So you’ve got your rope, now what? You used to skip as a child so how hard can it be? It may be surprising but there is far more to skipping than initially meets the eye. When I started skipping as an adult I was surprised at how different it was to what I remembered from being a child. So let’s learn how to skip in the best way possible!
Is Skipping A Good Form Of Exercise?
Skipping is a fantastic workout and can burn up to 10 calories per minute if done at a high intensity! In order to get skilled at jumping rope, it's important to practice and to break it down into sections.
Let’s start with the jumping. When most people start skipping for the first time they jump too high, just going for it and doing what feels natural without any knowledge on proper technique. But skipping too high is not efficient for a workout and will leave you unable to skip for longer than a few seconds.
When skipping, the key is to not actually jump. Wait, what? That’s right! If you change your mindset about what your feet are doing, it becomes a lot easier. Instead of jumping, think about doing a calf raise. Practice doing it without the rope to start: raise your heels so that you are on the balls of your feet, and then lower yourself back down using your calf muscles. You’ll soon realise there’s a reason why boxers have such defined calves! You may need to increase the strength and stamina in these muscles before skipping feels easy. Take your time and enjoy the process.
Once you’ve practised a few times without the rope, try applying this technique with the rope. You should only come a few centimetres off the floor on each bounce. Keep your ankles loose and feel the balls of your feet flex. See if you can keep it up for 30 seconds without stopping.
After your feet, what you do with your arms is the most important part of skipping. Hold the handles near the rope-end as this is the most efficient and will allow the rope to swing better. Keep your wrists loose, and your elbows close to your hips. It is a very subtle movement; you do not want to be swinging your whole arm, just a slight movement of the wrist. It will be tempting to tense your arms and lock them by your sides, so try to relax from the shoulder.
This moves us onto your posture. Make sure you are standing tall, with your shoulders pulled back and down, and your core and glutes tight. The key to skipping is to relax! If you are skipping for the first time in a gym or a public place, it may be a little daunting, and you may worry about tripping in front of everyone. Let go and have fun and try not to take it too seriously, at least while you are starting out. The looser and more relaxed you are, the less likely you are to trip over and you are less likely to incur an injury.
Is Skipping A Good Cardio Workout?
Skipping is a surprisingly demanding cardio workout! If you are skipping for the first time as an adult, you will be shocked by how out of breath you get on your first try! Don’t let this deter you, take your time. If you are new to fitness altogether, then you may wish to just skip in 20-30 second bursts. If you are a seasoned gym-goer, then skipping for intervals of 60 seconds may be more for you. Try our skipping workout plan and see what works for you! Or create your own jump rope routine. Supplement your skipping with leg exercises and mobility drills so that you do not get injured, especially if you are not used to exercising. Skipping has the fantastic benefit of being great for weight loss and by adding skipping into your existing gym routine you can expect to burn up to 10 calories a minute.
Where To Jump Rope
Where you choose to do your skipping is important too. If you are skipping outdoors, try to avoid jumping on concrete as this can be harsh on the joints. Skipping on softer tarmac or grass will be better. If you are indoors, avoid carpet as this can make the rope more likely to bounce which can cause you to twist your ankle. Hardwood floors are the perfect surface on which to jump rope.
How Long Should You Jump Rope For A Beginner?
When I first got back into skipping as an adult, I was really put-off by the fact that I couldn’t do it well. I saw lots of people in the gym skipping with ease and doing neat tricks so it deflated me somewhat that I was finding it so hard. But don’t let this be the case! After only a few sessions my technique improved hugely and skipping started to feel a lot more natural. Take your time, enjoy it, and maybe even let us know how you get on by leaving a review of the Sundried skipping rope on our website!
Beginner Skipping Workout
Skip for as long as you can, rest for 60 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.
Skip for as long as you can, rest for 45 seconds, repeat for 7 minutes.
Skip for 20 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.
Gym cross-training - leg, ab, and back exercises
Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes
Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 minutes.
Rachel is a prolific triathlete who has achieved incredible accomplishments, racking up thousands of miles over the last few years. She shares some insights into her training and tips to stay motivated.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
I ran numerous half marathons in my 20s and have taken part in many marathon-distance charity walking events in my 30s. I decided I wanted a new challenge and went on to cycle Lands End to John ‘o' Groats for my 40th. I cycled London to Paris the year after, and have completed numerous cycle events on the back of that. My biggest challenge was The Wall: a 69-mile run to be completed within 24 hours! My first marathon was Chester marathon.
I’ve completed a long course weekend (2.5m swim, 112m cycle, 26.2m run over 3 days) for 3 years in a row. I’ve completed triathlons of various distances: sprint, standard, middle, and 70.3. I will be doing Ironman Mallorca 70.3 in May 2017.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
Diet and exercise have always been an important part of my life. After having children, I used exercise to get back into shape.Over the last 20 years I have also enjoyed teaching various forms of exercise and, more recently, Pilates.Sharing my passion and inspiring others brings me huge satisfaction.
What are your training goals now?
