rope excercise
August 22, 2018
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by TheBoxingGear

Training for boxing requires commitment. You do not single out training to develop strength.

You will further need to gain endurance, improve your speed, agility, footwork, and patience. 

Every wonder why boxers jump rope a lot? It is because this exercise addresses those skills.

If you have just started your training in boxing, read on.

Why jump rope?

As mentioned, this exercise improves vital skills needed by boxers to perform well inside the ring.

Here are just some of its benefits:

Firstly, this exercise contributes a lot to improving one’s stamina. This exercise requires high-intensity movements.

If you are not fit enough, it will only take you a few rounds to feel tired. 

Training over time using jump rope will develop your stamina. This is very important in sparring or boxing matches as you will tend to move quickly and throw heavy and robust punches, which is exhausting.

jumping ropes in the sunset

High stamina allows you to last longer in the fight. 

It improves footwork 

Apparently, excellent footwork is a pre-requisite to a respectable boxing performance.

Good footwork improves your agility or the ability to dodge your opponent’s punches without losing your balance.

Increased punching power 

A well-developed rope skill also helps you maintain your center of gravity. This will allow you to throw strong and heavy punches effectively.

The key to do this is by having a solid base underneath your torso.

Correctly positioning your feet will allow you to throw sharp and precise punches. 

Improved speed

In jumping fast, you develop your confidence in moving quickly around the boxing ring.

The quicker you go, the quicker you will be when fighting. This is also critical in avoiding and in throwing punches confidently.

It also improves your timing 

You do turn your wrist around while coordinating the schedule with hopping over the rope again and again.

As you become better at this, you, slowly increase your speed by turning the rope faster. 

Your feet’s response then is to hop more quickly, harmoniously with the increasing rate of the rope.

Doing this will definitely improve your timing and in turn, resulting to throwing quick jabs, combinations, and uppercuts while maintaining a firm stance.

If you throw punches while standing in a wrong position, they will lack force and power. On the other hand, throwing punches at an expert timing results to the more powerful hit.

Getting started: Learning to jump rope

colorful jumping ropes

Know the basics of this exercise by making sure of the following:

1. Learn the proper grip/hand position

To begin, start with your hands in the “ready” position. Grip the rope loosely with your fingers, not with your hands.

Remember not to be too tight in holding your rope as a loose grip is more versatile and will allow you to go faster.

In getting ready, keep the string in front, with your hands close together. Also, position your elbow close to the body.

You may want to make sure that both of your hands are ideally the same distance away from your body’s center.

Also, in doing this, make sure that both sides are correctly positioned.

Remember that it is essential that there is a minimal movement on your elbows, shoulders, or even arms.

The force driving the rotation should always be given by your wrists.

2. Bouncing

As you know, a good jump rope is about consistent and clean bouncing. Firstly, be mindful of the height of your bounce.

Beginners tend to jump high in training. Minimize the space you create between yourself and the ground.

Ideally, your bounds should be 1 to 2 inches from the field.

In bouncing, remember not to pull your feet back or tuck your knees in. Your toes should be pointed down.

Avoid creating tension on the knees by keeping them rigidly straight.

To be safe, make sure your knees are slightly bent and that you land safely on the balls of your feet, instead of your toes.

In doing so, the shock or impact of jumping is dissipated through your body and injuries are minimized.

Try some moves: Jump rope workout routine for beginners

woman jumping ropes in boxing ring

If you have just started training on jump ropes, below is a suggested five-minute workout routine for you to try:

  • 30 seconds regular bounce
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds boxer skip
  • Boxing Glove30 seconds sumo squats
  • Boxing Glove30 seconds proper bounce
  • Boxing Glove30 seconds speed skaters
  • Boxing Glove30 seconds boxer skip
  • Boxing Glove30 seconds squat hold

Rest 10 seconds in between each exercise. Ideally, you should make an entire circuit of five, and you may rest for one minute in between circuits.

Descriptions of exercises:

Regular bounce

The first part in getting proficient at jumping rope is to learn how to bounce. To do this, jump and down and get your rhythm down.

It is fundamental to know and be able to do this correctly for you to make the other advanced moves.

So, in practicing regular bounce, make sure that you focus on the proper form.

Be up on your toes, slightly bent the knees, makes sure elbows are at the levels of the hips, and wrist should be controlling the entire movement.

Jumping jacks

Just extend your legs out and arms up. Everything goes in and out together at the same time (i.e., legs are closed while arms are extended upwards and closed).

The main thing you should check on your jumping jacks is what is going on with your knees.

A lot of people tend to let the legs sink in because they are not engaging the glutes.

The glute muscle externally rotates your legs. If done in the wrong position, you may injure your knee with this simple exercise.

Jumping jack is a smooth movement we all know, but it is useful in moving your body.

It is also a much more pleasurable experience. You can also add burpees also if you want to be more challenged.

