10 Benefits of Jumping Rope Exercise
If you are looking for new and fun exercise ideas, then you might want to add jumping rope in your workout. A jumping rope is a good investment, as you can easily use it to fit your own fitness. It is also one of the most effective cardiorespiratory exercises. Even world-class athletes, from basketball players to boxers, add it to their routine.
With the use of a jumping rope, you can tighten your core, tone calves, build your stamina, and improve your lung capacity. It is a full-body workout and burns calories within a short time. If you are still not convinced, this article will discuss in detail the 10 benefits of jumping rope:
- 1 1. Great for Weight Loss
- 2 2. Improves Body Coordination
- 3 3. Helps with Injuries on Foot and Ankle
- 4 4. Lessens Injuries
- 5 5. Corrects Posture and Body Alignment
- 6 6. Increase Bone Density
- 7 7. Makes You Happy
- 8 8. Improves heart health
- 9 9. Builds Body Muscles
- 10 10. Improves Breathing Efficiency and Stamina
- 11 Using Jumping Ropes
1. Great for Weight Loss
Each body is different, thus fitness is complicated. What works for one might not work for the other. However, the basic principles of weight loss are the same. If you take more calories than your body burns, you put on weight. On the other hand, if you consume fewer calories than your body burns, you lose weight. So, how does a jump rope help?
If you intentionally move your body to burn calories, you can lose extra calories that you’ve stored in your body. It is so effective that you can burn up to 500 calories in just 15 minutes.
The human body can burn 5 calories every time it consumes 1 liter of oxygen. The more muscles you involve in your exercises, the more your body demands oxygen. This, in turn, allows you to expend more energy and burn more calories. If you have tried swinging a jumping rope before, you know how fast it’s able to elevate the heart rate.
The number of calories that you lose with the use of a jumping rope has to depend on how much weight you have when you start. If you weigh more, it will take you more energy to jump and work against gravity and move your body. In other words, the heavier you are, the more calories you can burn when working out.
2. Improves Body Coordination
You may or may not know this already, but your brain is completely aware of everything your body does. So, when your feet move, it takes note of it. For this simple reason, jumping rope is great for body coordination.
When you use a jumping rope, you move your feet up and down in a quick tapping motion. While it might look simple, this act of rotating the rope around the body repeatedly requires your whole body to be in sync for a period of time. It will take some time to find your body’s rhythm and jump rope faster. Once you do, you might be able to unlock hidden physical potential.
This exercise is great for sports that require constant and fast direction changes like soccer, boxing, and basketball. In research published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, it has been found out that adding jumping rope during practice in a regular soccer training greatly enhanced the players’ balance and general motor coordination. The inclusion of jumping rope in the soccer training session encouraged improvement in their motor skills.
3. Helps with Injuries on Foot and Ankle
In sports and workout, injuries can sometimes be unavoidable. According to the NBA 2019 postseason, about 25% of injuries athletes got involved in the foot or ankle. Usually, these are the result of imbalance, overuse of muscles, or poor technique.
Jumping rope is often used as a tool for rehabilitation for foot injury because it involves a combination of several movements that improve flexibility, conditioning, and strength. It is called a progressive method to get the foot and ankle back in shape while minimizing impact.
What usually happens during rehabilitation is that you start with low-impact activity such as swimming, stationary bike, or jogging. Later on, you can start with a jumping rope. The exercise will support tendons and ligaments that will stabilize your foot and ankle structure. A low-density bounce step of about 100-120RPM is the best technique for rehabilitation. Even if you do this thrice a week, you can see progress in no time.
4. Lessens Injuries
You can also use the jumping rope to avoid getting foot and ankle injuries in the first place. As the exercise strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments around them, you will be less prone to injury.
Of course, at the beginning of your exercise, you might notice that your feet hurt. This is natural as you suddenly start working the muscles that you didn’t pay enough attention to before. You need to consistently do jumping rope for several months to reap the benefits. Once you’ve strengthened your muscles, especially those that surround the foot and ankle joint, the chance of you getting an injury there decreases.
5. Corrects Posture and Body Alignment
Proper standing and sitting alignments help improve blood flow, support muscles, tendons, and ligaments and keep the blood vessels and nerves healthy. People with good posture also experience less pain in the back and neck. The problem is that in the society where we live now, most people spend their time hunched over their mobile phones or computers. This lifestyle is greatly affecting people’s posture.
If you have a slouching posture and want to correct your caving shoulders and hunched back, then you can start with a jumping rope.
When you are using the jumping rope, you have to pull your shoulder blades backward. This aligns your spine and makes you stand upright. The more you do the jumping rope exercise, the more you get used to this alignment. In time, you don’t even need a jumping rope to keep your posture in place.
6. Increase Bone Density
Research done at the University of Missouri has found that certain jumping exercises can improve bone density among healthy and active middle-aged men. However, this exercise must be done for at least six weeks. One example of good exercise is jumping rope. As a result of bone growth, it prevents osteoporosis.
