How to Use A Jump Rope to Build Cardiovascular Endurance
Jump ropes have long been associated with elementary-school recess games or agility training for boxers. A quality jump rope can be as inexpensive as $2 but can allow you to build some extreme cardiovascular endurance.
Jump roping requires the use of several muscle groups: Your core is engaged to stabilize you during movement, your lower body is engaged throughout the jumping, your upper body is engaged by controlling the speed of the rope, and your cardiovascular system is working like crazy to supply fresh oxygen and eliminate toxins from all of those muscles.
Jump roping three to five days a week for 15 to 20 minutes is optimal for building endurance. At first it will seem hard to make it to the 15-minute recommendation, but once you have the first week under your belt, you’ll notice it gets easier. You will build cardiovascular endurance from the beginning and you will see noticeable results by the end of the second week.
5 Steps To Use A Jump Rope to Build Cardiovascular Endurance
1. Warm up your body by stretching for 5 minutes.
Then jumping in place without the rope for one to two minutes. This will ensure that your muscles are warmed up and ready to tackle a cardio workout. It also gets your heart rate up so that your heart is prepared for what’s to come.
2. Once you get a rhythm down, you can start to try different tricks and speeds.
Familiarize yourself with the motions and proper form of jump roping. Starting slow is a good idea regardless of your jump-roping experience, but beginners should spend more time at this step.
As the experts at AceFitness.org reminds us, keep your knees slightly bent, your elbows close to your body, your spine and neck straight, and keep an arc in the rope as you swing it with your wrists. Start with slower jumps and go faster as you begin to feel comfortable.
3. Increase the difficulty level.
Once you have the basics down, you can start doing some of the fancy stuff. Keep the same steady pace that you have established and try jumping side to side, with a wide stance, on one foot or alternating feet.
Chances are, you will trip and have to start over a few times while trying these different moves, but you’ll continue to keep all of your muscles engaged as your body tries to stabilize itself through the new motions.
4. Train in intervals.
According to Perfect-Body-Toning.com, you can burn up to 200 calories in 15 minutes of jump roping, and your heart and breathing rate will confirm that. Jumping for 15 minutes straight is challenging, so work in intervals doing anywhere from 50-100 jumps per interval and resting for 30 seconds before starting up again.
5. Challenge yourself.
By the fourth or fifth interval, your calves will be fatigued and you’ll feel your heartbeat in your head, but keep going even if it means taking up a slower pace for a few intervals. Don’t worry about overusing your knees or ankles; by keeping your knees slightly bent, they are able to absorb the shock created by jumping.
According to MensFitness.com, jump roping can actually build bone-mineral density. Plus, as you are toning and building muscle, you are increasing the support system of your entire body frame.
Tips and Warnings
- Listen to music that has a fast beat to it and try to keep your jumping in sync with the rhythm. Remember to stay hydrated because you’ll definitely work up a sweat. You may hear the water you drink sloshing around in your stomach while you jump, but that’s a good indication that you’re taking in enough fluids!
- Talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness program.
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