If you’re serious about Muay Thai, you need skipping as part of your daily training routine.
You might complain that it’s not as fun as hitting pads, but every pro fighter worth their salt jumps rope. In fact, they probably do it every day.
It’s so important because of the variety of benefits it offers athletes. Plus, it’s easy to pick up.
Whether you’re a total novice or a Lumpinee Stadium champion, you can reap the benefits from a few rounds of skipping.
The Perfect Warm-Up
There are few better ways to start your training sessions than with a few minutes of skipping rope to get your body moving.
A bit of light exercise will start to get your heart rate up and get your blood flowing, which helps oxygen to reach your muscles.
Even if you take things easy to start with, your joints and muscles will be ready to work, and you’ll reduce your risk of picking up an injury compared to if you came in cold.
Improve Footwork And Coordination
No one is likely to glide around the ring when they first started Muay Thai. They might even be lucky not to trip over their own feet.
It takes practice to move your feet the right way, and skipping can be a big help.
Even just basic skipping will help you with your rhythm and coordination. By the time you can add some fancy movements into your workout, you’ll be ready to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
If you can move your feet quickly and correctly when you’re throwing a rope around, that will translate to your movements in the ring.
Improve Your Stamina
Skipping at a leisurely pace will prime your body for a workout, but by increasing the intensity or duration of your workout, it can improve your stamina.
If you can maintain a high pace for multiple rounds with interval training, you’ll have a great cardio routine that will really test your endurance.
Jumping rope is also a great option because it’s low-impact. You’ll put your legs under far less strain than if you were to head out and pound the pavement on a run for the same amount of time.
Build Shoulder Strength And Endurance
If you’re involved in Thai boxing, you’ll be punching. If you punch a lot, your shoulders will get tired.
Skipping can help you solve this problem by activating your shoulder muscles – especially if you use a thicker rope.
Stronger shoulders mean you’ll be able to punch harder and more often. You’ll also be able to keep your hands up so your opponent has more difficulty punching you, too.
Build Calf Strength And Endurance
It’s arguably even more important to have a lot of leg strength. Luckily, skipping will engage your calves in a major way.
That means you’ll be able to kick faster, kick more often, and kick with more power. Also, it’ll help toughen your legs up to check kicks.
It’s A Full-Body Workout
Shoulders and calves will be the obvious benefactors of your skipping routine, but because we’re talking about a full-body workout, there will be plenty of other areas that will benefit you too.
Your arm and abdominal muscles are two major groups that will be better off for helping you to make a few hundred revolutions of your rope.
Adding Rope Skipping To Your Routine
Now you know why rope skipping is so important, it’s only natural that you’ll want to add it to your training regimen.
The beauty of this kind of exercise is it’s easily scalable, and you can do it anywhere. Even if you’re not at the gym, it’s one of the best home workouts around. All you need is enough space to swing the rope, and the rope itself.
Choosing The Right Rope
There are just two key points to consider when you buy a skipping rope: the type and the length.
Starting with the type, there are two basic kinds of jump rope.
Weighted ropes are the most common. They can be pretty basic – just two handles and a length of rubber – but that does not make them any less effective.
Their thickness can vary, too. A thicker, heavier rope will require more effort and really test your shoulder endurance after a few minutes.
For most workouts, a weighted rope is all you’ll need.
You can also get speed ropes, which are thinner, and designed for super-fast revolutions and high-intensity workouts.
You also need to get a rope that’s the right length for you. Check by standing on the middle of the rope. If both ends come up to your armpits, you’re good to go.
You can get adjustable ropes, but you can also modify the most low-tech equipment by tying knots in it.
Jump Rope The Right Way
Finally, it’s important to make sure you skip rope correctly to get maximum benefit.
You wouldn’t want to kick with poor technique, so make sure you don’t make mistakes with the work you do around your combat training, too.
● Use small wrist movement to spin the rope – big movements with your arms will only help to tire out your shoulders quickly.
● Bounce on the balls of your feet – that will engage your calves and help you to build/keep momentum.
● Bend your knees slightly and do small jumps.
● Start switching feet – rather than humping with both feet at once, shift your weight between your left and right foot as you would in a fight.
● Relax – breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Once you have the hang of basic skipping, you can mix things up to give yourself a tougher workout.
Any workout is easily scalable by changing either your rope, your intervals, or your intensity. To make things tougher, just use a thicker rope, skip for longer, and go harder.
Plus, the possibilities are greater when you add other techniques like criss-crosses, double-unders, and high knees.
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