Tone your legs, burn kilojoules, up your fitness and improve your coordination with one simple tool you can use in your garden. It’s, quite literally, child’s play.
Like riding a bike, swimming and running, skipping is one of those fun childhood activities that becomes a slog with age. And that’s a pity because, should your fitness goals sit firmly in the camp of cardiovascular improvement and max kilojoule burn, skipping is a form of exercise that comes highly recommended. And unlike those other three (equally healthy) pursuits, you can do it at home and on the cheap – you can pick up an entry-level rope for the price of two cappuccinos.
“Skipping is a fantastic method for training power, speed and endurance, with key benefits for ankle, pelvic and knee stability,” says trainer Corinne Naomi, whose boxing-inspired classes use the humble skipping rope as a hero piece of equipment. That’s why skipping is a popular feature in CrossFit workouts of the day or WODs (mastering double-unders, where you spin the rope around twice in a single jump, is a badge of honour) and has long been a fave among boxers looking to boost balance, coordination and overall fitness.
In fact, fancy footwork aside, skipping is one of the most efficient exercises out there: a study in the journal Research Quarterly For Exercise and Sport found that skipping for ten minutes a day delivered the same cardiovascular benefits over six weeks as jogging daily for 30 minutes.
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