“Burn as many as 1600 calories in only an hour!”
Skipping is one of the most underrated types of exercises. You may be thinking skipping is just for children, why is it so amazing?
Well, skipping is not just a common playground activity, it, in fact, has a range of health benefits.
This workout has risen in popularity over the years. In particular, during the coronavirus lockdowns, many YouTube fitness channels have recommended skipping as a great form of exercise.
One being 73-year-old Rajinder Singh, dubbed as the “Skipping Sikh”, who went viral after posting a video of him skipping and encouraging others to do so.
In a Good Morning interview, he explained how skipping is “very good for your health” and how it “makes you more healthy.”
It is also popular amongst Bollywood stars with Milind Soman, Shilpa Shetty, Arjun Kapoor and Vidyut Jammwal being keen skippers.
In an Instagram video, actress Sonakshi Sinha described skipping as the “best cardio burn.”
DESIblitz’s share 9 benefits of skipping and why it is truly the best form of cardio you can do as well as sharing some tips and tricks to get you skipping like a pro.
Speaking to FOOD NDTV, Sana Vidyalankar, founder of Soul-to-Sole Academy asserted that:
“Skipping is an extraordinary and simple approach to lose those additional calories. It is safer than jogging or running as you arrive on your toes while doing it, without affecting your knees severely.”
First and foremost, skipping is the best exercise for weight loss.
In comparison to other cardiovascular activities, such as running or cycling, skipping burns far more calories. This is because it is a full body workout that engages all your major muscle groups.
Just 10 minutes of skipping can burn more calories than running a mile in 8 minutes!
The British Rope Skipping Association express that:
“People who would like to lose a few extra pounds, need to balance that with a healthy diet, and some form of exercise.
“Rope skipping is perfect for that – you don’t need to be a professional rope skipper, in order to burn as many as 1600 calories in only an hour!”
Improves Bone Density
Skipping is not just about losing weight; it has a benefit that stretches much further than just altering your physical appearance. Alongside weight loss, it can make your bones stronger.
Osteoporosis is a bone condition that weakens your bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures.
Normally as you age your bone density tends to decrease slowly making you more susceptible to bone conditions, such as osteoporosis.
However, regular skipping is a great way to prevent bone density decline and subsequently strengthen bones.
In 2017, the Public Library of Science published a study that supports this. It found that amongst teenagers that participated, the bone density of those who skipped weekly was much higher than those who did not.
Speaking to the Insider, celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels expressed:
“Jumping rope builds bone density through impact training. When we train with impact we are stressing the bone more aggressively than most forms of training.
“The body responds to this stress by remodelling the bone to become stronger and more dense.”
Full Body Workout
Skipping is a great form of cardio that targets all areas of your body. Speaking to FOOD NDTV, Anshul Jaibharat, a Delhi-based nutritionist expressed:
“Skipping is a full body workout as you are practically utilising all parts of your body.
“Your lower body is persistently bouncing, your arms and shoulders are constantly in motion, and your abdominal area is involved too.”
While it is great at targeting your whole body, if your form is not correct you can do more harm than good.
Skipping may seem quite self-explanatory – you just swing the rope around and jump right?
Well yes, essentially, but if you are not landing properly you can damage your ankles and calves.
When skipping you need to make sure you are jumping and landing with the balls of your feet and never on your whole foot.
This would create less impact on your lower leg and foot, subsequently avoiding injuries.
It is important that you wear a good pair of trainers when skipping, as without the correct footwear you could injure your feet and lower leg.
Furthermore, make sure you are rotating the rope with your wrists and never the shoulders as this could cause injury to your shoulders.
Improves Coordination and Mental Sharpness
Speaking to the Insider, personal trainer Morgan Rees expressed:
“Jump rope improves coordination by requiring several body parts to communicate in order to complete one movement.
“The feet must jump in time with the wrists rotating in order to create a continuous jumping motion.”
When skipping your brain is focussing on several things at once. It has to concentrate on your skipping rhythm, the jumping, footwork, as well as recognising the ropes speed.
