As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, which also goes for your weekly exercise routine. The importance of different types of exercise extends beyond just alleviating the boredom of routine, but also helps you develop a well-rounded physical experience, keeping your body on its proverbial toes.
Focusing solely on one form of exercise may see you excel quickly in that area, but you may also be neglecting the other physical needs, leading to an imbalance in the body and, more importantly, an increase in certain health risks.
Think of your body as a finely tuned machine, and just like machines they need to be maintained in a variety of ways. Take a car, for instance, it’s not just the engine that has to be in tip-top condition before you head out for a long drive, every bit of the car — oil, breaks, suspension, tires, etc. — needs to be functioning correctly so you can enjoy a safe and smooth journey.
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Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories—endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Most people tend to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they’re doing enough. Each type is different, though. Doing them all will give you more benefits. Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.
Some activities fit into more than one category. For example, many endurance activities also build strength. Strength exercises can also help improve balance.
Endurance or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building your endurance makes it easier to carry out many of your everyday activities. Endurance exercises include:
- Brisk walking or jogging
- Yard work (mowing, raking, digging)
Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. They may help you stay independent and carry out everyday activities, such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. These exercises also are called “strength training” or “resistance training.” Strength exercises include:
- Lifting weights
- Using a resistance band
- Using your own body weight
Balance exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults. Many lower-body strength exercises will also improve your balance. Balance exercises include:
- Standing on one foot
- Heel-to-toe walk
- Tai Chi
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercises as well as for your everyday activities, including driving and getting dressed. Flexibility exercises include:
- Shoulder and upper arm stretch
- Calf stretch
Fitness training should encompass five different elements, according to experts. You can accomplish each of these five elements — aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, core strengthening, and balance training — without going to the gym or purchasing exercise equipment. You do not need to perform each type of exercise every day. For example, if you concentrate on aerobic exercise, core strengthening, and stretching one day, you can do strength and balance exercises the following day.
Aerobic exercise, or cardio, benefits your heart and lungs. These types of exercises require you to use large muscle groups at an intensity that causes your heart rate to increase. At home, you can dance to your favorite music, march or jog in place, do jumping jacks or walk up and down your stairs. If you do it at a vigorous pace, vacuuming and other housekeeping chores can count as your cardio exercise. Try to incorporate at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity into your schedule each week.
Strength training builds the strength of your muscles and bones. At home, you can use your own bodyweight to increase your muscular strength. Examples of good strength training exercises include pushups (either with straight or bent knees), chair dips, lunges, side-lying leg lifts and calf raises. Aim for at least two strength-training sessions per week.
By improving the range of motion in your joints, stretching can improve your flexibility and your posture. You can stretch your hamstrings by lying on the floor and bringing one leg toward your head. For your calves, stand on a step and let both of your heels drop down toward the floor. Because you should be warmed up before stretching, it’s a good idea to complete the stretches after finishing your workouts.
Core exercises strengthen the abdominal, lower back, and pelvic muscles. These exercises are important because they help protect your back from injury and make all of your movements more efficient. Crunches, planks, and side planks are core exercises that require no equipment.
Balance problems can lead to falls and injuries, especially as you get older. You can improve your balance by standing on one leg. If you can easily do that, try balancing while washing the dishes or brushing your teeth.
Flexibility is really important and much overlooked when people think about exercise. Staying flexible improves your quality of life, imagine not being able to look over your shoulder to reverse your car. If you sit for long periods of time each day you’ll notice that your flexibility decreases. Stretches (see the Physiotherapy postcards on easy stretches and exercises to do if you sit all day), yoga, tai chi, pilates, and lots of other exercise classes will all help improve flexibility. Flexibility training can also improve balance, which is good news for all of us as we get older.
Exercise can be done at different levels of intensity, that is how hard you work.
Moderate Intensity Exercise
We refer to moderate exercise as any activity that increases your breathing rate slightly and makes you a bit warmer and your heartbeat slightly faster. You don’t have to be out of breath, you should still be able to have a conversation, but you should be aware of breathing a bit faster or harder than normal.
There are many kinds of activities that fit this description, walking at a steady pace, cycling, dancing, swimming (ok, in your average swimming pool you might not feel warmer, but you know what we mean), and lots of exercise classes and routines.
Vigorous or high-intensity exercise is the kind that gets you sweaty and out of breath, for example, running or playing sport. If you are doing moderate or high-intensity exercise it’s worth warming up and cooling down properly. This can include a slower walk or some stretches.
It is easy to be put off by the thought that the only kind of exercise that is good for you is the vigorous kind, but this is not true – moderate-intensity exercise and low impact exercise (yoga, etc) are all good for you too.
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Want to look slim and elegant? Are exercise and dieting not your cup of tea? Looking for an easy and effective process that cuts down those extra pounds? If yes, then you must definitely try your hand at dancing.
Dance is an art form passed down by our ancestors that has evolved with time. Primarily used to tell stories, express emotions or as an act of religious ritual, dance has now moved on to elaborate moves in tandem with complex rhythm and beats, a social pass time, a form of entertainment, and even as an exercise routine.
