Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jumping Rope, Dirt Cheap & Effective Conditioning

There are numerous tools and pieces of equipment for fun and effective of conditioning. Kettlebells, battle ropes, rowers, and prowler sleds are now staples in most quality gyms. However not everyone has access to them all the time. Not everyone has a gym member ship, some people hate the gym, and not everyone can afford a membership.  Also, these pieces of equipment aren't exactly portable and most of them come with a big price tag. This makes them a less than ideal option for a home gym or for the trainee on the go. So what's a person to do when they want to get in a quality conditioning workout, but don't have the access to equipment? 

 Don't worry! You actually don't need much money or access to fancy equipment to fit in a great conditioning workout. As most of you know, I like to train with very little to no equipment. In fact, what I train my clients with, day in and day out, fits right into a small book bag. One of my go-to pieces of conditioning equipment is the jump rope! In this blog I'll be sharing with you some of my favourite methods for using the jump rope!

 Jump Rope

 Getting yourself a decent jump rope is a great idea. It's a classic, effective, and portable conditioning tool that can be used by itself or in combination with other exercises and pieces of equipment. You can pick up a decent jump rope for anywhere from $7-$20. You don't need anything fancy, a simple leather or plastic jump rope will do just fine.

 Jumping rope burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time, uses both upper and lower body, and when done bare foot it helps condition/prepare the feet, knees, and ankles for the stresses of running. Specifically, jumping rope helps condition the body for running in minimalist footwear and re-enforces forefoot running rather than heel striking.

  When you stand with one foot in the middle of the jump rope, both of the handles should just reach your arm pits. If the rope is too long, simply tie some knots in the rope near the handles until the length is correct. When jumping rope try to jump and land softly using the balls of the feet, rotate the rope using small tight circles from the wrists/forearms, and keep your posture upright. It's actually more difficult than it sounds at first, but in time and with practice it will become something you can do with ease. The end of my YouTube video here has a good example of what jumping rope should look like. Don't get discouraged!  You can jump rope for time or for a certain number of skips. I like to switch it up to keep things fresh. Here are three simple workouts you can try! Have fun with them, play with them to find out what works best for you, and in time you'll be a jump rope master!

Tabata Jump Ropes:

- Jump rope as fast as possible for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- That's one round
- Repeat for a total of 8 rounds

Timed Rounds:

- Use rounds of either 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5mins depending on your fitness level
- Jump rope for your set amount of time
- Once the time is up, rest for 1 min
- Repeat this for 3-5 more times

Jump Rope For Reps:

- Hit a timer and jump rope as fast as you can until you hit 100 skips
- Look at your timer and see how long it took to complete the 100 skips
- Rest for half the amount of time it took to complete the 100 skips
- Repeat this again for a total of 10 rounds

- Tim



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