Old school games …the case for skipping.

The case for skipping | Arana Hills Physiotherapy

“The most wonderful things about Tiggerz is Tiggerz are wonderful things. Their heads are made of rubber their tails are made of springs”

5 reasons to introduce skipping into your exercise plan;

  • Good way to improve aerobic fitness.
  • Great way to improve coordination and agility.
  • Important in rehabilitation and prevention of ankle and knee injuries.
  • Improve the strength and elastic strength of tendons
  • Cheap , easy and fun.

It seems to be human nature that we want to do latest exercise fad or have the latest high tech gizmo or gadgets to help us get fitter, stronger or faster. However as always seems to be the case you can often get great results using basic equipment and an old tried a trusted method.

benefits of skipping | Arana Hills Physiotherapy

Enter the jump rope

Ever the staple diet of the boxer and childrens games in the school yard. This simple piece of equipment is rapidly making a comeback in fitness circles and could play an important part in injury rehabilitation.

Check the video below of how boxers from the 1920’s up to today have used this simple tool. Maybe you can get the skills some of these champs have ?

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Who can benefit from skipping in their training or rehab ?

From a fitness perspective skipping is a simple and effective training tool for almost everybody.

In rehabilitation skipping is a great exercise to include mid to later stage phases of lower limb injuries such ligament sprains, achilles tendinopathy and ACL reconstructions.

It may also be a great tool in the later stages of rehab to help get injured runners back on the track and prevent unnecessary tendon problems.

What are the benefits of skipping ?

Getting your bounce back.

“The most wonderful things about Tiggerz is Tiggerz are wonderful things. Their heads are made of rubber their tails are made of springs”

tigger, springs & skipping | Arana Hills Physiotherapy

The stretch shortening cycle, (SSC), is a property of our muscle tendon system that gives us our ” spring in our step “. It is integral in the ability to walk , run , jump and change direction in a safe and efficient manner.

The concept of the SSC is that the when the muscle tendon unit is stretched you get a stronger and more powerful shortening contraction. Think of it like a spring being squashed then released.

Springs and skipping | Arana Hills Physiotherapy

This spring like quality is often affected with injury and as we get older we tendon to lose the elastic qualities of the muscle tendon unit. The good news is we can train it with plyometric type exercises, of which skipping is a great example.

Rope skipping can be used to train the SSC prior to advancing to more stressful plyometrics. It is less stressful on the body and can be done for a greater period of time which is great for those involved in endurance running events.

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Skipping improves coordination and agility.

Coordination will innately develop with any form of rope training, as the workouts require athletes to be in sync while jumping or else the rope comes to a stop. There are also footwork progressions that can be done to further develop coordination, including jumping off one foot, alternating feet, double unders, and other more complex patterns

Increases cardio vascular fitness

It is a great and simple way to keep fit and relatively inexpensive as well. As an exercise you can use it to develop your aerobic fitness with nice easy rythmical skipping or introduce it into HiTT type exercise with higher intensity style “sprints”.

A study on middle school male students undergoing a seven-week jump rope training program saw significant improvements in cardiovascular endurance and agility

Increases bone density and strength 

There is evidence that skipping  increases bone mineral density and strength  which makes you less likely  develop osteoporosis as you get older or helps to strengthen osteoporotic / osteopenic bones. Jumping rope or skipping  involves making impact with the ground with every jump which causes the bones to remodel and  become stronger, thus increasing bone density.

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Skipping improves running performance 

A recent study showed that over a 10 week period a  routine of 5 minutes skipping , 2-4 x week before going on a run ,  resulted in improving 3-km time-trial performance. These improvements in speed came along with better foot / arch strength and jumping ability,associated with the improved  shortening cycle discussed above.

How do i get started ?

There are lots of resources available but probably the best I’ve come across is the crossrope app

This video on YouTube , ( start from 1 minute mark ..trust me ) takes you through the basics really well.

The crossrope app will take you from learning the basic jump to all sorts of advanced tricks and skills. They also have excellent skipping workouts for any level of individual and great jump ropes to buy if it becomes something you enjoy.

Time to get your bounce back,



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