Rachael Finch

Become a winter skipper

One of my favourite ways to keep fit is to skip. I started 6 years ago when I lived in New York – I took a skip class randomly at my local gym. Like anything new, at the beginning it was challenging and I started by jumping 2 feet at a time, very slowly. I stood at the back of the class so I could see other students and progressively worked my way to finish the entire 45 minute class without stopping. I fell in love and still include skipping in my fitness regime – it’s one of the best fitness activities to do during winter because you can pick up a rope inside a toasty room and get going! It is one of the most fun and motivating workouts that will keep you challenged and interested. If you want to get started have a read below:

Why I love it?
There are a long list of benefits that come with skipping – hence the reason almost every major sport utilises it in training to increase agility and foot speed.

  • Fabulous cardio and HIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout that burns those calories. A great exercise for weight loss.
  • Tones the body including thighs, butt, calves, shins, arms & stomach.
  • Improves coordination, alertness, speed, symmetry, rhythm, balance and overall stamina.
  • Convenience. I can skip anywhere, anytime. I’ve even done it in my hotel room and in corridors when it was raining outside.
  • Minimal equipment. All you need is a good quality rope which you can pickup at any good sports store.
  • Low impact to hips, ankles and knees – High impact on heart, lungs and muscles.
  • Most of all it’s FUN and keeps me challenged with new skip combinations.
Getting started
  1. Ensure you have a good rope (make sure the rope moves freely in the handles).
  2. Check the length. When you step in the middle of the rope it should come up to just under your armpits.
  3. Get the bounce right. Jump rope is all about the rhythm. Before you use the rope, practice your bounce so you get the feel of the rhythm in your feet. Keep the knees slightly bent.
  4. Get going! Keep your elbows close to your body and maintain an easy grasp on the handles without squeezing too tight. Think about keeping your jumps light and engage your core to maintain control. Don’t lift your feet more than an inch off the floor.
  5. Experiment… Once your comfortable with a simple 2 feet jump, start experimenting with new feet movements and positions. Alternate your feet – on one skip transfer your weight on to one foot then back again on the next.
  6. Press play. My best tip for staying in rhythm is to put some headphones on and listen to a song so you can skip to the beat.

My current playlist
Skrillex & Diplo (with Justin Bieber) – Where are u now
Omi – Cheerleader
Meghan Trainor – Lips are Movin
Ellie Goulding – Burn

Don’t get too caught up in what song to play, just put on whatever you like and go for it! I love the change of pace in different songs – my workout is usually based around what song pops up. Have fun!

My training outfit in the pic from top to toe is New Balance.

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