Skip your way to fitness

Edward Jackowski

Skipping is by far the most effective and efficient aerobic exercise, one that I recommend everybody incorporate into the aerobic portion of his or her workload. That means you’ll need to warm up and stretch before you begin to jump.

Before I get into the how-to, let me begin with a few words of encouragement. I often see looks of dismay from clients when I first introduce this activity into their fitness prescription, and I understand why. Many who come to me for guidance (and perhaps you, too) harbour misconceptions about the difficulty or the strain that skipping puts on your body. Let me lay some of those worries to rest.

Fact or Fiction?

Fiction: Skipping is high impact.
Fact: Not so. Actually it is lower impact than jogging or running.

Fiction: Skipping is bad for your knees.
Fact: Actually, when done properly, it can strengthen the tissues that surround and support the knees and ankles.

Fiction: Skipping is bad for your back.
Fact: Skipping can help strengthen your back. But don’t dive into a skipping routine if you are suffering from any pain or discomfort to your back or any other part of your body. Consult your health care professional first.

Fiction: Skipping is too hard to learn and difficult to do and requires a lot of coordination.
Fact: Skipping is easy to learn; no matter how uncoordinated you think you are. What’s hard is building up endurance, something that requires commitment and mental toughness as much as physical ability. The key is patience and building your stamina slowly.

Fiction: Skipping is for kids.
Fact: We may have started skipping in the schoolyard, but you can skip at any age. Athletes use skipping ropes to stay fit and improve their sports performance, coordination, stamina and agility.

Fiction: You need to be in great shape before you can start skipping.
Fact: Actually, you can begin skipping no matter what your fitness level. You might start off with just 10, 20 or even 30 jumps, but you will progress quickly as your fitness level improves.

Skipping is the only exercise that streamlines your entire body. That’s right! It’s perfect for anyone trying to shed excess weight. I’ve seen thousands of clients over the past 20 years incorporate skipping into their workouts with amazing results.

Remember that no one picks up a rope and jumps for 5 minutes straight right off the bat. It will take time to build your endurance, but you can do it. I’ve seen it myself with clients who could barely complete 10 revolutions to begin with; today they can keep it up for 30 minutes at a stretch!

What’s so great about skipping?

Skipping will burn a substantial amount of calories in a relatively short period of time – more than 23 calories per minute! Compare that to stationary biking at 10 MPH, which burns only 6 calories per minute, or brisk walking (4 MPH), which burns only 7 calories per minute. If your fitness goals include losing weight, be sure to include skipping in your exercise routine.

Skipping burns fat throughout your entire body and works both your upper and lower body simultaneously. The result is that you’ll have better muscle tone and definition all over. In addition, it has a positive effect on your performance in whatever sports or activities you enjoy. It's a great energy booster too!

Specifically you’ll be able to move faster and with better coordination, balance and agility. Need I say more? Okay, skipping frees you from expensive equipment, gyms and trainers. And it’s totally portable so you can work out just about anywhere.

Whether you skip alone or in class, it’s always challenging. You’ll never become bored or outgrow it. It’s fun and, best of all; incredibly motivating because you’ll see a noticeable improvement in the way you look and feel right from the start.

I never feel more energised, accomplished or fit than when I finish a skipping routine. Once you start, you won’t want to stop, either!

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