According to a survey published by The American Council of Exercise, health experts and fitness specialists unanimously agree that dance has evolved into a form of exercise for weight loss and physical fitness and they also approve of dance-based exercise routines as a growing trend. An hour of dancing is said to burn 400 calories, which is the same as swimming or riding a bicycle, in addition to a host of other benefits such as improved cholesterol levels, slower heart rate, and lower blood pressure.
Regular dancing can slow down your heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and burn fat, all signs of effective and healthy weight loss. Read further to know why you should dance to lose weight.
Different Dance Forms to Lose Weight
Dance workouts are becoming increasingly popular these days. There are many forms of dance that can help in reducing weight. It is a fantastic form of exercise and is effective in burning calories. Regular exercise might become boring and monotonous and hence dancing appears as a pleasing and fun option. However, you have to choose the right type of dance depending upon your body structure, strength, and stamina. Some dance forms are more strenuous than others and you have to be careful in choosing the right one to get maximum results.
Get ready to hit the dance floor! Dancing is a whole-body workout that’s actually fun.
It’s good for your heart, it makes you stronger, and it can help with balance and coordination.
A 30-minute dance burns between 130 and 250 calories, about the same as jogging.
The focus might be on the footwork, but the series of leaps, turns, shimmies, and cha-chas engage the entire body.
There are lots of options. With dance-inspired workouts ranging from ballroom and ballet to hip hop and club dance, you’ll never be bored!
Intensity Level: Medium
The intensity depends on the type of dance you choose. Fast-moving dance styles like hip hop and salsa are more intense than slower dances like the tango or waltz. All of them will use your whole body and will challenge your brain as you learn the choreography and form.
Areas It Targets
Core: Yes. Depending on the type of dance you choose, some of the steps/moves will engage the core muscles.
Arms: Yes. Although most dances focus on your lower body, you’re also using your arms.
Legs: Yes. The choreography will have you doing moves that work your lower body, including your quads and hamstrings.
Glutes: Yes. Hip hop dancing and ballet include moves that engage the glutes.
Back: Yes. Dance uses your core muscles, including those in your back.
Flexibility: Yes. Most dance-inspired workouts include moves that improve flexibility.
Aerobic: Yes. Dancing raises your heart rate. The more up-tempo the dance style, the better it is for your heart.
Strength: Yes. You won’t be lifting weights, but your body weight counts, helping to build muscle strength.
Sport: No. You can enter dance competitions, but dance can be purely social or artistic.
Low-Impact: Yes. Dancing can be a high-or low-impact workout depending on the style of dancing.
What Else Should I Know?
Cost: Free if you already know-how, or the cost of classes if you want lessons at a studio.
Good for beginners? Yes. There are dance classes aimed at beginners. If you’re just starting out, give yourself time to learn the moves. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually!
At home: Yes. You can dance anywhere.
Equipment required? It depends. You will require specific shoes; for others (like hip hop) all you need are sneakers.
Depending on the style, you can improve your heart health, joint mobility, strength, balance/coordination, and an overall sense of well-being, making dance good for most everyone. Try a dance workout DVD or follow an online video at home.
If you have a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, take note of how you feel before, during, and after dancing. If you’re not feeling right or it takes more than a few minutes to get back to “normal,” check with your doctor before continuing.
Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?
Dancing is a fantastic activity if you have medical conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Dancing more intensely, for a longer time, is more of a workout for your heart. You can choose the dance style and intensity level that meets your needs. Your doctor can let you know what’s OK.
If you have an injury, let it heal before you start dancing. If you have other physical limitations, you may have more options than you think. Integrated, or inclusive dance, introduced in the 1960s, is for people with physical and mental limitations. There are dance companies that include dancers in wheelchairs, for instance.
Dancing is a great way to keep fit during pregnancy, especially if you were a dancer before getting pregnant. Be careful with your balance during the second and third trimester, when pregnancy can add stress to your back. Ask your doctor about doing pelvic floor exercises like Kegels and core activities to improve your abs, low back, and hip strength as a complement to your dance training.
This dance form enables you to move freely without bothering about the dance steps or body movements. This is the easiest of all dance forms and can be practiced by all age groups. Apart from causing weight loss, it also makes your body more flexible. This dance form can be performed on any type of loud music and you can increase your pace by dancing any way you like. The beats should be fast to boost up your energy levels and teases you to dance non-stop. This dance should be practiced every day for 30 minutes to lose weight. You can dance alone or with a group that loves thumping, fast-paced music. It will be a fantastic experience to enjoy this dance form in a group.
Hip Hop –
Hip hop is an urban, street form of dance that is most popular in nightclubs. The quick succession of movements involved in this dance exercises the entire body. It is a high energy workout that is good for both beginners and veterans. It has been given this name because of the fact that it takes place in the hips and waist and thus helps to firm and tone your abs. Dancing while watching a video for an hour will enable you to burn around 250 calories.
Hip Hop Abs –
This dance form strictly uses dance moves to shape and tone your abs so there is no need to lie on the floor and do crunches. This involves isolation exercises in combination with an intense cardio workout to enable you to lose fat and build a strong six-pack. Women have a greater advantage to cut down those extra pounds in abs and look pretty. Hip hop abs should be completed in 2 to 3 days a week.
