Boxers have been using skipping ropes as a training aid for many years. Skipping can be used for endurance work, developing speed in short bursts, coordination and to encourage a sense of rhythm.
Many of the great champions used to skip to the lively beat of music. One of these champions was the great "Sugar" Ray Robinson often regarded as one of the best boxers to ever enter the ring. You will find many film clips of boxers skipping to music, their timing and coordination was remarkable.
There are many types of skipping ropes, they come in all shapes, sizes, colours and made from different materials like leather, nylon, rubber, wire, etc. Here at westcountryboxing.com we recommend nylon speed ropes. Nylon speed skipping ropes are very popular with the boxers here at Bristol boxing gym because they turn faster than the normal ropes and this will make the skipper work faster and much harder therefore improving fitness levels.
When to Skip
Boxers will usually warm up with skipping. Depending on the boxer and what level he is at in his career, a warm up could be as long as 20 - 30minutes. During skipping, a boxer will use different types of skipping techniques like crossing the rope, double jumps, short sprints on the spot, moving backwards and forwards etc.
More advanced skippers will use ropes with a weighted handle, this will help to work the forearms as well as building endurance.
Skipping: Getting started
As a beginner you should persevere with rope skipping, although it might seem awkward at first, your timing and rhythm will be off sync and you might even trip over a few times, you need to practice over and over again. Once you have mastered the basic techniques of skipping, your coach or other boxers in the gym will teach you more advanced routines.
If you haven't skipped for a long time, start by practising your timing – hold both handles of the rope in one hand and rotate it in a circular movement to your side. When the rope hits the floor, jump. Keep your jumps small to keep impact on your knees and ankles to a minimum – you only need to raise your feet about an inch off the ground. Progress to jumping over the rope once you are confident your timing is correct.
Remember, skipping is a strenuous exercise so start slowly. Try skipping for 20-30seconds, marching on the spot for 30 seconds, repeat. As your fitness improves you can increase the time you skip for.
Once you have perfected the basic move, you can make your workout more interesting by trying some of the following jumps:
- Skip Jump - hop on one foot and kick the other foot to the front (or behind) the body, alternate legs
- Jog Jump - alternate your feet in a jogging movement as you jump the rope
- Hop Jump – hop on one leg for several jumps, alternate legs (start with 2 per leg and increase as you improve)
- Jack Jump – do "jumping jacks" as you jump – one jump land with your legs apart, next jump land with them together
Depending on your weight and exertion level you'll burn between 70-110 calories in a ten minute session.
Once mastered skipping is a great form of exercise and in a similar sense to riding a bike you will never forget how to skip. Check out the video below of Floyd Mayweather skipping: