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How to Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a very good calorie burner and is also a fun playground activity. You can have a total body workout without leaving home and without the feeling you are actually exercising. It develops excellent footwork and coordination and also gives a very efficient cardiovascular workout and muscle toning. Before you get in over your head, work on your skills with these tips.

Solo Jumping

  1. Choose a rope appropriate to your size. With the rope folded in half, it should reach up nearly to your shoulders. It also helps if the rope isn't too light.
  2. Grab the jump rope by its ends, or the handles, one hand for each handle.
  3. Put the jump rope behind your back and let the loop hang behind your feet.
  4. Throw the jump rope over your head and when it meets your feet, jump over it using your ankles. A lot of people make the mistake of bending their knees because it is easier for them. While easier, it is less beneficial, incorrect, and will mess up your timing.
  5. Repeat and see how long you can do it without messing up. As you practice, you will get better at timing. It might help to do a small hop in between jumps, count jumps, or chant a verse. As you learn to move the rope faster, the in-between hop will become unnecessary.

 

Tricks

  1. Try some tricks. When you get better at jumping rope forwards, try going backwards. Start with the rope in front of your feet and throw it over your head to the back. Jump over it when it reaches your feet again.
  2. Try crossing your arms in front of you and then do some jumps. Also known as the "Criss-Cross" trick. It takes practice with the timing, but you can get to where you alternate between crossed and uncrossed. If you're having a hard time, ask someone else to show you how to do it.
  3. Attempt the "Side-swing". This is a trick which consists of folding the rope in half, then holding it with one or both hands and swinging it.
  4. Do several tricks together. If you're feeling adventurous, you might like to try making up a routine using one or two tricks.

As a Group

  1. Choose a longer rope. With the turners a comfortable distance apart, it should still go over the head of the jumper easily.
  2. To get started, stand between the turners. Face one of them and place the rope to the right or left of your feet. Have them throw the rope over your head, and jump when it reaches your other side. Get the rhythm of this jumping before moving on.
  3. Try running into the turning rope. It takes some timing, but it can be done. If you would like to try a trick, think of it before you run in.
  4. Tell the turners what you want them to do, so that they will know instead of messing you up. Run into the rope first, and jump for a few turns to get the rhythm, then move on to the trick.
  5. Try running back out of the rope to give somebody else a turn. Take the next step and try double dutch, with two ropes turning in opposite directions!

Tips

  • Try to keep your eyes on only one thing. This will help you focus more and helps you to keep your balance. You can judge where the rope is without looking directly at it.
  • Agree on non-verbal signs with the turners. For example, if you want to go faster, then clap your hands twice and to go more slowly, clap once.
  • Pretend you're jogging in the rope.
  • Try to jump with an even rhythm. If you need to, listen to some music while jumping.
  • Get comfortable with the basics before you try some tricks.
  • Have your rope light-weight and/or adjustable.
  • Start out with any rope. Once you become better, move onto a speed jump rope, as this weighs more, meaning that it will be less affected by the wind and can go faster than a normal rope.
  • Take small jumps - it will save your energy and you will be able to jump for longer. Good jump ropers take such small steps that you can't see their feet moving.
  • Consider going to or starting a Jump-Rope Club! A Jump-Rope Club is for people who meet once or twice a week to jump rope because they enjoy doing it.
  • Keep your heels off the ground, stay on your toes. Use your ankles as a spring action...this eliminates your feet from smacking the ground hard.
  • Try doing a double-jump (that's where you jump and the rope hits the ground twice) This takes practice!
  • If you have a lot of people, you can also play "hellicopter" Which is where one person spins around holding on to the rope and people jump over it like that.
  • Use jump rope rhymes. There are many books available as well as many web sites with jump rope rhymes.

Warnings

  • A speed rope swung very fast can sting. Start slowly.
  • You may get tripped by the rope, be sure to jump where the landing is soft enough that you probably won't get hurt.
  • Choose an open area to jump rope and be aware of who and what is around you to avoid whipping someone.
  • Be careful when you are doing things like the criss-cross trick mentioned above. The plastic-bead like jump-ropes hurt if you make a mistake and you whip yourself, so start out slow!

 

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