Belly Dancing –
This is an exotic art form that helps tone problem areas like hips, back, and abs. This form involves slow and controlled isometric movements that help to maintain flexibility and improve circulation. Shaking the belly or lower body burns calories and helps shape up your buttocks. In addition, it also burns thigh and abdominal fat. By strengthening muscles and improving posture, prevents back pain that is often an obstacle to exercising. Because it is a low impact dance form, it is less stressful to the bones of the feet than other exercises and thus improves bone density. An hour of belly dancing can burn up to 300 calories. Though it is not an aerobic exercise it can form part of a training regimen. This can be practiced by watching videos at home. Belly dancing increases the flexibility and fitness of your body.
This intricate and exhilarating Latin American dance form has recently gained immense popularity in night clubs and dance studios. It has drawn inspiration from the dance styles of cumbia, bomba, and merengue music among others. Salsa basically consists of a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music along with several turns and is danced side to side. An hour of salsa dance steps causes you to burn an impressive 420 calories. Hence, it is a good choice for a weight loss program.
Zumba incorporates salsa, rumba, merengue and hip hop moves to cause movement thus giving you a cardio workout. Zumba classes are offered by many chain gyms across the country and aim to make people enjoy while working out simultaneously. No partner is needed for this type of dance. Most of the steps are easy and isolate your arms, abs, and legs for strengthening. This aerobic workout is great for overall fitness. You are bound to enjoy the results as you enjoy the dance. This is one of the most demanding dance styles all over the world for its convenience in style and output. For best results, Zumba workout should be done at least 2 to 3 days a week.
Founded in 1969, it is one of the oldest dance forms, which basically combines jazz dance and strength training to tone muscles and burn calories simultaneously. It builds muscles during the workout through the use of barbells and dumbbells. Apart from these, it involves some classic Pilates and yoga movements that lengthen muscles while cardio boxing moves give an aerobic workout. According to the Jazzercise website, this workout enables you to burn up to 600 calories in an hour. It should be done 2 to 3 times a week to lose weight effectively.
Ballet is often viewed as a slow-moving and low impact dance form but it plays a great role in shaping your body. In fact, this dance forms demands a lot of flexibility and it actually requires strength and precision to perform most ballet positions and movements. The slow pace and posture required in ballet are very much similar to Pilates. The slow and controlled movements help to build long and lean muscles. Some ballet movements are comparable to certain gym exercises. The movements cause the stretching and lengthening of the muscles, thus providing you a full-body workout. Concentration will increase the flexibility of your body parts and help burn fat deposits that make you look fat.
Pole Dancing –
This dance form might not appear effective to most of us. But you will be surprised to know that climbing and rotating on a pole increases your flexibility and also helps you burn down some calories. A pole dance of 30 minutes is equivalent to 20 minutes in a gym. You can try pole dancing to lose weight, tone your muscles, and shape your body.
African Dance –
It is a fun dance form that generally involves a combination of contemporary and traditional African dance forms and is extremely aerobic. It introduces some great music and culture and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced dancers.
How dance results in weight loss –
1. Lose Weight At A Dance Studio
It is a common misconception that dance classes are for kids but if you switch on your television and surf through the channels you are bound to come across dance reality shows featuring adults, some of them even mothers and fathers to teenagers. It is obvious that you are going to find dance studios in your city geared towards adults considering these fabulous dancers on television are learning their moves somewhere. Take up dance lessons and lose some weight as dance like aerobics utilizes all parts of the body to give you a complete workout. Simple jazz or hip hop routine could effectively burn around 300 calories and simultaneously work out all your muscle groups. The best thing about taking up dance classes is that you don’t need to be able to dance, in fact, you are paying an expert to effectively teach you.
2. Ideal Dance Routines For Weight Loss
Unfortunately, Indian classical dance has little to offer in terms of weight loss, focused mainly on hand and leg movements and facial expressions, you are bound to be disappointed if you are looking for weight loss. Effective dance routines for weight loss are mainly ballroom dance like Tango, Jazz, Cha-cha, and Pasa Doble or street dance forms like salsa and hip hop. These high energy dance routines can be compared to an intense workout at the gym and often yield the same results. Ballroom dance being a weight-bearing activity effectively burns calories, improves bone density, and works all muscles in the body.
3. Dance For Weight Loss At Home
For many of us, the idea of dancing in a group would be embarrassing simply because we haven’t done it before. So if you are pathologically shy and blush red at the idea of dancing in groups, there’s no need to give up on dance to lose weight. Simply lock yourself into your room, put on your favorite dance tracks, and move to the beats.
Dance Vs Other Weight Loss Methods
Common weight loss solutions are working out at the gym, weight-loss diets, weight loss supplements, and pills. Dance effectively beats all these other weight loss methods. For those of us who are easily bored or not athletically inclined, working out at the gym can be a time consuming and hard task. In comparison to working out at the gym, dance can be fun even as you listen to upbeat music and move your body.
Weight loss diets, in most cases, unfortunately, mean starving your body and can result in weakness, headaches, and the constant feeling of hunger whereas with dance you simply burn off the calories you consume. Weight loss supplements and pills come with their share of adverse side effects whereas with dance the only side effects are the positivity it infuses into your daily life.
