Walk in to virtually any boxing gym and watch the athletes warming up. You are bound to see people, from small children to adult professionals jumping rope. There are a number of benefits to jumping rope. If the skill of jumping rope was not applicable for boxing, it probably wouldn’t be so widely used. Time to put skepticism aside and pick up a rope. There is more to boxing than just throwing punches.
Jumping rope is used to enhance:
Choose a Jump Rope
Many gyms will have a supply of ropes available for use, but it's also nice to get comfortable with one of your very own. There are various types of jump ropes. A light-weight plastic speed rope is a good place to start. Heavy leather or weighted ropes will turn slower and may be more difficult to use, especially in the beginning. Each type of rope has its own purpose.
Fitting a Jump Rope
Common rope lengths range from eight to ten feet. A nine-foot rope is the right size for most people under six feet tall. One way to determine how long your rope should be is to step both feet in the middle of the rope. The handles should reach up to approximately armpit height. If you need to adjust the height you can often snip 2 or 3 inches off a rope. A shorter rope will also increase your jump speed, but be careful not to go too short or you won't be able to jump without crouching. If your rope really is too short, please just get a new one and try again. Jumping with the wrong length is inherently frustrating, difficult and subtracts from the overall enjoyment of the activity.
Caring for a Jump Rope
It's a good idea to store your jump rope hanging up with the center of the jump rope on the hook. Leaving your jump rope wadded up in a ball or spiraled is likely to create kinks, which are difficult to straighten out and will result in a lot of stubbed toes. This also depends on the type of rope you are using. There are some, such as beaded or leather ropes that don't kink as easily as plastic ones, though they may serve a slightly different conditioning purpose.
How to Jump Rope
Start slow! If you haven’t jumped rope since you were a kid, don’t expect to be a rockstar your first day. Take the first week or so of jumping just to focus on skill. If you try to jump into a cardio workout with the rope your first day, you're likely to be very disappointed. Starting with short jump sessions (20 -30 seconds at a time), will enable you to experience a degree of success as you work to lengthen the time you can jump without failure. Another tip is to jump when you're fresh and not fatigued. Your legs may start to feel heavy fairly quickly when you're forced to stay on the balls of your feet. Jump rope for boxing will strengthen muscles throughout the legs, but this does take time.
Once you and your jump rope become well acquainted, you'll eventually be able to jump for entire rounds. You may even pick up some of the fancy stuff such as single leg jumps, doubles and skipping backwards. Watch the people around you. If they have tricks, you may begin to mimic them.
Jump rope for boxing is as challenging as you make it. Have fun and don’t forget that it's okay to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake. Everyone started somewhere. Keep pushing yourself and you'll see it begin to make a difference in multiple areas of your boxing training.
Writted by Bryanna Fissori, TITLE Board of Advisors.
Bryanna Fissori is a professional boxer and mixed martial artist. She has a law degree and has been writing professional for over a decade. She has spent most of her professional combat sports career training on the Island of Oahu and has competed nationally and internationally. Bryanna currently competes and trains out of Denver, Colorado.
TITLE Board of Advisors: A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.