It’s one of those chores which you dread at first… ”Grab the rope, 3 minutes of skipping” your coach says. The mind takes a second to comprehend the direction, then the internal battle begins with the rope before you even grab the handles. “You have got to be kidding,” you ask yourself.
Well there’s a method to the madness.
For the Australian audience, “Jump Rope for Heart” was and still is an initiative by the Heart Foundation. Promoting an active lifestyle with healthy habits, the program has taken the humble skipping rope and the activity itself to the masses. For a Boxer though, who can look almost semi-comatose as they seem to meditate by hopping from one leg to another in a rhythmic motion which almost hypnotises the onlooker. Skipping is an essential part of the “routine” with loads of benefits.
So why is skipping it important?
(Viper Pro Skipping Rope $24.99)
The association of VO/2 max and skipping is really important. Just so you know, VO/2 is the rate at which the body can effectively uptake Oxygen during physical exertion.
So, take a Boxer for example. Boxing for any number of three minute rounds punching, moving, ducking, dancing and trying to obstruct blows to your own head and torso is taxing – obviously. And by the looks of some of the lighter Boxing bodies, the fitness required is intense to say the least. So when any activity that demands both the lower and upper body is performed - skipping, a much larger level of oxygen is required. Throw in your coordination, balance, concentration, endurance and you got yourself a full body exercise justified by a real outcome.
With each revolution and cadence of the rope, your heart, bones, power level, feet movement, endurance and Oxygen efficiency grow stronger. Skipping is reasonably low level on the intensity scale and can be performed for long periods of time. This means your endurance gets a hammering whilst challenging your mental fitness to ensure those feet get over the rope in time, everytime.
Boxing training always incorporates the great skipping rope, but why?
As a general warm up, the feet get moving (on a cold winter’s morning, this helps a lot!), your breathing efficiency increases, aswell as the coordination of your upper and lower body - a facet any Boxer must develop if they ever want to throw combinations or avoid their opponent's efforts.
So for the humble gym-goer why do it?
Well it’s a good question yet it provides some persistence to really achieve the benefit. As frustrating as it can be at first, those people down at the Heart Foundation were onto something. Along with a more general benefit from the attributes mentioned above. Skipping helps with a healthy heart, decrease the chance in heart disease, lower cholesterol, helps with weight loss, increase strength, posture and a healthy habit which costs relatively NOTHING! The list is enormous, so why not challenge yourself for now when you see those ropes on the hook near the ab machine and foam rollers...
Jump to it.