Five moves with a skipping rope
You’re not a pigtailed schoolgirl, sure. And you may not be an elite boxer like Nicola Adams, either. So what? As both Ms Adams and your niece will tell you, skipping with a rope is a killer workout. ‘The skipping rope is small but mighty,’ explains Mark Reigate, head trainer at Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club in London. ‘It may look simple, but, when used in the right way, it can provide a full-body cardio and strength session that targets your biceps, triceps, deltoids and chest, as well as toning your thighs, hips and glutes.’ You might initially find yourself all tangled up, but stick with it. ‘These exercises are designed to improve your hand/ eye coordination, so you won’t be tripping up forever,’ says Reigate. It’s time to get into the swing of it.
FYI 1. Do each movement for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second break. 2. Repeat each movement six times before moving on to the next.
HOPPING SKIP Targets: Calves, hamstrings
(a) Engage your core and hold a handle of the rope in each hand. Keep your hands out to the side, elbows tucked in. Swing the rope above your head and hop over it on your right foot.
(b) With each arc of the rope, switch feet so you land on a different foot each time.
CLASSIC SKIP Targets: Calves, hamstrings
(a) So, engage your core and swing the rope over your head. But this time, jump over it with both feet instead of hopping. In other words, your classic skip
(the clue’s in the name).
(b) Steadily increase the speed at which the rope swings, then, when your heart is pumping, add in a second jump as it passes over your head. Now, catch your breath.
SIDE-TO-SIDE SKIP Targets: Biceps, triceps
(a) Holding the rope, begin with your hands together at one side of your body. Moving your hands in a figure of eight motion across your torso, swing the rope so that the midpoint reaches above your head before hitting the floor at the opposite side of your body. Repeat this motion four times.
(b) On the fifth swing, separate your hands so they are at each side of your body in classic skipping position, skip over the rope, then return to the start and repeat. Don’t forget that core.
CROSSOVER SKIP Targets: Deltoids, chest
(a) Start in the classic skipping position with your core engaged. Begin to do your first skip, but, as the rope swings above your head, cross your hands over your torso.
(b) As you do your second skip, uncross your arms to return to the classic position. Then do it all over again, alternating with each jump.
HIGH KNEES Targets: Calves, hamstrings,
(a) Start with hands either side of your body ready to swing the rope over your head. Now, instead of jumping over the rope, alternate high knee hops. Yep, it hurts.
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