If you are looking for a medium for a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, jumping rope is a worthy option. Because a jump rope is compact and jumping rope is easy to do just about anywhere, you can use jump rope for your regular HIIT workout or just when you cannot get to the gym. Before attempting any new workout, get clearance from your doctor.
Jump Rope Basics
Jumping rope is an effective cardiovascular workout that can also improve your coordination. First you need a long enough jump rope. When you step on the middle of your jump rope with one foot, you should be able to get the ends of the rope up to chest height. Keep your knees slightly bent as you jump, and hold your elbows close to your body. Jump off the balls of your feet. To lessen the impact on your joints, jump just high enough for your feet to clear the rope.
HIIT involves alternating intervals of extremely intense exercise with recovery intervals. Your high-intensity intervals should be about one minute long, and your recovery intervals should be two to three minutes long. During your high-intensity intervals, work hard enough that you have a hard time completing the interval. Your recovery interval should last until your heart and respiration rates have returned to a comfortable level. Start a HIIT workout with a five to 10 minute warm-up, then complete as many as 10 to 12 interval cycles. You may need to start with a smaller number of intervals and work your way up.
Benefits of HIIT
The benefits of HIIT include more rapid weight loss, especially loss of weight directly from fat. According to a study by the University of Guelph, HIIT significantly improved the body's ability to oxidize fat. Another HIIT benefit is that the recovery allows you to work harder on the intervals. When you choose to do HIIT, you can do more high-intensity work than you could if you did the training consecutively without the recovery intervals. HIIT results in rapid improvements to your endurance. In fact you can double your endurance level in just two weeks of HIIT.
Try this workout to use a jump rope in your HIIT. Start out jumping rope or jogging at a leisurely pace for five minutes. Put your jump rope down and complete a full-body dynamic stretching routine to ready your muscles for action. Include motions to stretch your arms, like arm circles, and your calves, like heel and toe raises. Begin the interval portion of your training. Position yourself near a wall clock so you can track your interval time. Jump as fast as you can, aiming for a one-minute interval. Slow your jumping pace for two- to three-minute interval. Cycle through high-intensity and recovery intervals for as many as 10 to 12 interval cycles. End your workout with a five-minute cool down period. During your cool down either jump rope lightly, march in place, jog or walk. Finish with a full-body stretch, especially focusing on your arms, shoulders and legs, the muscles used when jumping rope.
- American Council on Exercise: Jumping Rope: Not Just for Kids Anymore
- American Council on Exercise; What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and What are the Benefits?; Pete McCall, M.S.
- "University of Guelph"; Two Weeks of High-Intensity Aerobic Interval Training Increases the Capacity for Fat Oxidation During Exercise in Women; J.L. Talanian, et al; December 14, 2006
- "The New York Times"; A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion; Peter Jaret; May 2007
- Sportsinjuryclinic.net: Types of Stretching