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Alison Beaver

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ask: is skipping {rope jumping} an effective exercise?

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Rosa Cabrera RN

Hi Achiever,

I found a great answer to your question on Medicinenet.com:

Jumping rope is a great calorie-burner. You'd have to run an eight-minute mile to work off more calories than you'd burn jumping rope. Use the WebMD Calorie Counter to figure out how many calories you'll burn for a given activity, based on your weight and the duration of exercise.

"It's certainly good for the heart," says Peter Schulman, MD, associate professor, Cardiology/Pulmonary Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. "It strengthens the upper and lower body and burns a lot of calories in a short time, but other considerations will determine if it's appropriate for an individual."

He sees rope-jumping as something fit adults can use to add spice to their exercise routine. "You're putting direct stress on knees, ankles, and hips, but if done properly it's a lower-impact activity than jogging."

If you haven't jumped rope since third grade, it can be humbling. It demands (and builds) coordination. Initially, you should practice foot and arm movements separately.

Hold both rope handles in one hand and swing the rope to develop a feel for the rhythm.
Next, without using the rope, practice jumping.
Finally, put the two together. You'll probably do well to jump continuously for one minute.
Alternate jumping with lower intensity exercise, such as marching, and you'll be able to jump for longer periods. You'll probably never want to jump for a solid 10 minutes. Rather, incorporate it into a varied exercise routine, such as one developed by Edward Jackowski, PhD, author of Hold It! You're Exercising Wrong. He uses rope-jumping intervals, initially 50-200 repetitions, in a combined aerobic and strengthening program.

Check with your doctor if you have any doubts about your ability to withstand the impact and high aerobic intensity of rope-jumping. As mentioned, shoes and jumping surface are important. As with all exercise, warming up, stretching and cooling down are important. How you jump will determine the impact on your body.

April 29, 2011 - 5:18am
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