Here is a tutorial I put together covering the main things you NEED to know when starting out with the jump rope. How you start can really set the pace for how quickly you will progress in learning this exercise. Form and technique are by far the most important aspect. Don’t teach yourself bad habits that will hold you back and frustrate you. It’s all laid out for you in this video, you just have to put it into action!
Have you had one of those days you look in the mirror and it hits you, "where in the heck did that belly come from? What happened!?"
Ugh, that sucks sooo bad. It’s like it comes out of nowhere as if you put the weight on overnight, like Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. But it doesn't. It happens over time. Ever heard of how you boil a frog alive? You start by placing the frog in a pan of warm water and slowly heat it up to boiling. The frog doesn't even know what’s happening until it’s too late. That is EXACTLY what we do to ourselves by gradually eating more and more junk food.
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN
Extreme diets. You change your entire diet because you want to see fast results. You make progress, see the numbers on the scale drop and some changes in the mirror. But then...after a while you start to crave those yummy foods. Chocolate. Chips. Pizza! You try to resist, but the monkey on your back will not leave you alone. You finally give in and tell yourself that you'll only have a little. "I've been so good lately, and I can handle it."
A little turns into a little bit more. Pretty soon you're having these little “snacks” every other day then every day then... I think you know where this is going.
(KSHH!) Did you hear that? That was the sound of your WILL POWER shattering.
This brings us to that day you look in the mirror and see that you have erased all progress you had made. Let’s put an end to this vicious cycle and discuss why will power won't help you reach and KEEP your goals.
If I Only Had More Will Power
Guess what…..it wouldn't help. If I can guarantee one thing it's that will power will always fail. We are human. You can't just decide to do everything perfect. If that were the case we wouldn't be having this discussion. But, we are tempted everywhere! Ads, commercials, co-workers birthdays, "but it's Stacy's birthday, it would be rude to not have a piece of cake, I'll make it a little one." HA! We all know how that ends don't we. You go back for one more little piece.....FOUR or FIVE different times! By the time it’s done, you have eaten enough to make up one gigantic piece.
Will power, when it breaks…it breaks! It’s great for getting started and will even help you get some initial results, but you have a limited quantity of will power. As you face craving after craving, your supply will run low and will begin to sputter like a car running out of gas. And then…. you cave.
First off, you need to avoid extreme diets. Rome wasn’t built in a day and same goes for your dream body. If you have experienced it like I have, it most likely took you a while to get out of shape and it will take a while to get back into shape. The good news is it’s not a race.
So, assuming you’re on a good nutritional program, how can you continue to stay on track and avoid this seeming inevitable failure?
Developing Your Why Power
Why are you doing it? Why do you want to lose weight, live healthier, & get stronger?
What is your why?
What makes a 'why' more powerful? It is the manifestation of your true feelings and beliefs. It's the driving force behind even thinking about depriving yourself of anything you like, or taking on a challenge that will clearly test your resolve.
Your ‘why’ will act like a fast recharge for your will power. Whether you want to get a handle on your blood pressure so you can stop taking medications or you’re sick of weight being an issue in the family and you want to be the healthy example they need, those are why's worth fighting for! Every time you get a craving and you think “is that cookie worth more than my why?”, it will give you the strength to turn it down.
A good 'why' will recharge and refresh you. It will push you onward through all those tough moments you would otherwise cave under. Don't settle for okay, you're better than okay. You deserve to enjoy this life to its fullest. People are counting on you, they need you, and they want to see you succeed. Will it be tough? Of course. Everything worth fighting for is. So find your 'why' and be the proof to those in your life that it is possible to be healthy, be fit, and have your cake and eat it too!
Putting it into Action:
At the top of a page write down a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound).
Bad goal = I want to lose weight.
Good goal = I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 1.5 months by eating better and working out no less than 3 days a week.
Then list out 10 different reasons you want to achieve that goal. They don’t need to be perfect. This is to get your mind thinking about why you want this goal and what it will mean to you when you achieve it.
Once you have 10, go through the list and eliminate the ones that are superficial. Narrow the selection down to your top 3. These ‘Why’s’ should tug on your heart. They should elicit a response deep inside you. If you don’t have 3, that’s okay. One great ‘why’ is all you need.
Hang onto your top Why’s. Put them on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or on your cell phone background. Anywhere you will always see it and be reminded why you are striving for your goal.
Fight for it! You got this!
What is your greatest struggle with your commitment to fitness? Tell me in the comments!
