Although the jumping rope originated as a toy in a children’s game, today it’s considered a cornerstone piece of gear in almost any sport. Some trainers consider just 15 minutes of rope skipping to be as effective as an hour of jogging when it comes to cardio and weight loss.
And while a skipping rope is an amazing tool for anyone trying to get fit, there’s a particular set of reasons why it’s such a popular tool in boxing.
Benefits of rope jumping in boxing
One of the most important benefits of rope jumping is the way it influences arm-leg coordination. It helps make your movements and punches during sparring/heavy bag workouts more fluent and harmonized.
Shifting from defense to offense and vice-versa requires a great sense of rhythm and timing. Rope workouts are a perfect way to learn how to transition properly.
Being rigid or tense is a big “no” in boxing; your body needs to be relaxed and flexible in order to properly move and react to your opponent. Achieving this can be especially difficult for amateurs. If you’re a beginner, your feet are going to feel heavy – almost like they were glued to the ground. A jumping rope corrects this, helps increase overall flexibility and “loosens up” the whole body.
A good boxer needs to be able to quickly shuffle and pivot on his feet. Using a jumping to in your daily routine will help you develop the speed and agility that’s necessary for good footwork. Making a habit of staying on your toes is essential; keeping the entire surface of your feet flat on the ground ruins your balance and mobility.
Every fighter needs strong legs that can carry their bodyweight throughout a match. A skipping rope is a great tool to increase endurance and strengthen leg muscles.
When it comes to calorie loss, this cheap, compact piece of equipment will often bring better results than a $5000 treadmill. Professional fighters constantly skip rope when cutting weight before weigh-ins, or or when transitioning to a lighter weight class.
How to jump rope?
If you’re a beginner, there are a few things you should know to be able to jump rope properly.
1) Adjust the length of the rope to your height. To find an ideal length, stand with your feet on the middle of the rope. Handles should be positioned halfway from your hips and armpits in this position.
2) Extend your arms outward, with the elbows slightly parting from your hips. The angle between your upper arm and forearm should be about 100-105 degrees.
The rope’s rotation should come from your wrists. Don’t use your entire arm.
3) Stay on the tip of your toes. Be relaxed, and try not to land firmly on the ground. Don’t jump too high.
At first, you may get your feet caught in the rope, but don’t get disheartened. Be patient and persistent – while skipping rope can seem difficult at first, it’s fairly easy to get a hang of.
Jumping rope workout
Ideally, you want 3 series, with a 30 second break between each. Each series should last 3 minutes. The purpose of this workout is to help you practice coordination, rhythm, and warm you up for your main training session.
1) The warm-up
The purpose of this series is to warm up your joints, muscles, and help you practice your rope-jumping. Don’t jump too high, and remember to move the rope from your wrists – not your arms. Jump softly at a moderate pace, keeping your weight on the balls of your feet. If possible, use scissors skipping, ski-jumping, and classic skipping, all combined at your free will.
The purpose of this series is cardio training and getting your heart rate up. Maintain a moderate rhythm for 15 seconds. Then, increase your speed to 80% of your maximum for 5 seconds. Keep going back-and-forth alternating speeds until the last 10 seconds. During these last 10 seconds, you should jump as fast as possible.
3) Cardio II
In this series, use intervals just like in the second one. Rather than switching between 5 and 15 second intervals, use even intervals of 10 seconds each. Just as in the second series, begin with a moderate rhythm, and switch between regular and fast jumping for three minutes.
After you’ve finished your main training session and gone through sparring and heavy bag practice, we suggest that you do two more series of rope skipping (three minutes each). This time, at a decreased speed – so you can relax your body, arms and legs. It’s very important to maintain good coordination and composure, even when you’re exhausted.