tip was to becoming a better comedian. He said practice, which is true, but he then went on to explain more. He said that the best way to get better was to make sure you practice. In his world the way to practice is to write more jokes and material, so his goal is to write something every day.
So what Seinfeld does is to put a big wall chart up and each day he writes something he puts a big red dot in that day. After a few days there is a nice chain of red dots. The longer it goes on, the longer the chain and the harder it becomes to break the chain.
This approach has been shown as a great way to build habits – these visual cues help you reinforce your habit and this is one of the most important ways to make sure you are progressing. I don’t use a wall chart, but there are a ton of apps that do something similar, I use Habit Bull, which does the trick with a nice visual of a chain of dots when you keep your habit going.
To keep things interesting and stop them getting stale you can also create a few games to play against yourself or a training partner. As I mentioned above I keep a record of the number of revolutions I can do in each two minute burst. I then know how many I managed in the 3rd set yesterday and try to beat it…and I try to beat the overall number too! I do this against myself, but if you have a training partner, trying to beat them can be even better motivation.
I also note down my feelings, injuries and anything else I feel is relevant before and after a workout. Although it seems kind of nerdy, professional bodybuilders have been known to try this practice and achieve outstanding results. Do not forget to track your current weight which you should measure about once a week.
Every few weeks I look back and the progress can be amazing, especially in those first few weeks and this all adds to the positive reinforcement of your skipping habit.
Jumping Rope and Diet
Simply jumping rope won’t help you lose weight. Losing weight is about expending more energy than you consume, and if you keep on chugging down those calories, all the jump rope revolutions you do will be useless.
For this reason as well as keeping tabs on your exercise, I would also make it a habit to log what you eat daily. This will give you a really good idea of what you are consuming. Do note that it is not be healthy to suddenly cut down on calories in extreme measures, especially as you will be increasing the amount of exercise you are doing with your rope jumping.
Unless you are in a weight loss plan that is being professionally supervised, firstly just cut out the stuff you know you should not be eating – the muffin with your coffee (and the whipped cream on your coffee!) or those cookies – or replace these with fruit or nuts.
Your goal should be to come down to a healthy amount of calories that your body needs, and that way you can burn all the extra fat by jumping rope. Also, don’t forget that keeping hydrated is the key to any diet plan.
Keep It Varied
Last on the agenda is trying variations. While jumping rope is fun and easy, you can always add some versatility to enjoy yourself even more. I put aside a day or two a week to work on new tricks such as double unders or skipping on alternate feet to work different muscles and improve balance and stability.
Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to only jumping rope. Since jumping rope is great cardio, you can try weight lifting on alternate days to allow your body to recover – a process called “recomposition” where you lose fat and gaining lean muscle simultaneously. However, it’s best to consult someone who knows what they’re doing before you try anything new.