The COVID-19 pandemic has forced and encouraged many to stay cooped up at home. Without a doubt, this has decreased many of our activity levels, leaving our long-term health at risk. On the other hand, however, many also have taken this opportunity to dedicate their free time to exercise at home, just like I have.

When I found myself stuck in the Philippines and stuck at home due to the nationwide lockdown, I did not want to just sit and wait around. I thought, “this is the perfect time to focus on my well-being.” I remember exercising to workout apps like Nike Training Club, dancing to Zumba YouTube videos, and using liter bottles of water as my homemade weights. 

Out of all the exercise routines I adopted though, there was one that I fell absolutely in love with: Jump Rope.

The problem for most about exercising is that it is just not fun or appealing to spend about an hour doing repetitive sets and making your body struggle. I felt the same way, and that is why it was so important to me to find a hobby that was fun and active. For me, that was jump rope.  

The difference between jumping rope and other regular gym exercises is the tricks. I love the feeling of achievement that comes with seeing improvement. In my opinion, improvement in terms of gym exercise is seen through the number of reps or sets you can withstand or the increase in weight for a particular exercise. However, the tricks learned through jump rope are so much more fulfilling. It shows not just improvement in fitness but in body coordination and concentration.

Did you also know that jump rope is the fastest calorie-burning workout? Jumping rope for 10 minutes can be roughly equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes. This is because it is a full-body workout. So, if you are a very busy person but want to include exercise into your routine, I definitely recommend jumping rope.

Another benefit of jump rope is the portability! I used to be a member of a commercial gym, but wanting to be safer during the pandemic, I canceled my membership. With jumping rope, you don’t need a gym. All you need is some space and your rope. Thus, I usually tend to go out to a park to jump rope. Also, no more paying 8000 yen a month for a gym membership!

I first started jumping rope on June 1, 2020, and after two months I had already learned a lot of tricks, specifically, boxer jump, cross jump, and double-unders. However, my form was still not great. By May 2021, after almost a year of jump rope, my form was better when it came to tricks, my jumps were faster and less exaggerated: overall, the visual improvement was there. 

Check out my progress in the video below: 

If you want to try jumping rope, as a beginner I would check out some of the tons of YouTube videos to understand the right form and make sure you are not risking injury. I definitely recommend not jumping at first, but starting with the hand movements. Once you’ve learned how to do the basic jump, try repeating this routine five times for a short, 5-minute workout:

  • Single-Unders: 30 Seconds 
  • Rest: 30 Seconds 

The better you get, you can try decreasing your rest time and increasing the intensity of your jumps by adding more tricks. This is one of my jump rope workouts that I do almost every week:

  • Single Unders: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Boxer Jumps: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Criss-Cross Jumps: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Double-Unders: 30-45 seconds
  • Rest: 10 seconds
  • Freestyle: 1 minute
  • Rest: 15-30 seconds

I repeat the workout above until I have been jumping for at least 30 minutes.

The kind of jump rope you use is also something to take into consideration. For beginners, I definitely recommend a thicker rope because it is easier to gain momentum. I use a weighted jump rope with heavy handles and a thinner rope. Weighted jump ropes are great for developing upper-body strength!

There are always more fun and time-efficient ways to exercise and change to a healthy lifestyle. Definitely give jump rope a try — you won’t regret it!

Let’s continue staying active during the pandemic! 

B.P.