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Learning something new: jump rope training

Dec 08, 2010

The early Off-season is a great time of year to learn new training methods and techniques.  While the desire for results is less urgent, you can focus on form and technique.

From the posts appearing on RSD it seems that many players will be venturing into the weight room for the first time.  Fantastic!

I am going to venture into the world of jump rope training.  One of my goals this off season is to increase the endurance of my calves.  I believe that jump rope training will help.

I've been of the opinion that the time it would take to learn jump roping skills might not be worth the effort.  I would rather be training that learning to jump rope.  I've have also thought that there's nothing that can be gained by jump rope training that can't be done with agility drills.  I am not sure what my current opinion is on that.  We shall see...

Tonight I found the old jump rope lurking in the closet (pretty sure I asked for it for for Christmas about eight years ago).  I did ten minutes trying out a few basic moves.  I did my jumping on the track after my dynamic warmup but before my workout.

It is always best to put new exercises toward the beginning of your workouts.  Motor skills learning is optimal when there is no fatigue.  When learning a new skill, don't even think of it as part of your workout.  There will be plenty of time for accruing fitness or strength benefits later.  However, if your movements are not controlled and joints not properly aligned when you're ready for increased intensity you can put yourself at risk of injury.

I have not jumped rope since I was about six years old.  I was pleasantly surprised that it's not actually that hard.  And by "it" I mean just jumping.  Trying any variation was ...interesting.

I may revise my thoughts about the benefits of jump rope training.  I have done a lot of work with agility ladders and grid work.  I noticed in jumping rope that I was naturally keeping my torso taller since I didn't have to look at any objects on the ground.  I do think the core may be more activated in jumping rope than in ladder and other agility work.  The coordination and movement patterns are a little different.  Maybe in a good way.

After my skills session I did 20 reps of 30 second/30 second intervals.  The running was done at about my timed mile pace.  The resting intervals were walking.  I took it easy today as I'm still recovering from a sore throat and not sure how I'll react to the cold air.

Ready to take the next step?  Sign-up for my 6 week Sprint-Agility-Quickness program!

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