Most of us can remember "Jump Rope for Heart" at school and it could be the last time some of you picked up a skipping rope... if you want to improve your running it's time to pick up that skipping rope again. Skipping can be a great warmup and an effective cross-training workout for runners, the constant jumping will also strengthen your calves, hamstrings, and glutes which are all muscles that can help you run faster.
1. It Helps Prevent Injury.
With trail running becoming so popular in the recreational running space, lower leg injuries in particular ankle injuries have risen significantly.
Skipping for runners continuously builds muscle in these areas and provides a stronger healthier foundation to help you run injury free.
2. It creates rhythm
Rhythm is crucial when running, it's the time when that run just feels "easier".
Cadence, which is measured by strides per minute, can be perfected and worked on if cross-training with a skipping rope.
Running coaches agree, “Timing is everything when skipping. You have to find the right beat (rhythm) and cadence, just like in running. Learning how to find your rhythm can help find your proper cadence during your runs, as well.” We often include skipping in our RunStrength sessions on a Monday and Wednesday evening.
3. Bomb proof those lower limbs.
Just as discussed above, when mentioning injury prevention, skipping can strengthen vital muscles in our bodies.
When adding lower body strength training, especially with posterior chain exercises (like skipping), the development in your muscles will help increase running speed, as well as decrease the amount of energy that your body will need to expend to increase velocity, making your runs feel easier.
4. It gets the heart rate up.
Even 60secs can get the heart going.
Skipping is aerobic, which helps with strengthening cardiovascular health. If you can't find 30mins to head out for a run - pop into the garage or backyard for 10mins with a skipping rope and you'll feel like you've had a great workout.
5. It improves coordination.
Skipping develops a steady and regular relationship between the eyes, feet, and hands. This can positively impact a runner’s ability to kinetically connect different parts of the body.
Doing the same movement over and over and staying on the ‘balls’ of your feet can help you with staying light on your feet during a run which as we mentioned at the start is so important especially for trail runners.
Here's a Skipping workout you can try at home;
1)Basic 2 legged jump 1min
2 legged jump but jumping side to side 1min
REPEAT the Above
2)30secs skipping on the right leg
30secs skipping on the left leg
REPEAT the Above
This one is challenging, so do your best to stick with it for at least one full minute. If you lose form, just get back on it.
Jump high enough in the air, or swing the rope fast enough, to pass the rope under the feet twice before landing.
Continue for one to two minutes, rest, then repeat Exercises 1 and 2.
Don't have a Skipping Rope.
If you like the best of the best we suggest heading to Crossrope Australia
or, head to Rebel that have a great general selection.