The first thing you need to know about weight loss is that your heart rate has a lot to do with it. A heart rate that continuously increases and decreases burns more calories than a heart rate that stay the same, for example jogging. If you continue to challenge your heart rate and push it further your body will never plateau, but continue to lose weight. This is where skipping comes into it! Skipping is a cardio, plyometric, high intensity training style. This means that it will challenge you and your heart rate.

Skipping or jump rope, improves the cardiovascular system and builds a toned physique. So if you are tired of running on the treadmill or being on the elliptical, then skipping might just be your next favourite cardio exercise. It’s a challenging exercise to master, but it is easy to get started. You don’t require much to skip; all you need is a rope, comfortable sport shoes and loose clothing. No fancy equipment is needed either, just a smooth surface and the drive to lose weight.

Benefits of Skipping

  • Improves the cardiovascular system which in turn improves your endurance ability
  • Burns a substantial amount of calories which encourages weight loss
  • Relieves stress and tension which leads to better mental health
  • Improves the mobility and range of joints to reduce the risk of injuries
  • Significantly develops mind to body coordination and balance
  • Reduces the chance of the development of many illnesses such as blood clots, obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and heart disease
  • Skipping has a lesser impact on the joints of the legs than other cardio exercises like running
  • Strengthens the muscles and builds a toned physique
  • Builds strong calves and sexy legs

Skipping is a simple and effective activity that burns just as many calories as high intensity exercises and improves your agility twofold. There are heaps of skipping variations to challenge any fitness level and there is no restriction on how many people can skip at once. So it’s a great exercise for absolutely anyone. Double Unders are one of the hardest variations in the skipping world. They are used in many crossfit competitions to test athletes’ stamina, precision and consistency. It is also consistently used in the army to push soldiers into their peak fitness.

The only down side of skipping is that it can be heavy on the joints in the leg. Skipping is a form of plyometric training, meaning it uses power and resistance to work the muscles. This type of training puts a lot of pressure on the joints and cartilage. So if you are someone who struggles with joint pain, reduced cartilage or suffers from arthritis, then this exercise is not for you. If you are not sure just pick up a skipping rope and have a few jumps. Listen to your body, if it is feeling ok then continue to skip. If you are in pain then skipping isn’t for you. However don’t be disheartened there are many other ways to lose weight.

Skipping however should never be the only exercise in a workout. A good exercise plan that targets fat burning should incorporate all types of high intensity workouts. Such as HIIT, boxing, sprints, plyometrics, pretty much anything that gets that heart rate racing. A heart rate that consistently increases and decreases burns more calories than a heart rate that stay the same, for example jogging. By using many different styles of training, your body will never plateau, but continuously lose weight.

Next time you are in the gym why not try one of these skipping variations to get your heart racing and your skin sweating:

3 sets:
Single skips: 50
Alternating skipping: 50
One leg hop skipping: 20 each
Double unders: 10

3 sets:
Single skips: 50
One leg hop skipping: 20 each
Crossover skips: 10
Double unders: 10

So next time when you are not sure what to do in the gym or if you are bored of the treadmill, get out the skipping rope and jump around. You will feel challenged, tired and sore plus you will be burning heaps of calories. So incorporate skipping into your exercise routine and reap the many benefits.

Claire Trojkovic

Claire Trojkovic is a health and fitness expert from Australia. She is also an international fitness model competitor who has won many champisonships in Australia as well as overseas. The most prestigous being the INBA World Championships in 2013 which was held in Greece.

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