Everyone knows jumping rope takes endurance, coordination and skill. Because it is so physically demanding, jumping rope can help develop quickness, agility and overall athleticism.
But in order to reap any of these benefits, you must first possess good skipping form and efficiency. What is skipping efficiency? Skipping efficiency is your ability to endure long enough bouts of skipping to elicit training benefits. It’s great if you are able to jump rope, but if you are only able to skip for one minute (or less) before gassing out, you will only get so far in your jump rope training.
To skip with high efficiency, look to conserve energy by staying light on your feet, not jumping excessively high, and minimizing the amount of ground impact that takes place with each jump.
Here are three drills that will help you do just this. For each of these drills, It is recommended to start with short bouts and build up from that. Practicing and becoming proficient in these drills will help take your skipping to the next level!
1. Barefoot Skipping
Skipping barefoot eliminates the luxury of having a shoe to cushion your jump. This means that your body will instead need to absorb each landing. The thought of this sounds painful, but if your skipping technique is sound, you will be able to tolerate it. If it is too painful, your technique could use some work. Make it a goal to work up to being able to skip barefoot for 1 minute consecutively. Not only does barefoot skipping teach you efficient technique, it will also help strengthen your feet and ankles.
2. Skipping With Your Eyes Closed
Without visual feedback of your surroundings, you are forced to become more in-tune with how your body is moving in space. This is a great opportunity to identify whether or not your form is sound. Not only does skipping with your eyes closed develop better body awareness, it also takes great skill to do this without tripping up the rope. Work up to skipping for 30 seconds straight without having to open your eyes.
3. Single Foot Skipping
Standing on one leg is difficult enough. Jumping on one leg over a turning rope is an even greater challenge altogether. In order to be able to hop on one foot, your technique will have to be at least decent. If your feet are too slow, you will never get the timing down to jump over the rope. If you are trying to jump too high, it will be too difficult to rebound into your next jump. One foot skipping teaches you to move your feet fast and to jump at a height that is just high enough but not too high. It also greatly conditions each leg independently. Work up to doing 100 consecutive single foot skips (on each leg).
About the Author
Drew Murphy is a Personal Trainer and Gym Owner in Tiffin, Iowa. Since entering the field in 2009, Drew has utilized a wide range of training methodologies to help his clients lose body fat, gain muscle mass, and become healthier in general. When not training clients, Drew hosts his podcast, Eat-Nap-Lift and enjoys spending time with his family. Contact Drew through his website, on Facebook, or follow him on Instagram @schoolofskipping.