If you haven’t jumped rope since elementary school, now may be a good time to pick it up again. According to Scott Caulfield, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, who was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, jumping targets your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, and can also help your body absorb force. Jumping belongs to a group of exercises called plyometrics—quick, short exercises that tone your stretch reflex. This toning can give you strength during bursts of movement, like when you lunge to catch a ball or catch yourself before you trip. So, if you’re ready to add some bounce to your step, dust off your jump rope and keep these tips in mind:
- Start slow. A jump rope is a good starting place since it requires jumps that are relatively close to the ground. After you’ve mastered the jump rope, you might want to try jumping onto steps. Start with lower ones and progress to higher ones once you’re ready.
- Find form. Good form is important to avoid injury while jumping. Try to keep your body straight, with shoulders over knees and knees over toes. Land on the balls of your feet and bend at your knees and hips to absorb the landing. It might also be a good idea to consult a personal trainer when you’re getting started, to ensure your jumping form is correct.
Source: Wall Street Journal