Last week we discussed all of the lower body muscles that are involved when you jump rope and how they contribute to stronger knees. This week the focus is on our upper body muscles and the cardiovascular benefits gleaned from jumping rope. So what muscles are in the upper body that benefit from you swinging that humble piece of rope? The answer is all of them. Your arms, back and abs get involved to not only keep your body upright but to also ensure that the rope is swinging in coordination with your feet leaving the ground.
So let’s start with your abs! NO jump rope will not give you a six pack BUT it will help to reveal that chiseled mid-section you are working towards. Incorporating the jump rope into interval training workouts is the best way to help blast fat and show of a defined tummy.
Now our arms involvement is pretty unique. The muscles in our arms go through an isometric contraction (different from the kind of contractions you get when doing a bicep curl).
When you grasp the handles of the rope and keep your arms bent at an angle your muscles contract to maintain their position. In turn the muscles are being strengthened in this static state. When it comes to building cardiovascular strength jumping rope comes highly recommended. It supports an increase in heart and lung strength and aerobic conditioning. It also contributes to your breathing, making it more efficient.
When it comes to your back muscles getting involved more fancy foot work is expected. Now don’t worry! Your posture benefits from steady state rope jumping and so does your back muscles endurance. However, the faster you can cross and uncross your arms or perform more intricate rope moves the more your back muscles become engaged. Something we can work towards with the help of Bernadette!
A weighted jump rope is always a good thing to have as it will speed up the progress and contribute to all muscles getting a great workout. Our favorite rope to use is this one: bit.ly/crossropenyc