If you are wondering what you can do to get ready for the next running season, it may be as simple as jumping rope.
The perfect cross-training exercise
The fun and simple act of jumping rope is the perfect cross-training exercise to build strength, coordination, explosiveness and running endurance. You’ll strengthen the muscles that you use while running, without as much impact on your joints.
As an added benefit, jumping on the balls of the feet requires the body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a result, jumping improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.
Jumping rope requires very little space and is very low cost. However, be sure to use the right length of jump rope. To measure, place one foot on the rope, then fold the rope in half; the rope portion (not the handle) should be at your chest level.
A rope with bearings in the handle will rotate better, will last longer and will help you increase your speed as you progress.
Just 10 minutes
A number of studies have found that jumping rope for a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness, and when you build to ten minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 RPM, it can provide the same benefits as thirty minutes of running, two sets of tennis or 800 metres of swimming.
The thought of ten minutes of continuous jump rope may seem daunting, but start slow and build up to it. Begin with thirty-second intervals with thirty seconds of rest. Gradually increase the intervals, keeping thirty seconds of rest. Here is an example of a 10-minute intermediate-level workout.
Jumping Rope (Seconds) Rest (Seconds)
Have some fun this season and jump your way to becoming a better runner.