Skipping! One of the most basic and yet overlooked exercises out there! Not only does it build great endurance and agility but it also increases bone density and strengthens your shoulders, legs and arms. It is widely used by athletes of all sports, during training, and for good reason.
I started skipping 13 years ago as another option for cardio intervals between my workout sets. Tired of the elliptical and bike, I wanted something that was going to be a challenge for me. I was never really into it as a child so my learning curve was palpable. I tripped, threw the rope, swore to myself and ended up with wonderful whip marks all over my legs and arms. Frustrating as it was, when I finally started linking those jumps, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. Then I would trip...again.
Time went on and I kept at it and before I knew it, I was able to skip with my eyes closed and music on. So satisfying!!! Until one day, when I was skipping away like a pro, my buddy throws me a speed rope and goes "how about you give double-unders a try?". Back to the drawing board I went.
I quickly learned that a speed rope is quite different from your traditional leather or plastic rope and far less forgiving. It is made of a material similar to piano wire and has bearings at the end to give it it's speed (hence the name). Lets just say that my old rope burns looked like puppy kisses compared to the slices that now adorned my legs.
But with time and dedication, I was where I was with a traditional rope; linking jumps with my eyes closed and music on. What a great feeling!!! My upper body endurance, agility and stamina all increased and it translated well into my road biking and running. Above all, I had learned a new skill that I could incorporate into my workouts and use with my clients!
So don't think skipping is just for the kids in the school yard. Grab a rope and with a little time and patience, you will be hopping along before you know it!