– Monojit Ghosh is a former gymnast and fitness trainer and gymnastics coach at Art Corner Gymnastics, Bangalore
Do you remember the good old days before the tech invasion of laptops, computer tabs and smartphones when summers were filled with free play and children skipping a rope solo, in twos and threes? Remember children enjoying the double jump, skip jump, skip jump with two friends holding the rope, skipping backward and forwards, crossing hands while skipping an ordinary rope. This once much-loved pastime of children has evolved into a highly recommended all body workout. Fitness trainers the world over recommend inexpensive rope skipping regimen.
Expert opinion is almost unanimous that children and adults need at least one hour of moderate to intense exercise every day to remain healthy and fit, to build toned bodies and strong immunity. Rope skipping is an enjoyable family exercise activity and one of the best fitness exercises suitable for all age groups. It provides a full body workout for all major muscles. Regular rope skipping also makes the heart muscles stronger, ensuring long-term cardiovascular health and well-being.
Since the pandemic and closure of education institutions, obesity and obesity-related disorders among children have increased alarmingly. Regular rope skipping workouts burn off extra calories and body fat and also improve bone health and agility, alertness, and body coordination.
Rope Skipping essentials
Before your family embarks on a skipping workout, it’s important to bear the following precautions in mind.
- Ensure the skipping rope is of appropriate length to suit your child’s height. It should leave a comfortable above the head space.
- Choose a flat floor surface to do this exercise. Rubber or wooden flooring is best.
- Use comfortable and suitable footwear with good grip and stability.
- Try landing on toes for best results.
- Warn children never to play inappropriately with a skipping rope, by pulling it across another person’s neck or body. If children are not mature enough to follow rules, adult supervision is necessary.
- Warm up for ten minutes before any intense workout, including skipping. This is not necessary for casual skipping. However an intense skipping workout requires warm up, especially for adults.
- Skip 50 rounds continuously, with a one minute break. Do three sets. Slowly build up to 100 times, and progressing to five sets.
`Family skipping challenge Try these family challenges:
- Who can skip backwards for the longest time?
- Who can skip with both legs together the most number of times?
- Who can skip while reciting a poem?
Benefits of skipping
- Excellent full-body workout
- Good for weight loss
- Increases stamina and energy
- Improves body coordination
- Burns calories
- Improves breathing efficiency
- Decreases foot and ankle injuries
- Improves stamina
- Boosts heart rate and controls blood pressure
- Boosts the cardio-vascular system
Also read: Stretching exercises benefit children