To increase my speed, push harder through interval training, and diarise weight training sessions. I want to maintain my body fat percentage now I have got into the teens! I’d also like to increase my flexibility.
My biggest goal is to complete 3300 miles, running swimming cycling.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
In the last 5 years I have covered over 11,500 miles which would have taken me to New Zealand!
What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?
Don’t substitute food for sugar-based snacks!
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. I’m a big believer in keeping a food journal; planning ahead helps curb any food cravings.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
I write personalised workout plans for my clients, including a varied challenging movement to create body awareness. A little time spent daily is better than none, never put off training for another day!
Talk us through your training regime.
I keep a training journal, which always includes at least one rest day.
An average week for me consists of:
3 weight sessions
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I attend courses to complete further training, constantly keeping up-to-date with new research which allows me to learn more about the biomechanics of the body.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
1. Use your full range of motion
2. You can’t outrun a bad diet
3. Your body needs sleep for recovery
If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pilates Superman - this movement has many variations that will work every muscle group.
What are your training goals?
To accomplish a headstand
Why work with Sundried?
As they offer premium ethical activewear created responsibly with a low carbon footprint, trialed and tested by leading athletes around the world.
Favorite fitness quote:
“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase”
Jim Doughty entered the sporting world at a relatively late age but this hasn't stopped him from achieving some incredible feats. From sprint triathlons to Iron Man events, he has excelled at the sport and tells us a little more about his passion.
Have you always been into sport?I made it back into sport when I was 40 years old, but have always been very active: between the ages of 18 and 22 I cycled for a team in the north-west of England but work and family life took over and I stopped participating in professional races.
What made you decide to enter a triathlon?I was participating in a charity cycle event with work in December 2010 and a work colleague was impressed with my speed and endurance and challenged me to enter a sprint distance triathlon. I took up the challenge, and four months later I was racing my first Triathlon in over 20 years. From then on I was hooked.
What’s been your best race to date?It was probably “A Day In The Lakes” Middle Distance Triathlon in 2016. The race takes place towards the end of June in the Lake District; the swim is 1.9km in Ullswater and the conditions were near perfect, I had a good solid swim and headed into T1 and onto the bike, the bike course is a fast 2 lap loop crisscrossing the M6 motorway on both laps. I made it back into T2 with a really fast split, so fast in fact that my family were really surprised to see me so soon. I headed out of T2 onto a fairly unique Half Marathon run course which took in two mountains to ascend and descend. I crossed the finish line with a massive smile on my face to my waiting family.
And your proudest achievement?It has to be Ironman UK which was in 2015. I and one of my training partners spent the best part of a year training specifically for the event, out in all weathers throughout the Scottish winter and spring cycling and running and training in the pool until the weather warmed up enough for us to hit open water.
Ironman UK starts with a 3.8km swim in Pennington Flash reservoir, then onto a 180km bike which winds through Greater Manchester & Lancashire for two laps ending inside the Macron Stadium just outside Bolton. From here I ran the full marathon which was a three lap run into Bolton City Centre.
I finished the Ironman 1 hour and 35 seconds faster than my training partner.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Yes, I’ve had a few disasters, I raced at a Sprint Distance Duathlon a few years ago and punctured out on the course. As it was only a sprint distance, by the time I had replaced the tube and made it back to T2 I was last on the final run.
As for my toughest race yet, all of the races I have done are my toughest yet, every race I do I get stronger and wiser and am constantly learning to race faster and smarter.
However I think this coming year (2018) I will face my toughest challenges in the form of an Ironman including a sea swim as this is my worst fear.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I never give up, no matter what I am faced with; I overcome every hurdle I come across as they only make you stronger. I am constantly learning and I use every setback as a learning curve. If I make a mistake I try never to make the same mistake again.
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?Train with the same equipment and nutrition that you intend to race with, for me this is the most important piece of advice that can be given to everyone competing as you will know how your equipment is going to feel and react to you.
What are your goals for 2017?I have a couple of major goals for the coming year, the first one is at the end of May and is the Edinburgh Marathon, I have never run a marathon as a standalone event; I’ve run ultra marathons and I’ve run the marathon distance as part of the Ironman so am intrigued to see how I perform over the distance.
My second goal for 2017 is The Long Course Weekend in Wales. This is an Iron Distance Triathlon but over 3 days; you complete the 3.9km swim on the Friday evening, the 180km bike on the Saturday and the marathon run on the Sunday. This event is as much about the recovery between the events as it is about the distances to be covered.
Who do you take your inspiration from?I am inspired to perform by so many different people from some of the best cyclists in the world such as Chris Froome, Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond, to some amazing triathletes such as Scott Tinley and Mirinda Carfrae. All of whom are truly inspirational and owners of their own destination, in every race they have ever participated in they all have one common goal…..They all want to WIN.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?I love the fact that Sundried care; they care about the environment, they care about the people who wear the brand, and they care about being an ethical choice. I love the fact that they turn coffee grounds into fabric, I always knew that caffeine could improve my performance but pair that with Sundried's branding and you have the best Men’s Pro Tri Suit money can buy. From the comfort afforded by the Dolomiti pad right through to the hydrophobic coating to help in the drying process when you exit the swim, for me this is the must-have piece of kit for every event.