Using a quality jump rope is essential to learning and improving your skill level. It is the difference between having fun and enjoying your workout and becoming frustrated and never picking it up again. There are 3 major characteristics to take into account when choosing a jump rope and they are length, weight, and quality. Let’s cover each of these in more depth so you understand exactly what to look for.
Rope length is determined by your individual body type and ability level.
If you are brand new to jumping rope, the general rule of thumb is to select a rope length that when you stand with one foot in the middle of the rope, where the rope attaches to the handles should come up to your upper chest or armpit level.
This sizing method will provide some excess length as you are learning the proper form and technique of jumping rope. It will let you perform the exercise and allow room for common errors among those starting out.
Intermediate to Advanced Jumpers
If you fall under this category, you most likely have a current jump rope that you have been using. If you are happy with the rope length of your current rope, then you will want to try to match a new rope to the length of this rope as close as possible. If you want to try a shorter rope length, but your current rope is not adjustable, you can try tying a knot on one side 4 to 6 inches from the handle. If this is still not short enough repeat the process on the other side.
If you have a rope that can be cut to length, less is more! Once your rope is cut, there is no putting it back together. Whenever shortening your rope, it should be done conservatively taking no more than an inch off at a time.
Caution: When shortening your rope it is removing excess length which creates less room for error when jumping. It is common for this to initially cause more trip ups and frustration when first trying to jump with this now shorter rope. Be patient and pay attention to when you are tripping. It is usually caused because your form or technique is off. Try to identify the cause and make adjustments. Practice with this new length for at least a day or two in order to see how you adjust before making a determination whether it is too short for you.
The weight of your jump rope is very important depending on your skill level. This is not a common topic that most beginners or even intermediate jumpers will come across and can lead to a lot of frustration. To be clear, when talking about rope weight, I am referring to the actual weight of the rope itself.
Note: Many ‘weighted jump ropes’ on the market only have the weight in the handles of the jump rope. This is pointless. If you are using proper form and technique your arms should be moving very little which eliminates any potential benefits of having the weight in the handles themselves. Isolation holds of 1 lb handles to the side of your hips is not the name of the game here. Don’t be fooled by this gimmick.
The most common jump ropes on the market have been created with speed being the primary focus. These ropes are super light as well are their handles. It took me a long time to become proficient with a really light speed rope due to the lack of feel and feedback from the rope. If you are having a hard time feeling where the rope is during its rotation around your body, it makes it very difficult to know when to jump and to tell how fast it is moving. These ropes are best suited for advanced jumpers who have developed a fine touch and want to specialize in speed skills.
If you are a beginner, the most effective jump rope weight for learning is around a 1/2 lb. This weight provides excellent feel to the user so you can easily determine when the rope is coming around to your feet in order to know when to jump. I have taught many jump rope clinics and have found that jumpers of all levels can highly benefit from a heavier rope.
Now from a fitness standpoint and being an avid jump roper, I prefer to have options. I certainly like to use a lighter rope to develop speed, agility, and coordination. But I also want to develop more strength and explosive power by using heavier ropes. In the past there was no easy fix to this dilemma except to find different weighted ropes and buy them individually. This is not the case anymore, so lets discuss rope quality and then I will share the rope I personally recommend.
I am all about quality and suspect that you are too. Nobody likes to spend their hard earned money on something only to have it break a few days or weeks later.
What does a quality jump rope consist of?
Durable handles with a quality grip
Ball bearings for the rope to rotate smoothly
Ropes that can be used on various surfaces including the outdoors
Backed by a company who supports their customers and that look out for their best interests
A quality rope will be made of durable components, used and abused by many, and have the testimonials and reviews to back it all up. The online shopping world offers tons of reviews on products from actual customers who have experienced the goods first hand. I am a huge advocate of doing research before buying a product. The more expensive a product is, the more research you should do.
All of that being said, the question still remains. What jump rope should you get?
My Jump Rope Of Choice
I have been jump roping for nearly a decade. For much of that time I have worked closely with Crossrope Jump Ropes. Dave Hunt, the owner and creator, has become a good friend of mine. Having used many other jump ropes, there simply is no comparison in the market. Crossrope is a company committed to making the most innovative jump rope system available.
“What makes Crossrope so great, it’s just another jump rope right?”
Not exactly. Crossrope is the first interchangeable jump rope system. Their latest release is the Infinity Rope System which has a total of four weighted ropes weighing in at 1/4 lb, 1/2 lb, 1 lb, and 2 lbs.
These ropes are great for all skill levels and I enjoy the ability to change ropes and bring more variety to my workouts.
In your search for the right rope for you, I would certainly recommend taking a look and this system, which you can do by clicking here!
If you have any questions regarding choosing a jump rope, shoot me a message through the contact page. I am happy to assist in any way I can!
