Jump rope may have been something you played with as a kid, but shouldn’t have left behind. Jumping rope offers many benefits that most exercises can’t match, such as, increased bone density, balance and leg strength.
Slow-paced jump rope is a perfect warm-up and “double unders” (when the rope passes under your feet twice before landing) will leave you panting after a couple minutes. The precise timing required between the feet and hands will help strengthen the relationship between the upper and lower body in the brain. Your brain and muscle groups can struggle to stay in sync, especially with age, so jumping rope helps keep them in tip-top shape. Lowering your risk for slips and awkward falls.
Interestingly enough, jumping rope is also a great way to activate and sculpt the upper body. There is actually a decent amount of work required from your upper arms, shoulders, and back to help stabilize the rope. These benefits extend into bones, as anything that places a load on your bones with increase their density. Researchers found that young women who jumped as high as they could just 10 times, three times a week for six months, increased bone mineral density in their legs and the lower half of their spines.
Although jumping rope may look easy, it can be a tough workout depending on your intensity. If you haven’t been exercising and are 50 pounds overweight, we wouldn’t recommend starting with this exercise. But if you’re in decent shape and not carrying a lot of extra weight, adding a ten-minute jump rope portion to your workout will go a long way.