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This Month In Body
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  • Jumping for Health
    You remember playing with a jump rope at recess as a child, when only the skilled kids could jump double Dutch successfully. But did you know that the simple act of jumping up and down provides an easy and effective way to get exercise? Read >>
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Jumping for Health

Eight jump rope routines for an effective cardio workout.

You remember playing with a jump rope at recess as a child, when only the skilled kids could jump double Dutch successfully. But did you know that the simple act of jumping up and down provides an easy and effective way to get exercise? In no time, your heart is pumping and you’re breathing fast. Your leg muscles are working hard and you get a good workout.

As an added perk, jumping rope is a workout you can do anywhere. At home, outdoors, in the gym, in a hotel room, maybe even in your office. A jump rope can easily travel with you wherever you go. And compared to other exercise equipment, a jump rope is about as cheap as they come.

If you decide to get a jump rope, make sure it’s the right length. When you step on the middle of the rope, the handles should reach to your armpits. As you swing the rope over your head and under your feet, keep your body upright and jump on the balls of your feet without letting your heels touch the ground. As you swing the rope, your elbows should be kept next to your body and your wrists should be doing the majority of the work, not your arms.

If you get tired of jumping the same way every time, here are a few ideas to add a little variety to your jump rope workouts. Plan to do each type of jump for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest period in between. Repeat the cycle of exercises until you’ve reached the end of your workout. Be sure to start off with a warm-up and end with a cool-down.

The Basic Jump: For the basic jump, both feet are jumping. You’re not jumping too fast or slow and you’re jumping just high enough to pass the rope under your feet.

Front to Back: For a bit of variety, add in some front to back jumps. As you jump, move both feet forward six inches over the rope and then jump back six inches. Continue jumping forward and backward.

Alternate Foot Jump: As the jump rope passes under you, jump over it with your right foot first. On the next swing, jump over with your left foot first. The movement will be like jogging in place.

High Steps: After your 10 second rest, continue the alternate foot jump, but raise each knee to a 90-degree angle with each jump. This will increase the intensity of your jumps and really give your legs a workout.

Jump Rope Squats: Jump squats are effective for building strength and muscle. Add in a jump rope to challenge your coordination and increase the intensity of your jump rope workout. Squat down, feet apart, knees bent, and jump up. As you jump off the ground, pass the jump rope under your feet. Land in a squat and repeat for 20 seconds.

One-Foot Hops: On your next round, jump for 10 seconds only on your left foot and then 10 seconds only on your right foot.

Side to Side: Return to the basic jump with both feet, but jump back and forth, moving a few inches to the right and then a few inches to the left with each jump.
Jump Rope Jacks: Another type of jump to do with a jump rope is similar to jumping jacks. As you jump, alternate between landing with your feet together and landing with your feet spread one to two feet apart. Of course, your arms won’t be doing the same movements as traditional jumping jacks, but your feet will.