Emma comes from a dance background but got into hula hooping as a way of relieving tension and was instantly hooked. She tells Sundried about how hula hooping helped her to learn to love moving again.
How did you first get into hula hooping? Did you already have a background in fitness?
I first got into hooping because my healer noticed a ball of tension that was lodged in my sacral chakra. I then read somewhere online that hooping is great for the sacral chakra. So I got my first hoop and I started with just waist hooping initially. I then started expanding my repertoire with private lessons ten months ago. And it's become my daily sanity ever since.My background in fitness - I used to be a professional dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and on cruise ships. But I took a break from dancing, and from movement altogether for a number of years. So I have hooping to thank for re-sparking my passion for movement.
Do you have any goals for your hula hoop training?My biggest goal would be to never take myself so seriously that I forget how to have fun. Being a novice with something allows such joy in making mistakes, and I really don't want to lose that - no matter how much time passes. I find there's such expansion in the beginner's mind.
Do you follow a specific diet?I don't. When I was dancing professionally, they were really strict with our weight control. The body issues that developed as a result were really harmful, and in the end, were what caused me to take such a long break from moving my body in any way. When I used to keep to a strict diet, I found myself thinking about food constantly. So I find a lot more joy in food and in my body now that I just listen to my instincts. I eat when I'm hungry and I don't restrict myself when I crave something. One of my closest friends, Caroline Brooks, coaches people about intuitive eating. And I've learned a great deal from her.
Talk us through your training regime:I wake up first thing in the morning with an hour of waist hooping while I read books - 30 minutes clockwise with one book, then 30 minutes counter-clockwise with another book. Then during the afternoon, I practice my hoop tricks on the beach for an hour or two. This is really my play time.
What are your top 3 tips for hula hooping?
- Trust that every mistake you make is contributing to a conversation with your body, sending feedback to your kinesthetic awareness. Like a baby learning to walk, each fall is a new lesson for the body's awareness, rather than a failure.
- Don't be scared to hit yourself in the head with the hoop. It's bound to happen and it really doesn't hurt that much.
- The best tip is to play! When I take lessons with my teacher, Morgan Jenkins, she'll always teach me a trick and then allow play time before she moves on to teaching me the next. This is an incredible method for integrating the new trick into my flow.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get into hula hooping themselves?There's no time like the present. Get yourself a hoop (the bigger, the better when starting out). Even if you don't have the resources for private lessons, there are wonderful tutorials online that I learn a lot from, ranging from beginner to advanced tricks. A couple that I highly recommend... the Hooptown Hotties YouTube channel has lots of amazing Hoop University tutorials. And there are great beginner's tutorials on Deanne Love's YouTube channel as well.
Why work with Sundried?Ever since I read the book, The Soul of Money, I've increased my awareness of the things I consume and how they are produced. I'm really inspired by companies like Sundried that are taking the care and consideration to do their part in looking after their workers as well as our Mother Earth.
Sarah Outen MBE is an adventurer and British athlete, she was the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean and also the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Alaska. She completed a round-the-world journey, under her own power, by rowing boat, bicycle and kayak, on 3 November 2015. We find out more about our new ambassador.
Tell us how you came to be an adventurer:
I have always been curious and loved being outside and journeying, one way or another. As a child I spent hours playing outside, exploring and climbing trees and riding my bike. Through school I had the chance to try some small expeditions and I kayaked with a local canoe club. That curiosity and journeying love has always been there.
What has been your toughest challenge to date:
My London2London journey was physically, emotionally, and financially challenging. It took 6 years from the first idea to returning home. Even now, over a year on, I am still processing it and hope to produce a film on it next year.
How did you motivate yourself through your 4.5 year journey?
Curiosity about what lies around the next corner and what lies within are good motivators. So too is the idea that if I don't carry on I won't get home! I have various tricks which work for me when the chips are down.
What was your favourite ration whilst you were away?
I loved the smoked salmon from Alaska. We were given lots of locally harvested and smoked fish while we paddled through Alaska - that was some of my favourite food.
Favorite place you’ve visited?
Alaska and the ocean - for their wilderness, beauty, energy, and wildlife.
How seasick do you get?
I am a terrible seafarer for seasickness. I always spend a few weeks being sick at the start of the voyage. Except on my Atlantic row where I was given some different drugs to try and they worked a treat - no sickness at all.
What was your scariest moment rowing?
I have had some really frightening times at sea. From being capsized while out of my cabin, to going under the bows of a container ship, to experiencing the power of a tropical storm. Falling in the water as I climbed from my tiny boat to a 200-metre long cargo boat which was picking me up ahead of a hurricane was pretty terrifying too.
How does it feel to have an MBE?
I'm proud to have been awarded the MBE and like to think it is in fact for all the people who have helped make my journeys and projects a reality.
Will you do it again?
I will always journey and wander but I will probably never do anything quite like London2London again. At least not on my own. I am married now and my life is with my partner Lucy. We would like to sail around the world together one day.