One important thing that you have to keep in mind is the clothes you wear while dancing. Opt for loose shirts and trousers which make you feel comfortable. Consulting your family doctor before starting any work out will be of great help for your health. So those willing to sweat it out better wear your dancing shoes!
Exercise may be difficult to maintain for some people. Consider the following tips to achieve long-term success:
- Have a clear goal: Whether for health reasons or otherwise, try to always keep in mind the reason you started increasing your exercise levels.
- Work at your own pace: Doing too much too quickly can increase the risk of injury and the chance to develop a stable routine. Set targets based on the goals you established at the start of the regimen and celebrate small wins to boost confidence.
- Enjoy yourself: A regimen is more sustainable if a person enjoys the physical activities that it involves.
- Join a club with a friend: If you join a fitness club with a friend, or exercise with a friend, you may enjoy the sessions more. Some people prefer not to have the stress of someone else around. This depends on you.
- Trainers and teachers can be helpful: People just starting a regimen or looking to step up their routine may benefit from a personal trainer or teacher. They can provide motivation and guidance, helping people track their goals and stay dedicated.
- Vary your exercises: Change your exercise program every few weeks. Mixing it up can help a person work on different muscle groups and increase the range of benefits. If you enjoy one particular exercise, such as running, try changing the speed and distance of a run, or follow a different route with more hills.
- Make it a habit: After a few weeks of regularity, an exercise routine starts to become a habit, even if you find it difficult or boring at first.
The benefits of regular physical activity are wide-reaching and should form a part of every person’s day to help them remain healthy.
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Chances are, jump ropes have been in your life since the PB&J-and-juice-box days of your childhood. So it’s time to add a new, badass kind of rope to your fitness routine: battle ropes. You’ll usually find them anchored to a wall or sturdy beam or pole, and while they may vary in length (they can be up to 100-feet long), weight, and thickness, all battle ropes serve the same purpose: Providing a killer workout.
As the name implies, these supersized ropes are heavy, which adds resistance (i.e. a major challenge) to work your muscles like never before. The benefits: You strengthen your abs, arms, and shoulders, engage your legs, and get a killer conditioning workout all in one go. Better yet, waving, slamming, and whipping these hefty ropes doesn’t strain your body the way high-impact activities do—but you still reap serious fitness benefits. In fact, research suggests using battle ropes for just 10 minutes can be considered a vigorous workout Trusted Source. Plus, high-intensity interval training with battle ropes may improve both aerobic and anaerobic capacity after just four weeks. In other words, you’ll be owning both strength and endurance workouts. To top it off, battle rope training torches about 10 calories per minute—more than both burpees and squats!
They work for every muscle group simultaneously and allow freedom of movement. They can also be catered to your fitness level—whether you’re a beginner or a pro athlete.
How to start skipping –
- Adjust the length of your rope.
- Hold the handles at each end of the rope, by your sides, with one handle in each hand.
- Step in the middle of the rope, keeping the length taut with the ends stretched upwards. Shorten the rope until both the ends reach your armpits.
- Step in front of the rope and swing the rope from behind to the front.
- As the rope reaches your feet, jump! Keep your legs straight.
- Land softly on the floor.
Ready to slam your way into top shape? Add these kick-butt battle rope exercise to your fitness routine!
1. Double Wave – Wave your way to a fitter form and master the basics of the battle ropes with this exercise. To start, stand facing the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp one end of the rope in each hand so that your palms face each other. Bend knees slightly, brace your core, and move both arms up and down rapidly, creating waves in the rope.
2. Alternating Wave – Talk about makin’ waves! Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Grab one end of the rope in each hand so that your palms face in. Raise one arm to shoulder level and then quickly lower back to start, raising the other arm to shoulder level as you do so. Continue alternating as rapidly as possible without losing form.
3. Low Alternating Wave – While the movement for this one is exactly the same as the alternating wave listed above, this version brings your lower body into the equation. Instead of standing, you’ll lower down into a squat, keep your core engaged, and then move your arms as you do with the alternating wave.
4. Shoulder circles – Put your shoulders to work! Though this move looks simple, it’ll yield serious shoulder strength, which is ideal for boxers and swimmers in particular. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Grasp the rope with palms facing down, lift arms over your shoulders, and move your arms in circles. Perform clockwise circles for 30 seconds, then counter-clockwise for another 30 seconds.
5. Snakes on the Floor – This sneaky move is a killer shoulder workout. Stand facing the anchor and position your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, holding the ropes by your sides. Lower into a squat, pulling your arms wide and keeping them parallel to the floor. Without crossing hands, move your arms in toward one another and then back out—your goal is to make the ropes look like two snakes on the floor.
6. Shoulder Press – No need to limit your shoulder presses to barbells and dumbbells—you can totally use battle ropes too! Hold the ropes on your shoulders (make sure there’s tension on the ropes). Press the ropes upward as you straighten arms overhead. Bring them back down to the start position.
