Jumping rope is an effective and convenient cardio workout. You can jump rope almost anywhere and anytime. Jump ropes are cheap, long-lasting and readily available. If you want to shake up your jump rope routine, try these basic tricks once you have mastered two-footed jumping on the spot. To minimize risk of injury, always wear cushioned and supportive sports shoes and avoid jumping rope on unforgiving surfaces like concrete.
Also known as the boxers' skip, heel-toe is an easy trick to learn. Without using your rope, begin jumping on the spot. Make your jumps small and light. As you land, pull the toes on your left foot up so that your heel hits the floor as your right foot lands. In your next jump, reverse your foot position so that your right heel hits the floor as your left foot lands. Continue alternating until you feel comfortable with this heel-toe action. When you are ready, introduce your jump rope into the movement. Don't worry if you initially catch your feet. Stop, reset your feet and try again. You'll soon be jumping rope like a boxer!
This next progression is a step on from heel-toe. Begin jumping rope and establish a good heel-toe movement. Then, instead of grounding your heels, bend your knee and lift your leg up so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure you keep your body upright. If you find this exercise difficult, try performing a two-footed jump and then lift your left knee, another two-footed jump and then lift your right knee. Lifting your knees while jumping rope increases your heart rate significantly.
Knee Lift Sprints
This is a simple but challenging jump rope variation that will get your heart rate high and increase your fitness. Jump rope using an alternating heel-toe action. When you are ready, progress to jogging on the spot. Over the next few rope turns, begin to lift your knees higher. Pick up speed and raise your knees higher still. When you feel ready, lift your knees up to hip level and sprint on the spot as fast as you can. With practice, you will be able to spin the rope and lift your knees at great speed, which will give you an effective workout.
Crossovers are a handy way to release the tension that builds up in your shoulders and are also a cool-looking trick! Start by performing two-footed jumps at a slow to moderate pace. Establish a good rhythm. When you feel ready, quickly cross your hands to form a loop in your rope as it passes over your head. Jump through the loop and immediately uncross your hands. Continue jumping rope and then try again. With practice, you will be able to cross and uncross your hands on alternate rope turns. Try crossovers while jogging on the spot or performing knee lift sprints for a trick combo.
This is not an easy trick but impressive when you pull it off. Jump rope with your feet together. Gradually build up speed until you have a fairly fast rhythm established. When you are ready -- maybe after counting yourself in -- jump a little higher than normal and turn the rope much faster, and try to perform two rope turns in a single jump. This is called a double under. On landing, return to your single turn per jump cadence. Once you can perform a double under on demand, try linking multiple double unders together. Start off with two or three and build up to 10, 20 and eventually 50 for a really intense workout. Remember to whip the rope around faster when performing double unders and jump only a little higher.