The skipping scene in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag where Farhan Akhtar’s body morphs into a more ripped version while wearing ankle weights is arguably one of the hottest scenes male ever seen in Bollywood and it served another great purpose. It made skipping – a seemingly girly activity (while subscribing to all stereotypes) – seem cool again. This is extremely strange considering skipping rope is a boxer’s preferred workout to improve their footwork! For those of us who’re not professional boxers, skipping is an excellent cardio exercise which will pump you up and help you lose weight quickly.
Skipping when done properly would help burn at least 450 calories in 30 minutes (if you can go on that long) and is great for your heart since it really pumps up the heart rate much faster than regular cardio. Studies have also shown that it can help fight osteoporosis  and is pretty cheap.
Note: Skipping can be a strenuous activity so if you’re obese or suffer from a joint problem, you should check with a physician before you start this activity. In fact, it’s advisable to consult a physician before starting any physical activity you are not used to.
Here are some things you ought to keep in mind before you start skipping like Milkha or Rocky.
Selecting the rope
For a proper workout, you need the rope to be of the right length. A rope too long or too short will mess things up. The classic test is to stand with the rope under your feet and pull the handles so that they’re reaching your armpits. This is the perfect length.
Land on the balls of your feet
Now that you’ve a rope the next step is to start skipping. Make sure that you’re jumping on the balls of your feet, which is the area right under the toes and not your heels. Jumping on your heels can lead to injury and also prevent you from working your calves properly.
Don’t jump too high
Another common beginner problem is we tend to jump too high, thinking we won’t clear the rope. It’s more important to focus on rhythm and keep your jumps as small as possible without actually hitting the rope. Remember everyone trips while skipping; you’re not the only one. You’ll get better with time.
Focus on your arms
Remember that skipping should only involve your wrists moving and not your elbows or arms. Using your arms and shoulders will widen the diameter making it a harder activity that won’t last as long and that just isn’t a good thing. Also the position of the hands is of extreme importance. Make sure they are slightly above your waistline and are comfortably bent.
Catch the beat
Now this is arguably the most important part of skipping. What you need to do is learn maintain proper rhythm which isn’t too fast and allows you do as many reps as possible. Try and set a pace for yourself. Skip for 30 seconds and see how many reps you can do and then try to double that number within a minute. A good number is 120 reps in a minute.
Mix it up with proper cardio and weight training
If you want to lose weight, combine your skipping sessions with cardio and weight training. You have to realise that the only way to lose weight and keep it off as with a combination of the aforementioned. So focus on cardio and lower body exercises which will help you strengthen your calves and other muscles. This will also help you build lean muscle, which ups your metabolism and allows you to burn fat, even when you’re not working out.
Once you’ve mastered this, you’re ready to go, because you’ve an exercise which will boost your metabolism like crazy and gear you up for a proper cardio session or weight training session. Also, while it might look awesome onscreen, avoid the single leg jumps you see Sylvester Stallone do in Rocky because while it might look awesome on-screen, you’re putting too much pressure on your leg which can result in an injury.
Want to try out something harder? Check out these awesome fitness regimes:
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