Jump Rope

Now more than ever there are more pieces of fitness equipment available to you online, on infomercials and at your local sporting goods store. Prices can range anywhere from a few dollars to well over a thousand dollars. One of my favorites has to be one of the simplest and cheapest, the jump rope.

Jumping rope is a great cardiovascular exercise that can be done almost anywhere, whatever your fitness level. It can burn over 700 calories per hour making it a very effective fat burning exercise. A jump rope is one of the cheapest and most portable pieces of exercise equipment available. At around ten dollars you can purchase a quality rope and slip it in your gym bag, backpack, suitcase or purse; taking your workout with you to the park, the gym or traveling out of town.

When choosing a rope check out a few different types so you can see which is more comfortable for you and best suits your needs. You can choose between leather, nylon or plastic. Some ropes are weighted for a more strenuous workout. Heavier ropes also called speed ropes are designed for speed. They turn faster, so not only do they improve your footwork and stamina but they also offer a higher intensity workout. When picking the length of a rope, use one foot to step in the center of the rope and pull the handles tight. The handles should come up to the middle of your chest.

Make sure to have appropriate footwear to avoid injury or discomfort from jumping. A good pair of cross training shoes should provide cushioning on the balls of your feet. Because jumping rope is an impact sport, use caution in regard to your ankles and knees. Avoid jumping on concrete; instead stick with an exercise mat, wooden gym floors, or carpet.

Just like most exercises you can vary the difficulty and intensity of jumping rope. Lower intensity jumps include double or alternate foot jumps. For moderate level jumping pick up the pace and try a running step (a slight jog while skipping over the rope) or a high knee jump (a moderate run with high knee lift). For high intensity you can try an alternating side to side double or single leg jump.

Remember getting a great workout is not about having the latest gadgets and gizmos. For ten dollars you can get an excellent workout from a jump rope, so think twice before you purchase a large piece of equipment. Some take up too much space and end up as coat racks. While treadmills and elliptical trainers are great pieces of equipment you can’t deny the easy of portability of a jump rope.

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