7. Power Slam – If there’s one thing we know, it’s that anything with the word “power” in it is bound to be one tough exercise—and this one’s no exception. To start, stand with feet hip-width apart and grasp the ends of the rope in each hand. Bring both arms up overhead, and then forcefully slam the ropes down into the ground, lowering into a high squat as you do. Straighten up to return to standing and repeat.
8. Side Slam – Slam your way to a fitter physique (and obliques). Face the anchor, feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent. Grab the ends of the rope with palms facing in. Brace your core and hold the rope on the left side of your body. Raise your arms up overhead and forcefully slam the ropes down to the right of your body. Continue alternating sides.
9. Alternate-Arm Power Slam – A variation on the power slam listed above, you’ll be executing the exact same movement, but instead of raising and slamming both hands at the same time, you’ll restrict the movement to one arm. Do one whole set of the move with one arm and then another set with the other arm.
10. Plyo Knee-tuck Slam – Assume the position—the push-up position, that is. With one end of the rope in each hand and palms facing in, jump both feet into the air and draw your knees in toward your chest (this is the knee tuck—which looks similar to a plank tuck jump, except you won’t ever land with your knees tucked in). Immediately shoot legs back out into push-up position, and then explosively jump to your feet (a little wider than hip-width apart) with the ropes in hand. Raise arms overhead as you extend your body until you’re on your toes. Lower down into a squat, slamming the rope down to the ground as you do. Return to the push-up position.
11. Plyo Knee-Tuck Push-up Slam – This combo move not only builds total-body strength, but it also works on explosive power, Wilson says. Plus, it adds an extra challenge to plyo knee-tuck slams. Begin in a push-up position, with one end of the rope in each hand. Jump knees in toward your chest and then immediately shoot legs back into the push-up position. Lower your body into a push-up, and then explosively spring up to standing, keeping hold of the ropes. Raise arms overhead as you extend your body until you’re on your toes. Lower down into a squat as you slam the rope down to the ground. Place hands on the floor and return to a push-up position. That’s one rep—phew!
12.Alternating Wave Lunges Jump – Now that you’ve mastered lunging and waving, up the ante even more. Begin with the alternating wave. Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, and then jump up into the air, switching legs so that you land with your left leg extended back. Continue alternating as smoothly as possible and without losing form—you’re going to want to keep your head and chest up throughout this move too.
13. Alternating Wave Jump Squat – Paired together, squats and alternating waves make for one total-body toner—it even targets your core. Perform low alternating waves, and once your waves are nice and steady, jump up into the air, landing in a squat. Repeat, and remember to keep the wave going throughout the entire movement.
14. Plyo Knee Tuck Into Push-up to Alternating waves Switch game – The longer the name, the tougher the exercise—and brace yourself: This one’s a doozy. Begin in the push-up position, with one end of the rope in each hand. Perform a knee tuck, a push-up, explode up to stand, and power through alternating waves for 10 seconds. Return to the starting push-up position. And pat yourself on the back.
15. 180-Degree Jumps – Stand so that the left side of your body is facing the anchor and position the ropes in front of you. Grab the ends of the ropes and hold them together with both hands in front of your right hip, palms facing each other. Lower into a squat and jump up, turning toward the anchor and rotating your body 180 degrees while you swing the rope overhead. Land softly in a squat, positioning the ropes in front of your left hip. Repeat on the other side, landing back in the starting position.
16. Star Jumps – Star jumps, as their name suggests, are outta this world. But make no mistake: This move will jack up your heart rate and make you feel the burn, especially when battle ropes are involved. To start, stand in a narrow squat and grab one end of the rope in each hand. Jump up, kicking your legs out to the sides and swinging arms (and the ropes) out to the sides and over your head. Land softly in a squat position, with hands in front of your hips.
17. Alternating Wave Reverse Lunge – Waves, and lunges, and battle ropes, This exercise is great for not only your upper body, but your lower body as well, targeting your quadriceps, forearms, biceps, back, and abs.
Begin with the alternating wave exercise (see No. 2 for a reminder). Once you get a good wave going, step your right leg back into a lunge. Return to standing and then repeat on the other side, stepping your left leg back into a lunge. Continue alternating legs as you make waves with your arms (and the ropes), keeping your head and chest up throughout the entire exercise.
18. Up-Downs into Snake Switch Game – Begin in a standing position and grab the rope in each hand, holding the ends by your sides. Drop your body to the floor and catch yourself with your hands (place them in a push-up position on the floor beneath you as you land), letting your chest touch the ground—similar to this, except you won’t do the shuffle movement. Explode back up to stand, and then lower your body into a squat. Pull arms wide and keep them parallel to the floor. Without allowing your hands to cross, move arms in toward one another and then back out as quickly as you can—it’s the snake movement again! Return to stand.
19. Squat to Overhead Press – How do you make a shoulder press even better? Add a squat to the mix! Position your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and hold the ropes on your shoulders (you’ll want to make sure there’s tension in the ropes like you did with the regular shoulder press). Lower down into the perfect squat while simultaneously pressing the ropes overhead. Return to stand.
20. Lateral Shuffle with Alternating Wave – Get ready to get moving—even more, that is. Begin by doing the good ol’ alternating waves. Quickly shuffle to one side, whipping the rope and shuffling at about the same tempo. When you’re ready to shuffle back, lower your body into a squat and shuffle in the opposite direction.