Due to this, regular skipping will greatly improve your mental sharpness and hand-to-eye coordination.
According to the Jump Rope Institute, skipping can actually improve brain activity and sharpness.
Skipping aids the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain which subsequently would improve your memory and mental alertness.
Skipping is actually great at improving your posture. Many spend long periods of their day crouched over their laptop working or studying, over time this can have a long-term effect on your posture.
The NHS website states:
“Laptops allow us to be able to work more flexibly, but they have been blamed for causing back, neck and shoulder problems.”
As usually when you are using your laptop your back is slouched and your shoulders are caved in. This position subsequently puts more strain on your discs and lower back.
The Jump Rope Dudes, who run a skipping YouTube channel, expressed within a YouTube video that:
“With proper jump rope form, you’re actually pulling your shoulder blades back and you’re aligning your spine, which has the added benefit of making you look taller.
“Jump rope doesn’t actually make you taller, but by improving your posture, you’ll be standing up straighter, which makes you seem taller.”
The pulling of your shoulder blades would also mean there’s less tension in your neck and shoulders.
Therefore, if you suffer from shoulder or neck pain skipping may be a great exercise to begin to relieve the tension.
Good posture does not just reduce back and shoulder pain, but it also helps to improve blood flow to the brain.
Improves Mental Health
In an interview, Rajinder Singh, aka the “Skipping Sikh”, explained how he has been skipping since the age of 6 and further expressed:
“My father would always tell me how skipping was something he enjoyed. It was a way for him to keep busy and stay out of negative thoughts.”
Furthermore, in a BBC interview he asserted how:
“Health is wealth…in the room, you can start skipping.”
“It makes me happy, healthy, especially when I’m jumping and coming down I don’t think anything else but about skipping. Your brain relaxes.”
A study published in the Journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience supports Singh’s comments by concluding that “skipping helps in boosting mood, improves memory, and alleviates stress too.”
This form of exercise can positively affect your mood and mental health. It also increases blood circulation to the brain and releases endorphins, which all can help to relieve anxiety and depression.
Suitable for Everyone
While many boxers and basketball players use skipping to improve their coordination, you do not have to be a pro athlete to do skipping.
It is suitable for everyone, no matter what your age or fitness level is. It is pretty easy to pick up and you can vary the intensity depending on your skipping ability.
If you are new to this form of exercise, you could incorporate it with other cardio in a HIIT workout.
For example, you could do skipping for 20 seconds, followed by star jumps and squats for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest in between.
Check out this beginner skipping workout by the Jump Rope Dudes:
If you are wanting something more intense you could just do 6×30 seconds of skipping, with a ten second rest between each exercise. To get more of an intense workout this set should be repeated 6 times.
Check out this advanced skipping workout by Phoenix Nation:
With heavy gym equipment, like treadmills and cross-trainer’s, you are usually restricted to only using them at home or the gym.
However, a major benefit of skipping is how hassle-free, convenient and portable it is.
You can skip indoors, in your garden, at a park or you can even take it with you when you travel.
Cheap and Cheerful
Skipping is an excellent form of exercise that does not hurt the bank.
You may think that in order to get a great workout you need to fork out tonnes of cash on a monthly gym membership, your own treadmills or exercise bikes.
However, this is not the case you can get the same benefits and much more with this pocket-friendly workout.
After the initial cost of purchasing your skipping rope, it is a zero-cost workout. Skipping ropes are relatively inexpensive, as they usually cost under £10 and will last you a long time.
If you are wanting a digital skipping rope that includes a jump and calorie counter, these usually retail for under £20.
Before you begin to skip you need to make sure you have the correct skipping rope length. Most ropes can be easily adjustable for your height.
Top Tip: To correctly size your skipping rope step in the middle of your rope and pulling the handles up.
By doing this you would be able to check the correct rope length for your height, as the rope handles should be right underneath your armpit.
Skipping is one of the most effective and fun fat burning workouts, that also improves your mental and physical health.
If you want to reap the many benefits of this workout you need to grab yourself a rope and start jumping!