Let's face it cardio is important to our health. Unfortunately, it's also boring.
What adds to this dilemma is the equipment we use to do it. Treadmills, ellipticals, stair steppers, and other machines can fall extremely flat for users. Do they have their time and place? Sure. But a majority of the time I don’t want to just float through my workouts mindlessly putting one foot in front of the other on a large, expensive and usually gymbound machine. As a former athlete, I love to test my skills. These machines don’t have a lot to offer in this area. For example, I’m not going to set out to beat a new personal best of how many steps I can do on the stair stepper in 5 minutes. That sounds miserable. In all honesty, it’s not that these machines can’t be effective; they are perfect for some people. It’s just that every time I see people on these devices, they don’t strike me as individuals having a good time. They appear to distracting themselves from the agony of repetition by texting, reading, or talking on the phone.
This is the #1 problem most people have with staying consistent with their workouts.
If you aren’t having fun doing something, then why on earth would you want to do it again and again? Yet, we have all gone through that in the name of fitness and in turn make ourselves miserable in the process. This leads to burn out. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t like doing something, I don’t do it.
This is exactly how some of you feel about your workouts, and you are waiting to make a change once you can’t ignore the reality of the situation anymore.
If this is how you feel or you are simply tired of the same ‘ole routine and want to find something to spice it up, something that will get you excited for a workout, something that will help you look, feel, and move better. You, my friend, need to give the jump rope a whirl, literally.
Here are 3 reasons why you should jump rope:
1. The jump rope is simple, engaging, fun and inexpensive
Truth: Learning to jump rope is a challenge…and that is why I and so many others love it. It isn’t something that you can just pick up and instantly do well. You have to work at it, practice and over time develop the coordination to do it skillfully.
“What if I’m not coordinated?”
No one is to start with. You should have seen me! I was lucky to get two or three rotations before tripping on the darn thing. But, every time I picked up my rope, I did a little better and figured out a few new things which kept me coming back for more. This is something I have heard over and over again from jump ropers. It becomes addicting to them (and did for me) and they can’t wait to see how much better they can do the next workout, which resultantly can’t come soon enough!
Imagine being excited for your next workout!
That is what you are searching for, that is what you need, and I believe the jump rope is the solution to breaking you out of the mundane workout rut you have been stuck in.
2. You won’t just SEE changes in your body, you will FEEL yourself getting better
Because you are having fun with your workout you will find it easier to be consistent. Consistency is the key to unlocking all the rewards fitness has to offer. If you do anything only every once in a while, you will never become good at it, you will never improve your skills performing it, and most likely you will get frustrated and quit. But, when you do something consistently you will start to figure things out and you will start noticing the little things that you can fine tune in order to take your abilities to the next level. Your experience will begin to compound and you will start to see big changes in your progress.
With the jump rope you will burn fat, and lots of it. You will see changes in your body that will further feed the new passion you have for this new skill and your workouts. On top of that, you will also feel yourself getting better. Every time you pick up your jump rope you will notice improvement. You may have set a goal for consecutive jumps without missing and you break it, you challenged yourself to learn 3 new skills and you are finally able to link them together in a freestyle routine, or you notice the speed at which your jumping is getting lot faster and you have people coming up to tell you that “you’re pretty impressive with that thing!”
Each one of these small yet significant victories act as the gasoline being poured on the fire inside you, showing you that you can do this, that you ARE athletic enough, and that you WILL be able to achieve your goal.
3. Results in 30 minutes or less
Our time is the most precious commodity we have and many of us are busier than we have ever been. We have significant others, kids, family, sporting events, jobs, and other responsibilities that need our attention. These can easily take up a good portion of our day, so being able to fit a workout in becomes more challenging and often stressful to even think about.
Did you know that you can get an effective workout in less than 30 minutes? How about under 20 minutes?
What if I told you that you can get a KILLER workout within 15 minutes!?
Of course it depends on what your goals are, but I know you can spare 15 minutes for a better you! Especially when it can be performed virtually anywhere, which is the best feature of all. The jump rope is extremely portable and can easily be performed: in your house, on the deck or patio, in the garage, at the park, in the gym, on vacation, and most other places you can think of. With the jump rope the world is your playground, be as creative as you like and have fun with it!
As you can see the jump rope checks all the boxes for fitness enthusiasts of all levels. It also checks all the boxes for those of you who have never been inspired about working out. I encourage you to give the jump rope a shot and I’m sure you will enjoy it and begin to see your workouts in a completely new way!
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Confused about how do I pick the right jump rope? There are a million options out there!