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In this post, we’re excited to bring you the perfect beginner jump rope workout routine.
If you’re just getting started with your jump rope training journey or if you just got your jump rope set and you’re wondering what fitness jump rope workout routine to try, then this simple 15 minutes fitness jump rope workout is perfect for you and you can learn and use anywhere to make your workouts more effective.
You’ll learn what exercises to focus on, what technique tips to pay attention to, and even how to break this workout apart and rebuild it to make it your own.
Whether you’re new to jumping rope or you’ve been at it for years, it’s always fun and exciting to learn new skills and add new exercises to your workout Schedule.
Benefits of Jump Rope Exercise – Before we dive into our list of jump rope exercises, we want to explain some of the benefits of these exercises as well as how you can make use of them to achieve your fitness goals.
The jump rope is a versatile training tool. It gives you the freedom to take your workouts on the go, burn more calories, improve your cardio, and achieve your fitness goals without getting bored at the gym.
But one of the best parts about the jump rope is that you’re constantly learning. You’re constantly being challenged as you start learning new jump rope exercises and skills. And this beats a monotonous run or a boring treadmill session any day of the week.
So go ahead and explore these jump rope exercises. Learn the basic jump first, then choose a couple from the list that you want to add to your workouts. Use them in your warm-up. Use them as a workout finisher. Build workouts around them.
We suggest following jump rope exercises:
Jump Rope Basic Jump – The basic jump is the most fundamental jump rope exercise every beginner needs to learn. It’s a simple exercise that we use frequently in our workouts, particularly with heavy ropes. If you’re new to jumping rope, we recommend learning this exercise before moving to any of the other exercises in this list.
Jump Rope Alternate Foot Step Jump – is one of the most effective and frequently used jump rope exercises that you will have in your repertoire. This our go-to exercise for any high-intensity workouts and weight loss fitness challenges because of the level of intensity that can be achieved. If you really want to push yourself, try this exercise at the max pace with a heavy rope.
Jump Roe Boxer Step Jump – The boxer step jump is a classic jump rope exercise that boxers have popularized. The boxer step jump allows you to jump for longer periods at a time because you’re constantly shifting your weight from one side to the other. It’s a great exercise for improving your endurance.
Jump Rope High Knees – The High Knee Step is a higher-intensity variation of the alternate foot step jump. This skipping exercise will get your heart rate up quickly and give you the ability to do some really effective fat-burning workouts.
Jump Rope Jacks – are fun for all levels of jumpers. This jump rope exercise will improve your coordination and give you a fun new way to do your basic jumps. Along with the alternate footstep, this is a great exercise to add after you learn the basic jump.
Jump Rope Mummy Kicks – are fun to learn and easy for beginners. If you’re looking to add some variety to your workouts, try adding these to your repertoire. Check out the full tutorial below.
Jump Rope Criss-Cross – is a very popular jump rope exercise. This skill requires a little more time and patience to master, but once you get it you will be able to target your upper body muscles more effectively in your workouts. It also looks pretty bad-ass.
Jump Rope Side Swing – The side swing is a simple exercise that will make it. Not only does it look sleek, but it also gives you the ability to actively rest during your workout. When used with heavy ropes, side swings can also offer an upper-body workout, anywhere.
Side Under Jump – This looks more challenging than it actually is. It’s a great exercise for adding variety to your workouts and it’s what you’ll want to work towards once you have some of the other exercises mastered.
Jump Rope half and Full Twist – The half twist and the full twist exercises are fun variations of the basic jump. Tip: get the motion and rhythm down first before you try it with a rope in your hands.
Jump Rope Single Foot – While we don’t use them often in our workouts, single-foot jumps are fun to learn. They’ll help you improve your balance, coordination, and ankle strength. Keep in mind that any single footwork will place more stress on your calves, so don’t use this one until you feel ready. Always go at your own pace.
Jump Rope Heel Toe Step – The heel-toe-step jump is great for footwork and coordination. It’s a fun skill that you can utilize in any jump rope workout. Pay attention to the foot pattern shown in the tutorial video below.
Double Unders – is one of the most sought-after jump rope exercises. Popularized by Cross Fit circles, this is a challenging, high-intensity exercise that can really take your workouts to the next level. But the double undertake time and patience to master. In fact, we’ve built an entire (free) comprehensive double under guide to help you learn this skill.
Criss-Cross Double Unders – This is a highly advanced and explosive jump rope exercise that we don’t recommend trying until you feel very confident with the standard double under. However, it’s a great exercise for building power, strength, and endurance.
Backward Jumping – The great thing about backward jumping is that you can essentially do all of the exercises above backward which means you’re doubling your exercise repertoire. Learning to jump backward will improve your coordination and feel for the rope. Check it out below.
If you’re just looking for some quick tips on improving your technique, here are some important ones to keep in mind when you’re jumping:
- Focus on maintaining good symmetry while you’re jumping. This will ensure that you have a nice open loop to jump through. Watch the beginning of the video for details.
