If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape this year, then I have great news.  By adding one simple exercise to your weekly routine, you can make a dramatic impact on your level of fitness.  It’s an exercise you probably did as a kid and one you can do it just about anywhere.  You guessed it:  jumping rope.

Many people think they’re not coordinated enough to jump rope.  The first few times are often a struggle and many people decide too quickly that it’s not for them.  If this is you, be patient and follow these simple steps.  You’ll be jumping rope (and burning tons of calories) in no time!

Why Jump Rope?

I have many clients and friends who train for marathons and other long distance running events.   Preparing for a marathon isn’t for sissies.  It requires building up stamina over time and eventually going on very long runs to prepare for the big day.  This leaves little or no time for cross-training.  Along with incorporating strength exercises, it’s also important to add another form of cardiovascular exercise to your routine and jumping rope is an excellent choice.  It not only enhances the endurance built up during those long runs, it also helps develop greater quickness, agility, strength, power and balance.

If you’re not a runner and want to get into great shape quickly, jumping rope may just be your next favorite activity.  Before you begin, buy (or pull out of your closet) the following items:

  1. A great pair of athletic shoes that provide excellent support
  2. A really good jump rope that fits your body (ask for help when picking one out at your local sporting goods store or order one online)
  3. Your favorite get-your-body-moving music

Once you have your jump rope, shoes and music, the fun begins. Jumping rope requires the coordination of many muscle groups to work in harmony which makes it a little frustrating at first.  But keep in mind it’s a super workout.  Jumping rope for 10 minutes burns roughly the same number of calories as jogging for 30 minutes!   So don’t quit because you’ll eventually love the fact you can get such a great workout in a short period of time.

Keep it Simple

For your first workout, simply pretend to use the rope.  Notice how many songs you “jumped” to.  If you made it through 3 songs, you probably jumped for about 10 minutes.  Set a goal of finishing a certain number of songs—this will give you extra incentive and prevent you from quitting mid-song.

Once you can jump for 10 minutes without stopping, bring out your jump rope.  You can either jump while twirling it beside you or jump through it.  It’s up to you—just jump. Make sure you don’t jump too high and always choose a surface that has a little “give” to it.  You don’t want to jump on concrete or stone surfaces as it will make you more susceptible to injury.

The Best Instructor

If you’re serious about jump rope training and want to learn more, look up my friend Buddy Lee’s website.  Buddy, a former marine and 10 time U.S. World Medalist in wrestling, is the leading jump rope training expert in the world. You can learn workouts and progressions for warm-ups, cool downs, sports specific training and sample programs used by elite athletes.  You can even order an official U.S. Olympic Team Licensed jump rope and see videos of Buddy in action.  You won’t believe your eyes.

Jump Your Way to Health,