Dan Staton, MS, PES
Fall can be downright cold and nasty, but I have a great way for you to warm up those chilly bones of yours when you get out of your treestand. This move focuses on developing your coordination, stamina, endurance and elasticity. Jumping rope can be done indoors, and can quickly whip you into shape. If the cold air has tamed your outdoor exercise activities like running, then head to a local sporting goods store and pick up a $5.00 jump rope to remedy those winter blues.
In contrast to running, jumping rope is unlikely to lead to knee damage, since the impact of each jump or step is absorbed by both legs. Jumping rope also helps strengthen the arms and shoulders. This combination of aerobic workout and coordination-building footwork has made jumping rope a popular form of exercise for athletes, especially boxers and wrestlers. Individuals or groups can participate in the exercise, and learning proper jump rope technique is simple compared to many other athletic activities. The exercise is also appropriate for a wide range of ages and fitness levels. Jumping rope is particularly effective in an aerobic routine combined with other activities, such as strength training.
A few examples of ropes include:
- weighted ropes
- speed ropes
- beaded plastic ropes
Personally, I recommend a lightweight speed rope. Speed ropes are inexpensive and excellent for conditioning and coordination. Many weighted ropes are also fast, but not as effective when performing various criss-cross drills. Jump rope basics are as follows:
- Jump one to two inches off the floor, giving the rope just enough space to slip under feet. Only the balls of feet should touch the floor.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
- If you tire out before you finish the workout, drop the rope, but keep your arms and legs going. Work up to using the rope full-time.
- To find a rope that fits, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles. They shouldn't go past your armpits.
Grasp the jump rope handles on each side. Start with the rope behind your body. To execute, jump and swiftly swing rope from behind, over the head, and around the body, then under your feet, twice before landing. Repeat. Intensity can be altered by increasing your speed or the height of your hops.
There are many variations and workouts available, but the one that seems to bring our CrossFit classes the most challenge is one entitled, “Flight Simulator.” For this workout, start your stopwatch and record how long it takes you to do the following:
1. 5 unbroken double-unders
2. 10 unbroken double-unders
3. 15 unbroken double-unders
4. 20 unbroken double-unders
5. 25 unbroken double-unders
6. 30 unbroken double-unders
7. 35 unbroken double-unders
8. 40 unbroken double-unders
9. 45 unbroken double-unders
10. 50 unbroken double-unders
An “unbroken” double-under means one performed without any mistakes. Achieve the specified number of double-unders in a row without interruption. You must not skip any round, and you must stop between sets. Lastly, you cannot skip singles in between sets. Record the times it takes you to complete the task.
Double-unders require continued practice, buckets of sweat, and maybe a few tears of frustration. Take this movement head on and you’ll be thankful you added another move to your exercise repertoire. Enjoy your extended coordination, stamina, endurance and elasticity, amongst other fitness benefits. Everyday is an opportunity to make yourself a more fit and efficient archer, so never let up. Get Serious, Get Fit!