How is it different to other forms of cardio?
Unlike a high-impact HIIT class, which can quickly take its toll on the body, Ian explains that skipping creates less wear and tear on the joints, meaning you can do it more frequently, and reap the benefits. “Skipping is different from your average cardio thanks to fast adaptations. You’ll find skipping challenging if you’re new to it, and during the first month of a skipping routine, you’ll expend a lot of calories and will experience a sharp increase in performance in the first six weeks.”
Is there a right way to skip?
“Skipping, like martial arts, is all about timing and rhythm,” says Ian. “It should feel effortless – you should do nearly all the work with your lower legs for the jump, and use your wrist and hand to spin the rope. There should be minimal movement above the elbow.” Michelle recommends “floating like a butterfly” when skipping, staying light on your feet and keeping your jumps low to the ground. Keep your knees soft and your abs tight, try to keep your elbows at 45º, pulled into the ribs, and rotate from your wrist.
Where do you start?
Keep it simple, says KXU trainer Alex Lawson, and start by ensuring your technique is on point. “Keep your arms tucked in by the side of your body. Jump on your toes and make sure you bend your knees slightly throughout. Try and relax, and don’t forget to breathe – people tend to stiffen up and lose their natural breathing rhythm when learning new and complex movements.” If you’re struggling to get the mechanics right, Alex advises skipping without the rope. “You can replicate all the motions, like moving your wrists and bouncing on time. Try skipping for one minute continuously, with or without your rope, and give yourself a 30-40 second break. Aim to keep going for five minutes, building up to ten. Aim to clear the floor by one or two inches only, and keep both feet together and bounce once for each revolution.”