Skipping rope as alternative to regular aerobic fitness activities
This is such a good exercise that it can be a full-time aerobic fitness activity. The equipment is inexpensive and easy to transport. You can skip rope anywhere, even in a hotel room. The exercise allows a wide range of exercise intensities, and research studies have equated 10 minutes of vigorous rope skipping in cardiovascular benefit to 20 to 30 minutes of jogging.
Rope length is important. It should reach the armpits when held beneath the feet. Commercial skip ropes with ball bearings in the handles are easier and smoother to use, but a length of #10 sash cord from your local hardware store serves quite well.
Rope skipping requires a degree of coordination, and if done inappropriately can quickly raise the heart rate above your training zone. If this happens, walk or jog in place slowly, then resume skipping.
Besides the aerobic benefits, rope skipping can improve your tennis or handball, where rapid footwork is important.
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