Make sure you go as intense as you possibly can (i.e., you can increase your speed).

Sumo squats

The difference of this with the regular squats is that you will need to have a wide stance in doing this exercise.

Spread your legs more than how you usually go on a proper squat.

Go down slowly and extend your arms in front of your chest while doing so. Make sure your feet are pointed out to open up the hips a little bit.

In going down, try to go below the 90-degree angle mark to make this exercise more effective.

Speed skaters

Start by leaning forward, keep your back flat, and your core tight and go back and forth just like in a skater movement.

So you are going to leap left and right.

You are pushing off your foot really far to the right and left the side, and the goal is to land on one foot and just hold back to push out again.

As you leap to the right, bring the left foot behind and your left arm in front. Do the same thing on the other side.

Now do this back and forth. Do not lean too much, and instead, you want to keep your back flat.

This exercise focuses on balance and will help you be more athletic. It is challenging and dramatically helps with stability.

Boxer skip

This exercise is like doing the regular bounce, but it is done by alternating the weight of your feet as you come down.

Both feet are tapping the ground, but one foot is carrying the load whereas the other is just lazily touching it. This move is trendy amongst boxers.

Squat hold

Just like regular squats but inside of going up and down, you stay down and rest for 30 seconds.

To do this efficiently, focus on something straight ahead and count the breaths one to five as you go.

If in the beginning, you are only able to do one circuit, it is okay.

Just make sure you level up your routine the next time and challenge yourself to give more.

Just do one course and see how long you can do that. Then, move up to two circuits, three circuits, and so on.

For those who are more advanced, you can do four or five circuits per workout day. Do not pressure yourself in doing quick, abrupt changes.

Quick tips to remember

  • Keep your feet close together when jumping
  • Keep your jumping height reasonably low (as mentioned earlier, ideal should be an inch to two off the ground)
  • Keep your knees slightly bent at all times, instead of rigidly straightening them
  • Keep your head up, chest up, and head looking forward
  • Maintain a straight spine and good posture
  • Use your wrists to turn the rope (and not your elbows or shoulders)

Common beginner mistakes in jumping rope

school girls jumping ropes

Read the common errors committed by beginners so you can avoid them:

Using a string that is too light.

Some beginners opt for the light ropes because they are cheap and widely available. What they do not know is that it is tough to train and learn using a light rope.

Because they are too light, they create very little feedback.

Sometimes you will have absolutely no idea where the jump rope is while it’s turning around your body. 

This makes it very tough to time your jumps and defeats the purpose of learning coordination and timing.

To determine if a rope is too light for you if you can turn in the rope without exerting much effort, it is light. 

However, when you cannot feel where it is while you are jumping, it is too light for you.

Beginners tend to use excessive arm movement/force rather than wrist efforts.

Of course at first turn, you will have to swing your arms to create momentum.

In the following movements, the wrist should do more work. Your hands should be placed in front of your hip bones.

man holding a help sign

The elbows should also make a small pumping motion in along with the movements of the wrists.

Avoid using too much arm movements as you do not want your arms to come out away from your body.

This will make the rope too short, and in turn, slowing your movements down. 

Also remember that you are training your wrists so they are versatile, and will result in quick punches.

Some beginners tend to jump too high.

Beginners tend to create more space above the ground, so they do not trip against the rope.

See to it that you bounce just a half-inch or an inch off the ground. 

This way you will have much more control over your movements. You will be able to spin the rope smoothly, and your body will adapt to the rhythm easier.

Some beginners are not conscious of their posture. 

You sometimes tend to hunch over, and your neck is directing forward. This posture makes you jump with the force coming from your knees.

The solution to this is to observe a straight up good posture.

You would want to create a proper alignment from the crown of your head down through the balls of your feet. 

This way you are jumping on the rope in your shots, instead of your knees. Also, keep your shoulders back and down.

It might be worth focusing on the tension through your core and glutes. In doing so, so will maintain a good posture throughout the movement.

Jumping on hard surfaces. 

It is also essential to observe the surface which you are jumping in. You may want to choose a wooden floor or track turf.

These surfaces absorb shock and are better for you to do an exercise where you are bouncing.

If you only have concrete floors, then a solution for you is to wear cross trainers or shoes that act as absorbers.

Some beginners tend to try too much too soon.

athletes training in boxing gym

A lot of beginners tend to skip the basics. Give yourself time to learn the basics before attempting any tricks.

In determining the fundamental steps of this exercise, you will realize how important it is to master each level.

It will be easier to learn intricate moves after.

Moreover, you will be needing to strengthen your endurance and stamina for you to last longer in performing your routine.

Wrap Up

The fundamental of jumping rope is actually learning the basics. Do not skip to intermediate training without being comfortable to the initial bouncing, rope gripping, and especially correct form.

This will not only make your exercise useful but will also save you from potential injuries.

Workout Video

Check out this awesome video on how to jump rope like a boxer:

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