Skipping: how to do this effective all-body workout

Seilspringen: effektives Training bei halber Belastung

When was the last time you skipped? Even if it’s been a while – skipping is a good way of stimulating heart and circulation.

Why skipping is so healthy

The distinct advantage of skipping is that on landing after every jump, the body’s weight is distributed across both legs. This means that, in contrast to jogging, the body’s joints carry only half the load. At the same time, the workout is extremely strenuous – it challenges the entire cardiovascular system and raises the pulse within a very short time.

Benefits of skipping

  • Skipping stimulates the cardiovascular system within seconds. It’s the perfect form of training if you’re pushed for time.
  • For beginners, skipping is an excellent preparation for jogging: all the leg muscles become accustomed to the moves, but the bones and ligaments carry only half the body’s load as when jogging.
  • For runners it is excellent training for the foot and calf muscles. Especially if you want to change your running style to a forefoot or midfoot strike, it trains the relevant muscles.
  • At a moderate pace, you burn 400-600 kcal in 30 minutes, depending on body weight, gender and age. The level of calorie consumption is thus comparable to one hour of jogging.

Skipping: effective initial training for joggers

Chief physician Dr. med. Christian Larsen explains in the video why skipping is an incredibly efficient workout and shows how to skip in a way that is easy on the joints. His tip for people taking up running: practise skipping first. If you can manage 10 minutes, you’re ready for jogging for beginners.

Running expert Dr. med. Larsen explains

Dr. med. Christian Larsen explains the benefits of an efficient all-body workout (in german).

Skipping: what is important?

Theoretically you can use any rope. However, it's worth buying a thin rope made of a synthetic material (elastic PVC) or one with a wire core and rotating handles as these make the moves much easier. Inexpensive alternatives can be found at hardware stores where you will find a variety of ropes of different thickness and quality.

The right skipping rope length

Stand upright and place one foot in the middle of the skipping rope. The two ends of the rope – not the handles – should now more or less reach nipple height or at least the beginning of the pectoral muscle. If you turn the handles upwards, the ends finish more or less in the armpit. When buying a skipping rope, you can determine the optimum length with a tape measure in advance.

Learning to skip

Before you skip for the first time, it’s a good idea to try out the movement without a rope. In order to be «spirally cushioned» when skipping – i.e. for the body to be correctly loaded and trained from an anatomical perspective – jump up just a little and only barely bend your knees. This automatically lands you on the forefoot – so you don’t set your whole foot down between jumps.

Protect your feet

Barefoot skipping is the best way to train your legs; however, as a beginner this will put too much strain on your feet. It's therefore better at first to wear sports shoes to skip. At the beginning it's enough to do 5 x 10 jumps. You can then gradually increase the number.

The level of calorie con­sump­tion is comparable to one hour of jogging.
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Skipping correctly – what to note when training

As soon as skipping starts to flow, it becomes enjoyable, but it’s important to pay attention to a few things. Ensure your posture is correct to avoid malpositions and pain:

  1. Make sure that your feet don’t buckle and that you can actively control your feet at all times. The base joint of the big toe must bear the main load.
  2. Make sure that your knees don't turn or tilt inwards.
  3. With every jump, the heels should sink to just above the ground, but not actually touch the ground.

Advanced exercises for more fun

Advanced rope skippers can develop their training as much as they wish. From 3 x 50 up to 5 x 100 jumps or simply skip to your favourite songs. See how creative you can get:

  • skip with crossed arms
  • vary the speed: jump to different beats of your favourite songs
  • jump with the right and left leg alternately
  • incorporate mid-jumps

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