Jumping rope can be great cross-training exercise

As long as you're in reasonably good cardiovascular condition and you possess a fair amount of coordination and agility, you can jump rope to maintain or improve fitness. But before you jump right in, heed this advice:

  • Always wear well-cushioned footwear and jump on resilient floors.
  • Warm up first and monitor your heart rate during the workout.
  • Build up slowly to your time goal. Too much jumping too soon can lead to lower-leg or foot injuries.
  • Stop jumping if you feel any leg pain.

    If you're looking to develop aerobic fitness, it's best to jump with a light rope, also called a speed rope. Concentrate on maintaining a fast cadence, about 60 to 100 turns per minute.

    Start with a five-minute session perhaps after a short run alternating 30 seconds of jumping with 30 seconds of rest. Gradually increase the duration of the workout to 20 minutes of continuous jumping.

    To improve muscular strength and power especially in the upper body use a weighted rope.

    Weighing from 2 to 5 pounds, heavy ropes require substantially more upper-body strength and elicit higher heart rates for a given cadence than light ropes.

    By increasing either the speed of jumping or the weight of the rope, you'll enhance the workout's power-building capability.

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