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Skip yourself in shape

Exercise Cardiovascular_training

Written by:
Birgitte Nymann ( www.nymanns.dk )
Author, speaker and educator within Exercise, health, nutrition and motivation. Concept – and seminar developer at Pro Academy, Denmark. Educated and trained in sport from University of Copenhagen.

Skipping is not just a child’s game, but a serious form of exercise as well. Especially boxers devote themselves to this form of exercise, when they need to get in shape for a fight. Skipping strengthens the coordination, your physical fitness and metabolism. At the same time, it strengthens bones and muscles effectively in the whole body. Skipping can be performed anytime and anywhere. The most important ingredients in this form of exercise are the rope and a pair of good shoes.

Learn how to skip

If you haven’t skipped since childhood, your body is naturally not used to it – and will nor get used to it in just 10 minutes. It takes time to get accustomed to skipping, finding a good technique and resist for a long time. Despite the fact that skipping is hard for your body, it is definitely not damaging, even though it might feel that way in the beginning or if you exaggerate in relation to the current skipping exercises. Therefore, skipping must be escalated slowly so the body can keep up with the training.

Skipping:

  • Strengthens your fitness
  • Challenges endurance of your whole body
  • Do not require a lot of space
  • Effective exercise in short time
  • Can be performed on your vacation, business trip, when your child is sleeping etc.

Choose a good skipping rope

A good skipping rope is made of a durable plastic rope and has ball bearings in the handles. It must be a bit heavy without being too heavy. If the rope is too easy, you cannot swing it regularly around. If it is too heavy, you will get tired too quickly. The most optimum is to try the skipping rope before you invest in it. You can of course use a regular plastic rope or one of fabrics to begin with, but if you intend to skip for a longer period of time, it requires a professional rope.

Exercises:

Put some motivating music on, intense music that motivates you and that you cannot stand still to. Turn off your cell phone. Tie your shoes and grab the rope – you have just started a first-grade way of burning calories.

Warm-up: Hold the handles tightly and get your hands together. Keep your feet hip distance apart. Now swing the rope in shapes of a figure eight, which begin along your side, then forwards and further to the other side. Swing the skipping rope faster and faster. When you get tired, move on to the next exercise.

Hold both handles in one hand. Jog in place and swing the rope in circles along your side. Change to the other arm and swing the skipping rope 20 times with every arm. Then move to the next exercise.

Swing the rope ”normally” and jump with legs together. Skip for as long as you can – max. 2 min. where after you repeat the exercises from the beginning two more times. Stretch your peroneus and thigh muscles – and you are ready to skip again.

Exercises

  1. Jump with legs together
  2. Jog in place
  3. Jump with legs together backwards and forwards
  4. Run in place
  5. Jump with legs together from side to side
  6. Run forwards/backwards
  7. Hop on one leg
  8. Kick your leg forwards while you jump two times on the other leg (kick your leg as if you are kicking to a football, so you bend your knee and then stretch it out – change to the other leg)
  9. Knee lift
  10. Jump with legs together while you slowly swing the rope, so you have the time to bend far down in your knees.

Do every exercise for approx. 1 min. Start from the beginning, if you still have energy in your legs.

Good shoes for skipping can:

  • Absorb shock in the front foot – it is not enough if they only have shock-absorbers in the heels, since all jumps are performed with landing on the front foot first.
  • Support the foot on the sides and is not too soft in the upholstery.
  • Give mobility around the ankles, i.e. they must not be too high at the back since that would press the achilles tendon, and might give injuries in the long run.

Energy consumption:

10 minutes of skipping correspond to:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 banana
  • 20 grams of chocolate
  • ½ beer
  • 1,5 kilometres of brisk walking
  • 1 hour in front of the computer

Technique

  • Swing the skipping rope with your entire forearm, so you don’t only use your wrist to swing the rope
  • Land ”soundlessly” on the floor. If the landing on your foot is performed correctly, you will almost not hear when you land. The less noise, the more you catch your body weight with your muscles and not your joints..
  • Maintain a good posture, with the head on the top of the body, and do not bend too much forward. If you skip with a bad posture, the shock absorbance of the body is not functioning properly and will give rise to injuries in the long run.

Prevent the typical skipping injuries

  • Use shoes with an effective shock absorbance
  • Stretch your peroneus, thighs, buttock muscles, chest muscles, back and neck after EVERY time you exercise.
  • Shape your body slowly
  • Warm up thoroughly
  • Focus on your technique – especially the first times you exercise.
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