Hula Hoop and Jump-Rope Your Way Thin
Jump Rope Workout
Benefits: "It develops endurance, quickness, or both, depending on how you train. Improves coordination, timing, rhythm, agility, and upper- and lower-body muscle tone. It's inexpensive and has literally hundreds to thousands of skills for variety," says Ken Solis, MD, aka Dr. Jump, and author of Ropics: The Next Jump Forward in Fitness (Human Kinetics, 1991). Jumping rope has a good cardio emphasis, some low-intensity power, balance, coordination, and agility, and could offer some benefits to flexibility if the arm and leg positions vary, says Comana. "It will also produce an aerobic training effect if continued for 15 minutes or more," adds Phillips.How You Play
"For a beginner, the best jump-rope will be made of a fiber rope that is able to turn at the handles so it doesn't get twisted so easily. Ropes made of woven fiber cords don't sting so much when you miss, and you can progress to faster leather, plastic-beaded, or plastic-cord ropes when you have experience and want to jump faster. Also, be sure the rope can be adjusted for your height. If you stand on the middle of the rope, the ends should come about up to your armpits," says Solis.
To get started, Marty Winkler, co-owner of RopeSport (www.ropesport.com), suggests the following:
- Use some wrist and forearm when turning the rope. Make small circles or a cranking motion.
- Jump only an inch or two off the ground.
- Land softly.
- Look straight ahead. Watching your feet doesn't help.
- Keep hands level with the hips. Don't let them raise or lower.
- Push off and land with the balls of the feet. Heels should just tap the ground.
- Relax your neck.
- Avoid hunching.
- Keep your elbows bent as if you were holding a curl bar. A rope that's too long will pull your elbows away from your torso.
- Remain loose but controlled.
- Breathe normally. You should be able to have a conversation while you're jumping.
- If you get tired, you can still get a great workout by turning the rope to the side of your body or by just holding onto the rope and continuing to mime the jumping motion.
How Many Calories You Burn*: Slow jumping burns 9.4 calories per minute and 281 calories per half-hour. Moderate jumping burns 11.7 calories per minute and 352 calories per half-hour. And if you really get cooking, fast jumping burns 14 calories per minute and 422 calories per half-hour.
*Based on a 155-pound person.
Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of DietDetective.com, the online source for nutrition, fitness, food, diet, and wellness information. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.
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