Six weeks ago I pulled a muscle in my back from not properly warming up before running my usual 5k. The Doc guesses I hurt my back because I’m landing too often on my heels. In an effort to ease back into running I started to look for other ways to get my cardio in, something like running, but without the landing on my heels.
I’ve been involved in martial arts for 20 years and I hated jumping rope but I needed to do something so I dug through my boxing gear gym bag and pulled out my old speed rope. It’s not as bad as I remembered…in fact, I kind of like it. I’ve done one and half hours this week with some light kettlebell swings and rather enjoyed the workout and would recommend it to anyone. After sitting out for a four and a half weeks I’m starting to feel a little lighter in step.
Just in case you doubt skipping or think its not cool or you believe its girly, a quote from former heavy weight boxing champ Jack Dempsey:
ROPE-SKIPPING develops stamina, coordination and leg-spring.
At a sports-goods store you can buy a skipping rope (not one of those toy ropes that kids use). Or, you can make a rope by soaking a piece of clothesline overnight in a can of light lubricating oil. Hang up the rope and let it dry out for a day. Then, fold the ends of the rope back and tape them into “handles” with bicycle tape. The skipping rope should be fairly heavy but not too thick. That’s why you give it the oil treatment.
In skipping, you do not jump with both feet at the same time; nor do you skip with a hippity-hop, like a school girl. Instead, you bounce off one foot and then off the other (Figure 83A and B). That will seem awkward at first; but soon you’ll be skipping with an effortless grace that will surprise you and your friends. To make skipping interesting, you can learn to do it backward. You can learn to cross the rope forward (Figure 83C) and backward, and to make the rope go around you twice while you are in the air once. You’ll have a lot of fun with the rope. You’ll be able to do footwork while skipping, and perhaps you’ll even be able to dance a jig while the rope is whirling about you. Naturally, the skipping is done in a gymnasium or in whatever you are using for a gym. Do at least two rounds of skipping at each workout. (Dempsey, Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense. 1950)
Still want more? Mayweather Jr. doing his thing: