Workout of the Week: 6th July - Skipping
Skipping is one of the most incredible workouts. It is incredibly inexpensive - I bought my rope for just £1.99 on Amazon - it is really hard work so you get a great workout in a short space of time and you can take it anywhere. My sister swears by it and now won't go anywhere without her trusty skipping rope to make sure she can always get a bit of a sweat on when she is travelling! Some studies have shown that just 10 minutes of skipping is as good for you as 45 minutes of running - I'm not totally sure what they measured to figure that out but after a 10 minute hard skip I can totally see why. As well as cardiovascular benefits, skipping also tones both the upper and lower body and improves coordination and balance. Your abs get involved too as you use your core to stabilise yourself as you jump.
Now I have to admit, my skipping ability isn't necessarily something to show off about. I've got the basic two-foot jump and can hop on each leg too but other than that, and adjusting my speed, thats all I've mastered so far. That said, you really don't have to be an expert to get the most out of skipping and like with all things, practise makes perfect (or progress at least).
There are so many ways to incorporate skipping into your workout but here is a basic skipping workout that should get you going. Once you are confident, you can play around with the intensity of the skipping or add in secondary exercises like squats, press-ups, burpees...
Start with a three minute low-intensity warm up skip. Take a slow pace and gentle jumps to get yourself ready for the workout.
The workout is based on a tabata style where you work at a high intensity for 20 seconds, then low intensity or rest for 10 seconds. You repeat that for 8 rounds before taking a 30 second - 1 minute rest. Then repeat the whole exercise again. Every 20 second interval should be flat out, as hard as you can go, using the recovery to catch your breath and prepare to go again.
If you want to push yourself further, add in extra rounds. To cool down, finish with 3 minutes low intensity skipping and always remember to stretch out your muscles when you are done!