If the winter weather is keeping you from your normal outdoor running routine, try a challenging alternative like jump roping. It’s easy, effective and inexpensive. All it takes is a rope and enough space to jump. It’s perfect for runners who want a good total body workout but can’t get outside. Jump roping is a method of cross training for runners that improves strength and coordination.
Jumping rope has been practiced around the world for centuries. It’s popularity seems to come and go through the years. During the 40’s and 50’s it was very popular in the inner cities. The fad died out until the early 70’s when the NYPD started using the trend to deter kids from crime and drugs. Their slogan was “Rope, Not Dope”. The program was so popular, MacDonald’s started sponsoring jump roping tournaments around the country.
To figure out the correct size of rope to use, put your foot in the middle of the rope and pull your hands up to your chest. Hold the ropes lightly and keep your knees slightly bent.
Jump roping is a great form of cross training for runners because it uses plyometric training. This form of training stretches the muscles and then quickly contracts them. This helps runners build speed and endurance. It’s a good total body workout, that not only works your legs, but your arms and shoulders at the same time. It’s a weight-bearing workout, but doesn’t put as much strain on your joints as running does and is a great way to get a good workout on the days you don’t run.
If you’re new to jump roping, start out slowly and work your way up. It looks easy, but does take some getting used to.