So it seems like I’ve found a new hobby that I’m absolutely obsessed with – JUMPING ROPE!!!
For a long time I’ve viewed the jump rope as a tool used to supplement workouts. I’d use it for warmups and cool downs, as intervals within a workout, and for strengthening my lower legs and feet to complement my running. As my clients know, I’ve used it with them to help develop coordination, foot speed, and running drills. Like I said, it’s been a useful tool I’ve utilized over the years.
All that being said, recently I’ve taken up the personal challenge to do more with it. Throughout my own athletic career, I’ve always been really intrigued with skill development. Whether it was shooting a hockey puck, hitting a baseball, or most recently jumping my mountain bike, I’ve always delighted in developing specific skill sets in conjunction with being competitive. As I learn more about what makes me tick (that’ll happen with age I suppose!), I’ve come to the point in my life where that skill development is just as important as being competitive. This is a complicated point, but let me say it like this: I can be competitive with myself on my own terms and in my own time. There is no looming competition to be ready for, and no test I need to take to confirm my skill. It’s just me against me, and only should I choose it to be so. Enter the jump rope.
If you have a gander at Youtube, you can find everything from videos on basic jumping to some pretty advanced tricks and competitions. Luckily, if you choose to take it beyond the basics, there are plenty of instructional videos (mostly taught by kids so you need to get over the fact that a 12 year old is better at jumping rope than you are!) from which to learn. I’ve jumped far down the rabbit hole for the last two or so weeks and learned quite a lot.
So where does this tie into fitness you ask? Well, you’re jumping around for goodness sake! Probably my favorite aspect of learning new skills and tricks is the fact that even when you mess up, you’re still getting a good workout. Add to that, because you’re so focused on “landing” your new trick, you probably aren’t aware that you’re working as hard as you are. Then, of course, you have the satisfaction of making your new trick and refining it as you go along. You might have to work at something, but the process gives you an unbelievable amount of accomplishment when you actually make it
While there are so many things that make the jump rope great, the simplicity of it all is one of the most beneficial aspects. Obviously, here at DNA movement we hold simplicity and minimalism in high regard. There isn’t much that’s more simple than a rope. Just pick it up and start jumping!
Before you go, have a look at this video I’ve made of myself jumping (the video is embedded above as well). I’ve still got a long way to go, but even learning a few simple tricks can make you look like you know what you’re doing!