7 reasons to skip for fitness

Whether you’re trying to get better at a particular sport, or improving your overall fitness, cardio training is a must. But before you strap on those jogging shoes and head out for a run, here’s a more convenient and efficient suggestion instead – skipping.

That’s right. If you want a more effective cardio workout, it might be time to dust off the old jump rope and incorporate some old-school skipping into your workout regimen.

Why? Here are 7 reasons:

1. Skipping burns more calories than running

Skipping is a full body workout that engages not just your legs for jumping, but also your shoulders and arms to control the rope, as well as your abs to stabilise the body. So it’s no wonder studies have found that the effects of skipping rope for 10 minutes is equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes

2. Increases cardiovascular capacity

You can easily improve both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity simply by varying your skipping speed. And incorporating this regularly into your workout will improve your heart and lung health over time

3. Gentler on joints

If you do it the right way – i.e. using only the balls on your feet – skipping has less impact on your knees and other joints compared to running.

4. Strengthens feet and ankles

The skipping movement also strengthens muscles around the ankle and foot, which will help prevent injuries as well as improve your ability to play other sports such as Muay Thai, Tennis or Basketball.

5. Improves coordination

There are many ways to jump rope, and each new technique or trick you learn will teach you how to focus on your feet while moving your hands at the same time.

6. Helps build better posture

The nature of the exercise requires you to keep your shoulder blades pulled back, and your core activated in order to stay upright. This helps you build better posture (and translates into better confidence!) in the long run.

7. Convenient and efficient

Whether you’re looking for a light steady-state or an intense interval workout, skipping rope can be your answer. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day, or overseas on a business trip. All you need is a cheap jump rope and a small area around you, and you’re good to go.

To build a skipping routine, try starting with 5 to 10 sets of 1 min skipping, followed by 1 min rest. Chances are you’ll find yourself out of breath real quick!

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