Skipping for beginners

This is probably one of the most feared forms of cardio. Skipping is well known, outside the school yard, as punishment to the heart, lungs, shoulders and calves. The thing most people forget is that there are many ways you can skip and that it is critical to maintain good form. In our beginner guide we are going to discuss the basics to get you going.

The Gear

Wearing bad shoes will land up hurting your feet and will cause you to change your form to avoid the pain. The skipping rope you choose shapes your entire experience, so pick wisely/lightly. For a newby it would be best to get a rope that is light, saving your forearms and shoulders the extra weight.

When you swing the rope under your feet the base of the handles should be inline with your under-arms. If the rope is too long, tie some knots near the handle to shorten the rope.

Warm Up

First and foremost, just like any cardio exercise, you need to warm up. To warm up you can have a 10 minute walk/cycle or march on the spot for 10 minutes.

If you are marching on the spot to warm up, start by alternating lifting your feet just off the floor at a speed you normally walk for 6 Minutes then for 4 Minutes raise your knees to hip height on each step.

Scheduling

As a beginner if you can spend 5-10 Minutes 5 times a week and you will be shocked how quickly you get the hang of it, and how quickly you will see results. May be better to not skip more than 10 minutes a day until you have been skipping for a month or 2. 

You need your 2 break days. Don’t burn out and sacrifice your momentum because you are excited. Hold on, keep your head down and in a few weeks/months you won’t be sorry. 

Form

While there are many variations of skipping for this article we are looking at a basic starting point for newbies. Your basic double foot jump that everyone knows is a simple starting point for you.

Coordination, fitness and strength all need to be gained which may sound daunting but it is a great activity that keeps you focused and gives yourself a few self-inflicted laughs. Enjoy the journey and admire the progress that is plentiful. The form points below will help you protect your joints and use minimal energy for each jump, helping you skip for longer:

  1. Jump at the right time so the rope needs minimal time to go under your feet.
  2. Your feet need to leave and land on the floor at the same time.
  3. Use your calves to jump not your legs, but keep your knees slightly bent at all times.
  4. Use your wrist to swing the rope, not your arms.
  5. Try to not let your heel touch the floor for the full 5-10 minutes.

Don’t forget to cool down slowly by doing a 5 minute slow march/walk/cycle followed by a calf and bicep stretch.

As with any lifestyle change or health related activities we recommend you consult a professional before changing your routine/lack thereof.

Joni Kowensky
Author: Joni Kowensky