For decades, jumping rope has been a go-to exercise for athletic people, whether they are just workout enthusiasts or athletes. It’s a skill kids learn at an early age that helps with a lot of core development.
Working with trainer Ben Shear, I developed the video below that shows the importance of jumping rope for youngsters, as well as people who stay in shape at older ages.
As we state in the video, jumping rope is vital for three reasons:
- It gets your heart rate up. Keeping up the heart rate helps you get more out of your workouts and burn calories faster.
- It’s an excellent plyometric workout. We explained the importance of plyometrics in this post.
- It helps maintain a healthy posture. Playing hockey, as well as sitting in the classroom, doing homework or working out, requires excellent posture.
As far as picking out the correct jump rope, the jumper will want the rope to come up around the armpits when flat on the ground and the jumper’s hands picking up each end. You also want a light rope, as kids tend to learn better when they can swing at higher speeds. The schoolyard ropes are meant more for recreation and are not recommended for the gym.
We also recommend what are called licorice ropes; the high-end speed ropes can be troublesome for a youngster.
Something we see all too often are kids jumping high because of too much arm motion or the feeling that this is a high-jump contest. Remember that the wrists are doing the motion and the feet need to move just enough to clear the rope when it comes back around.
When we switch to the running jump, note how a lot of what we have already discussed remains true; no high jumps and the wrists are near stationary with rotation.
The one-legged jump is extremely challenging for most people. We recommend working the first two jumps you saw as much as possible before attempting the one-legged jump. Don’t let yourself or the jumper get too discouraged; it’s a tough jump and everyone knows it.
As we state at the end of the video, some kids are going to love this and some will hate it. Some kids get it right away while others take awhile. All of this is ok as long as you see progression and improvement. You don’t love every workout you attempt at the gym, do you?
Stay tuned with xHockey Performance Academy for more home-training and gym exercises.
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