Skip Yourself Skinny with these 7 Jump Rope Exercises

Jumping rope is not just for kids! In fact, it’s an
inexpensive and portable workout that burns more calories than you would think
— up to 135 in ten minutes! Besides losing weight, a jump rope can tone your
muscles and improve your cardiovascular health.

Although you’re putting direct pressure on your knees,
ankles, and hips, it’s a lower impact activity than jogging when done
correctly. Before you begin, make sure you have the right equipment. You can
use a cloth or vinyl jump rope, but a beaded one is recommended for beginners
because it holds its shape and is easier to control. To adjust the rope size
for your height, while stepping on the rope, shorten the rope by knotting it so
that the handles reach your armpits. To kick-start your jump rope routine, try
these exercises:

1. Figure Eight: This is a great exercise, especially for
beginners. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, grasping the jump rope
handles together with both hands in front of the body. Trace a sideways figure
eight, moving from right shoulder to left hip, then left shoulder to right hip.
Shift weight from right to left foot as you move your arms across your body.

2. Single Jump: This is the most basic jump rope exercise;
it will begin to increase your heart rate. Jump over the rope with your feet
together, one jump per turn. Your jump should only take you an inch or two off
the ground.

3. Step Touch: Holding the handles together, swing your
rope to the left and turn twice in a circular motion as you step to the left
and tap right toes by left heel. Repeat to the right.

4. Front-Back: Jump up with feet together, moving six
inches forward over the rope. On the next turn, jump six inches back. Continue
alternating, jumping once per turn.

5. Slalom: Jump over the rope six inches to the right,
landing on both feet. On the next turn, jump six inches to the left. Keep your
feet together and continue alternating, jumping once per turn.

6. Jumping Jack: Jump over the rope and land with your feet
wider than hip-width apart. On your next jump, land with your feet together.
Repeat.

7. Running: Run in place while turning the rope. The rope should pass under one foot at a time. Each exercise in this jump rope routine should be about a minute long and you should alternate the higher intensity jump rope exercises with the lower intensity ones (Figure Eight and Step Touch). Picking up the jump rope for the first time since childhood can be a humbling experience. If you can’t make it the entire minute, simply drop the rope and continue the exercise. Overtime, your coordination and endurance will improve and you’ll find yourself skipping yourself skinny in no time!

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