When you first start jumping rope you might feel like it’s not something you can do because you keep missing and having to start over. This doesn’t happen with other exercises like jogging or walking or biking. This is one of the things that makes jump rope UNIQUE. It requires concentration, coordination and stamina.
The key to a skipping rope (like many things) is practice. Do it consistently and you will improve, even if you aren’t an athlete.
I think that’s why I’ve grown to love jumping. It’s hard for your mind to wander or to think about what you need at the grocery store or the to do list. It’s an exercise that requires focus. When you go for a run or a walk your mind can wander. If that’s what you like about it, jumping rope might not be for you.
Start with just skipping rope for 5 minutes every day. Even if you miss and your feet get tangled in the rope, start again until the time is up. You will see improvement.
First Jump Rope Skill to Master – Basic Bounce
If you’re just starting to jump rope be patient with yourself, especially if you aren’t a regular exerciser. The first skill to learn is called a basic bounce or double foot jump. Jump over the rope with both feet at once.
You CAN get a good workout with just this skill. You can read more about the apps I started to use in this post, but start with counting. Get to where you can get over the rope 10 times in a row, then 20 times, then 30 etc.
If you mess up just start again. I did only the basic bounce/double jump for months, with all kinds of music to keep it fun.
Second Jump Rope Skill – Boxer Step
Once you have the basic bounce down, you can work on weight transfer. The boxer step is the easiest second skill because you aren’t kicking your feet up, which makes them less likely to catch on the rope.
It’s almost the same jump, but you are transferring weight from your right to left foot. It’s very slight. The other foot doesn’t even come off the ground. This is the lowest impact way to jump rope. Once you get it mastered it almost doesn’t feel like you’re leaving the ground.
Third Jump Rope Skill – Alternating Foot
This one looks like jogging in place with a jump rope. It’s harder because the foot you are picking up can catch the rope. Don’t be frustrated if it takes lots of fails before you get it. It’s a very subtle change, but you will see the more you jump that very small changes make a difference.
Think of pulling your knee forward instead of pushing your foot backward.
Dos and Don’ts to Avoid Injuries
- Do jump on the balls of your feet instead of your entire foot
- Do try to barely clear the rope
- Do keep your knees slightly bent
- Do keep your elbows tucked into your sides
- Do use your wrists to rotate the rope instead of your whole arm
- Don’t kick your feet or your heals up
- Don’t try to bounce high
- Do film yourself once a week (see below)
You might be thinking, why on earth would I film myself. You never have to show anyone. It’s good for YOU for two reasons. First, you can see the progress you make and it will happen. I wish I had taken videos from day one. Second, you can observe things about your technique that you can’t feel.
I noticed that I have one arm that is sticking out farther and not as strong as the other. Why does that matter? Now when I’m jumping I can make a conscious effort to improve that one thing. This isn’t just something to do for jump rope, it’s good for squats and all kinds of things to make sure your form is correct.
I learned something from making these videos for this post about my own form. I think my rope is too long. My arms are way out to the side.
I hope these three jump rope skills will get you on the rode the embracing jump rope.