The side straddle skill is really similar to doing a jumping jack. Done! This one is easy to understand. The trick is that you might not be able to jump your feet out quite as wide as you do in a jumping jack.
How wide you can jump your feet out without catching the rope depends on two things. It depends on your form and how long your jump rope is. Read more about how to improve your form for a side straddle below.
Watch a video of the side straddle here.
Facts About Side Straddle
Difficulty: The side straddle jump ranks a 2 out of 5.
Best Rope: The best rope for this skill when you first learn it is the one that is the longest. It is easy to learn with a PVC rope or a beaded rope. If you use a weighted rope to learn it, it helps your rope to go around a little slower, which can make it easier.
Prerequisites: The only skill you need to know to learn the side straddle is the basic bounce.
Tips and Drills To Learn the Side Straddle
Tip: Tighten Your Form – The tighter your form is, the wider you can jump your feet. You can see in the image of me that my elbows are NOT really close to my body. If I want to improve my form (which I do) I will work on pulling those elbows in AND I can jump my feet out farther.
Tip: Don’t look at your feet. Jump your feet together between each open jump
Tip: Practice without the rope. Almost all jump rope skills are easier to learn with your feet first before you add the rope into the mix.
Drill: With all new skills I like to alternate them with the basic bounce. I use either 4 or 10 basic bounces followed by 4 or 10 of the new skill. Counting them out helps me to keep my focus.
Learning jump rope skills can be a great way to get in shape without spending a ton of time, and it’s fun. The side straddle jump is one of the easier jump rope tricks for beginners to learn, but don’t be discouraged if you feel like you’re not doing it right at first!
Check out the tutorial video above for some tips on how to master this form. Once you’ve got your basics down, check out these other jump roping skills: forward straddle, high knees and heel-toe. You’ll find that each has its own set of benefits and challenges. I’m happy to help with any questions or we could do a joint jump.