With everyone home during quarantine, running and biking were a popular choice for keeping in shape. Both are great sources of cardio and help keep your body active, which is especially important when many of us are now spending our days staring behind a screen for work or school as well as entertainment. In an effort to stay healthy, I began body weight exercises and began running. However, soon I started looking for alternate sources of cardio as sidewalks became more crowded with runners, joggers and walkers alike. A few simple internet searches led me to multiple YouTube channels that championed the health benefits of jump roping, namely “Jump Rope Dudes.” Thus, my journey with jump roping began.
With a gap of at least five years since I last picked up a jump rope, I started with working on proper form for jump roping to avoid injury. After working on correcting posture and landing on the right part of my feet, I started following workouts posted by “Jump Rope Dudes.” With my calves, glutes, and quads burning, I made sure to add a 48-hour gap between workouts.
While this was a great start during quarantine, I wanted to take jump roping to the next level, and I began to look for ways to intensify my workouts. I began doing a 1000 jump challenge for myself, inspired by yet another YouTube video by Cole Baker. I decided to try 2000 jumps for 21 days. My daily workout consisted of ten rounds of 200 jumps, with a minute rest in between each round.
In an attempt to adhere to a schedule while on campus, I would force myself to jump rope in the mornings in my dorm room. While a little cramped, I was able to make do, and the first three days went well. While my previous workouts involved rest days in between, this daily challenge resulted in tiring out my calves much quicker. Drenched in sweat, the thirty-minute workouts were the equivalent of a full on run in the morning even though they took half the time, with the biggest difficulty being keeping a consistent stream of jumps without tripping.
To counter the tripping, I started practicing a basic boxer step after the first week, which involves shifting the weight from foot to foot. This added some variation into the jump roping which allowed me to continue longer periods of time without tripping. While mastering the boxer step in the second week slowed my jump roping down, I was able to trip less, and decrease fatigue in my calves as well.
By the time the third week came around I was able to do the basic boxer step and was bored with the basic jump and added in other variations like criss-crossing the rope and the “double-unders,” where the rope would pass twice before finishing the jump in order to keep the activity engaging. My legs were not as sore by the end of the workouts this week, and while there were a few trips here and there, I had gotten a good handle of the different techniques.
In terms of results, I had a slim frame to begin with, but the jump roping still helped cut stubborn fat from my stomach. My legs were more toned by the end of the three weeks, but this workout seemed primarily helpful in weight loss. I had begun this workout at 140.3 pounds but by the end of the third week I weighed 135.5 pounds. The workouts themselves were tiring, and the most difficult part was pushing myself to jump rope first thing in the morning. Oddly enough, I felt an increase in the amount of energy afterwards and was a lot more productive on the days I jump roped.
This was also one of the most fun exercises and the self-satisfaction of being able to do different tricks was rewarding. There are tremendous health benefits, as it is a reliable source of cardio, and a clear way to lose weight, and it is definitely something I will be continuing, and highly recommend to others.
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