Fitness

How skipping rope helps the shoulders and calves

December 11, 2016
woman jumping on a skipping rope in park

Skipping rope is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise ever. I’m promoting this versatile form of exercise which can be carried out at any time of the day and in any place. Let me show you how simple and effective this form of exercise is in surpassing a great many other familiar exercise techniques which haven’t been around for as long as the good old fashioned skipping rope has. Let me use personal memories to tell you why I believe skipping is beneficial both physiologically and emotionally. Let me tell you how skipping rope helps.

For me, the practice of skipping rope started when I was still quite young. Girls always had their skipping ropes on the school playground. Here, skipping rope was never an individual pursuit. Two or three can play the game too. Life can be so ironic in the sense that essential wellness starts to ebb away from us the moment we start growing through our teenage years and into adulthood. Let me just remind you also that wellness essentially means that you are living your life healthily and happily at the same time.

Skipping rope is not child’s play. Even adults can play the game. In fact, given their essential physiological requirements, adults, more than children should be skipping rope at least every second day. I would prefer that you skip each and every day of your life from five to ten minutes per rope session but I realize just how difficult and strenuous this spontaneous form of exercise will be for those who are not yet fit and still need time to acclimatize their bodies with new paradigms of being consistently physically active.

These next few encouraging lines are just for the beginners, especially those who have never skipped rope in their entire lives. It’s a case of taking baby steps so that you can manage the bigger walks in life much later on. I’ve stressed at least twice that skipping should be done in durations of five to ten minutes. For the superbly fit and really athletic and agile, I would even venture to say that sessions of twenty or even thirty minutes can be attempted.

But for the beginners and because the exercise will be so hard for them, start by skipping for one minute. That’s it for the day. If you’re not feeling stiff by the next day, go for two minutes. Onto the next day, go for three minutes, then four, and so on and so forth. But if after day one (or two) you are feeling that your muscles are stiff and tired, take a working break. It’s a working break because you’ll still be taking your exercises, only this time you are going to be doing stretching exercises. This is a form of exercise that even the fittest among some of us seem to ignore from time to time in order to save time and jump head or feet first into their weight training or running.

It’s a big mistake to be skipping your stretching exercise. Not only do these exercises keep your limbs and muscles supple and lithe, it will also help prevent unnecessary injuries. Now, while you are skipping, your arms are outstretched. You’ll start to feel a bit of a strain in your upper arms, right through to your shoulders. While skipping, also bend your knees slightly. This will make your motion a little more comfortable. At the same time, your calf muscles are being given a good workout as well.

Emotionally speaking, I cannot see how skipping doesn’t give you a boost. It does it for me, reminding me of my happy school days.

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