- Make sure you’re using your wrists to turn the rope (not your elbows or shoulders). Good wrist rotation is the key to good rope rotation.
- Maintain a light bound all the way through. Don’t jump too high or bring your knees up or kick your feet back. Watch the feet during the video for reference and pay attention to the slight knee bend (important for shock absorption).
- Maintain a good rhythm throughout the workout. As you get better, you can increase the pace of your jumps.
The Perfect Jump Rope Workout – So why is this the perfect workout for beginners?
Because it’s fun, versatile, quick, and it offers a lot of flexibility.
In order for a workout to be effective, it needs to have a fun factor. Workouts that we don’t enjoy are rarely the ones we tend to stick to and when it comes to long-lasting results, consistency is the ultimate factor.
The jump rope is one of those unique training tools that offers a fun spin on exercise as you’re constantly challenging yourself to get better and to learn new skills. With our system, you are able to change the weight of your ropes so you can challenge yourself in different ways, engage more muscle groups, and burn more calories.
Then you have the flexibility to adjust your workout to fit your fitness needs.
Is the workout getting too easy? Up your intensity by increasing the pace of your jumps. Try to squeeze in as many rotations as you can in every 30 seconds or 45-second work session.
Getting tired of the same routine? Try swapping your exercises. Choose your own skills. Choose a couple of unique jump rope exercises and rotate them into your workout.
Want even more of a challenge? Use a heavier rope – instead of the 112 gms Infinity rope, try using the 225 gms Infinity rope, or even the 450 gms infinity rope.
You’ll feel a tremendous difference in the way the same workout makes you work. See how much flexibility you have with the same workout? With just a few tweaks, you can create endless combinations to create the workout that is right for you.
That’s why we call this the perfect jump rope workout routine for beginners. Rope jumping is simple and efficient cardio. It is a popular warm-up exercise and has more to offer than just prepping your muscles for workout sessions.
This full-body workout that athletes and fitness gurus swear by has several health benefits. But skipping, like any other exercise, is not foolproof. Here are the gains and pains of jumping rope (or skipping).
Powerful health benefits of rope jumping –
Improves heart health – Skipping or rope jumping is a great form of cardio. It increases the heart rate. This allows the heart muscles to work harder to pump oxygenated and deoxygenated blood across the body, thereby promoting heart health.
A 12-week study on the effect of skipping on children confirmed that rope jumping helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Tones lower and upper body – Rope jumping is a great full-body workout. It helps shed fat from all parts of your body and tones you up. It will not help build lean muscle, but if you do it at a higher intensity, you will work your biceps, triceps, shoulders, calves, thighs, and glutes.
Burns calories to aid weight loss – Skipping or jumping rope is an amazing way to burn calories and shed fat. In a study, scientists found that rope jumping to dance music helped improve BMI more than stationary cycle exercise. Start with a short session of 2-3 minutes of jumping rope every day. Increase the duration and intensity as you progress.
Improves motor function and stamina – This is the reason most athletes, and especially boxers, practice jumping rope. It is scientifically proven that adding skipping or rope jumping and weighted rope jumping to your exercise routine helps improve coordination, strength, endurance, and balance in young athletes.
Helps improve the immune system – Jumping rope is a great way to boost your immune system. Physical exercise helps lower inflammation, increases the number of T-cells, and improves the function of natural killer cells. But be cautious as too much exertion may make you prone to infections.
Helps improve bone density – Osteoporosis and weak bones are direct causes of low bone density. Jumping rope regularly can help improve bone density. Moderate-intensity rope jumping is also safe for people with osteopenia. It helps increase hip bone mineral density.
Boost mental health – Skipping stimulates the secretion of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. This, in turn, helps boost mood and improves mental disorders like depression and anxiety.
Helps children with ADHD – About 5% of children in the US have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Research studies have shown that skipping or jumping rope helps children with ADHD. Consult your doctor to know if your child can benefit by jumping rope.
Is easy on your joints – Jumping rope is easy on your joints, thereby lowering the risk of injury of the knees or any other joint. Of course, you must not try rope jumping right after surgery or a critical injury – not until your doctor and physical therapist give you a nod.
Helps improve skin health – Sweating is great for your skin. Sweat helps maintain skin hydration. Moreover, it acts as a barrier to prevent dust, pollution, and microbial growth on the skin. As a result, your skin can turn brighter over a period. Remember, you must also hydrate and eat healthily.
You can easily include a 5-minute fat-burning skipping in your exercise routine.
How To Include Skipping In My Workout Routine
Warm-up – 10 minutes
Moderate Intensity Skipping – 4minutes
Jump Squats – 2 sets of 12 reps
Leg In And Out – 2 sets of 12 reps
Russian Twists – 2 sets of 20 reps
Leg up Crunches – 2 sets of 25 reps
30 Seconds Rest
HIIT Skipping – 1 minute, 5 reps with 10 seconds break
Kettlebell Swings – 2 sets of 8 reps
Single-Leg Deadlifts – 2 sets of 6 reps
Mountain Climbers – 2 sets of 15 reps
30 Seconds Rest
Elbow Plank – 1-minute hold
Bicep Curl – 3 sets of 12 reps
Tricep Extensions – 3 sets of 8 reps
Chest Press – 3 sets of 8 reps
Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 8 reps
Moderate Intensity Skipping – 5 minutes
Cooldown stretches –10 minutes
Precautions To Take
- Warm-up for at least 10 minutes before jumping rope.