Similar research was also done to pubertal girls in Hong Kong. According to this study, the cardiovascular fitness and bone health of the girls who skipped rope aided their physical growth. In particular, the exercise contributed to the bone health in their lower limbs.
Improved bone density in the old and young marks a healthy body. You can think of the body as a building. Your ankles and feet are the foundation, but your bones are the main infrastructure, columns, and beams. You need them strong in order to keep your body from collapsing.
7. Makes You Happy
Jumping rope started as a fun children’s game, but now, it’s reached its way to exercising grown-ups. If you’ve done jumping rope when you were younger, you might vaguely remember how fun it was. When you start doing it again as part of your workout routine, you’ll see that it is still fun.
Unlike other boring exercises, jumping rope allows you to learn several tricks. You can do it anywhere, anytime, and for a duration that perfectly fits your schedule.
While it's true that jumping rope is more of a physical thing, it can also have a great impact on your emotional and mental wellbeing. How can a mere jump rope make you feel good?
When people get stressed and experience anxiety, they can go to the hospital and ask a doctor for some pills. However, this is a temporary way to deal with emotional and mental problems. There are a lot of healthier alternatives that you can do. One of these is the jumping rope.
When you are using the jump rope, you must clear your mind and stay in the present. You can use the short time you're doing the exercise to escape your stressful day. Because the jumping rope only involves repeated jumping actions, it is easy to get into a meditative mindset. You can do the exercise without feeling overwhelmed.
8. Improves heart health
Cardio workouts like the jumping rope are popular because they are straightforward and easy to follow. They also have a positive impact on a person's heart.
According to Tami Benhan-Deal, UW's Kinesiology and Health Division associate professor, jumping rope is great for building muscular and cardiovascular endurance. In fact, he is one of the people behind the "Jump Rope for Heart" program. This program encourages school children to start jumping rope. It's also highly recommended for adults.
How is jumping rope good for the heart?
The exercise does two of the four most fundamental elements of heart fitness-- muscular endurance and cardiovascular performance. It uses whole-body movements, allowing you to be vigorous. It also increases heart rate two or three times faster than any other form of exercise. Because of this, the jumping rope can give cardiovascular benefits better and in a shorter time. To top it off, it creates a routine for strength and flexibility. Jumping rope, by itself, can almost become a complete workout.
9. Builds Body Muscles
Exercising with the jumping rope is great in improving your muscle tones. While it especially makes use of the muscles in your lower body and legs, it can also be considered a full-body workout.
When you start jumping rope, you begin by relying on your lower body to create power and lift the rest of your body off the ground. This move makes use of powerful muscles in your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. You also rely on your calves as you hop to make the rope go under your feet. This, according to the American Council of Exercise, strengthens the calf muscles. It even improves the elasticity of fascia and tendons that surround them.
Aside from the lower body muscles, jumping rope will also require power from your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and forearms. You use them when you rotate the jumping rope around the body. Lastly, it makes you feel a burn around your abdominal muscles. This means that jumping rope is working with your core muscles, keeping the posture upright, and supporting the lower back.
During the first days of jumping rope, you might experience severe soreness on your legs and other parts of the body. Don't worry much about it. This is only because you are working muscles that you used to not put into work. There will be microtears in these muscles that will eventually heal by themselves. This damage and repair will make your muscles larger, stronger, and more toned.
10. Improves Breathing Efficiency and Stamina
A jumping rope is not just conditioning equipment. They are quite versatile as you can use lightweight jump ropes to train your speed and heavyweight jump ropes to train your strength and stamina. If you add jumping rope exercises in your routine, you'll notice the increase in a cardiorespiratory component in your workout. Your muscles' recovery time will improve while you get quality cardio conditioning. Cardiovascular endurance improves stamina.
In addition, jumping rope can enhance your breath efficiency. This is essential for athletes that need to build stamina like swimmers and runners. By increasing stamina and breath efficiency, your body can take oxygen and efficiently manage it. In other words, it allows you to expend less energy so that you can work out longer.
Using Jumping Ropes
There are several benefits to jumping rope. If you have already decided to use it, you might want to remember to buy a specialty jump rope from a quality sports store. As what's been said before, people have different bodies. Thus, the equipment they use should fit their bodies. What jumping rope you buy should also depend on the kind of training that you want to focus on.
Do you want to build strength and improve muscle tone more? Then, pick a heavy jump rope. Do you want to increase speed and flexibility? Then, a lighter jump rope might fit you more.
If it's been a while since you've used a jumping rope, here are the basics that you should remember:
1. Stand tall and straight. Make sure that your feet are shoulder-width far from each other. Start with the rope behind your feet.
2. Swing the jumping rope forward using hands in one quick movement. When you swing the rope, move your wrists upward, so it will come between your knee and ankle. Practice the movement several times until you get the right swing that allows you to jump over the rope.
3. Find your rhythm. Time your swings so that you can lift your knees to hop over the jumping rope at the perfect moment. It will be difficult to find your rhythm at first, but with practice, you will be able to.
It takes a bit of balance and coordination in order to do a complete jump rope exercise. But ultimately, it is something that anyone can do.