- Wear shock-absorbing shoes.
- Wear a sports bra to prevent the sagging of breasts.
- Sip electrolyte water before and after the workout.
- Cooldown by stretching.
Now, let’s address a common question:
How Long Should I Jump Rope?
Start with 1-minute rope jumps. Increase the intensity and time as you become comfortable. Increase the time every week by at least 1-2 minutes. You should be able to jump rope for 10 minutes straight. However, take breaks, sip on your electrolyte drink, and get jumping again.
- For weight loss – 10 minutes, two times a day.
- For strength and conditioning – 10-15 minutes, two times a day.
- For improving muscle tone –Do high-intensity skipping for 1 minute and take a break for 10 seconds. Repeat for 5 minutes.
Now, let’s discuss when it is not advisable to jump rope.
Avoid Rope Jumping If
- You have heart problems. Do it only if your doctor gives you a green signal.
- You are recovering from a serious illness or surgery.
- You have high blood pressure. Take your doctor’s opinion.
- You have a bone injury.
Rope jumping is a great exercise. Keep the basics in mind. Ease your body into it slowly and keep it steady, but progressive. Include skipping as an exercise in different workouts. You will surely have fun and also feel energetic and young at heart.
Can rope skip reduce belly fat?
Yes, skipping can help reduce belly fat. But make sure you eat healthily and do lower belly exercises.
How much should you skip a day?
You can start by doing 1-2 minutes of skipping in a day. Increase the time to 10-15 minutes as you progress.
Can skipping reduce thigh fat?
Yes, skipping helps reduce thigh fat. It is a good calorie burner. You should also do these leg exercises to tone your thighs.
Does skipping help get bigger buttocks?
No, skipping will not help increase the size of your glutes. But it can help reduce fat from your butt. Read this post if you want to increase the size of your buttocks.
Click here for Flexibility Training -
Flexibility is more than being able to touch your toes, it’s about general musculoskeletal health. While some people are born with natural flexibility, it doesn’t mean that those who aren’t are doomed to have it beyond their grasp. Exercises that facilitate flexibility and mobility, like stretching are often neglected or deemed as ‘not proper’ exercise, as exertion seems minimal at first glance.
Disregarding this kind of training from your regular routine is actually doing you a disservice as compromised mobility can limit your range of motion, and stunt your fitness goals, or in the worst case can lead to injury down the line.
Here are some styles of flexibility training that both complement different types of workouts, as well as include strength elements within them.
Every stretch can be either static or dynamic and passive or active. Dynamic and active stretches are more helpful for improving functional movements used in everyday life and sports. Here’s a breakdown:
- Static stretching is isometric (developing muscular tension without contraction of the muscle), you hold a challenging position for at least 20-30 seconds.
- Dynamic stretching is a stretch performed by moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly.
- Passive stretching uses external “assistance” to help you stretch. It’s a technique where you relax into a stretch while an external force (someone or something) intensifies the stretch further.
- Active stretching applies motion, so you relax the muscle you’re trying to stretch and rely on the opposing muscle to initiate the stretch.
- Ballistic stretching is uncontrolled, erratic, and jerky. It can be a form of passive stretching or a dynamic stretching in a fast, bouncing motion, forcing the limb into an extended range of motion.
- PNF (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) is a contract-stretch-hold technique repeated 10-12 times, and research says it may be the most effective stretching technique for increasing range of motion.
These days yoga boasts as many styles of the practice as there are ranges of activewear brands. Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, hot yoga, vinyasa flow, Kundalini, and yin are a few of the most commonly known ones.
What all these practices have in common is the integration of body and breath through stretching, isometric bodyweight exercises, and moving meditation. Regular practice will help mobilize joints, stretch ligaments, and strengthen muscles — in summary, keep you limber.
Developed by Joseph Pilates, this method of exercise incorporates controlled movements with an emphasis on alignment, breathing, and building the core — referred to by Pilates instructors as the “Powerhouse”. Over time Pilates will not only increase flexibility but help improve coordination, balance, and all-round stability.
If you’re looking to release tight, sore muscles after a killer workout, then you may want to check out foam rolling. This form of mobility work, along with other devices like lacrosse balls for trigger points, is an indispensable part of any regular workout regime. Foam rolling offers deep tissue release and can be done pre-workout to warm muscles up or post-workout to alleviate tension.
Reaping the rewards of exercise variety
Now you’ve got the lowdown on the importance of including different types of workouts into your routine and what kinds are out there, you may be interested in how this will impact your overall health and fitness.
Benefits of cardio:
- Improves cardiorespiratory and pulmonary health, measurable by a lower resting heart rate
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduce risks of a stroke, heart disease, and eventual heart attack
- Increases circulation
- Lowers the risk of diabetes
- Increases range of motion
- Releases tension physically and mentally
- Supports spinal musculoskeletal health
- Improves mobility
- Reduces the risk of injury associated with other exercises and movements