What if I told you that there is an exercise machine that will make you burn fat, improve athletic performance and tone up all at the same time? Now, what if told you it is so small you can use it in your apartment and store it away when your done? Okay, what if I told you it only costs about $5 and I don't even sell it? Are you interested? You better be!
Obviously the magical workout machine I am talking about is not a treadmill, a bike or an elliptical. For the home gym user they are way too bulky and expensive. Plus the home versions are usually pretty low quality. No, the ultimate home gym exercise machine is the humble skipping rope. That's right, the skipping rope. It is cheap, effective and time efficient. Perfect for today's busy fitness enthusiast (for more snappy workout ideas click here).
Fighters have been using skipping ropes for years to burn fat, improve conditioning and improve athletic performance. Now tell me you wouldn't want to improve these attributes? Jumping rope will give you the results you desire but you have to do the work. In the world of fat loss there are no free lunches!
First off, your best bet is to buy a rope with weighted handles and a fast moving rope. Leather or beaded is best. Weighted handles will increase the caloric expenditure. Next, make sure the surface you are going to use will not beat up your joints, even wear running shoes if you have to.
Now, start off skipping at leisurely pace for 3 rounds of 3 minutes. Between rounds it is best to stretch out the calves, hips and thighs. For the next several rounds really push yourself hard, you should be gasping for breath at the end of each round. Some methods to increase resistance are to run in place while skipping or to pass the rope under your feet twice per jump (double unders).
The point of skipping is not to be able to go forever as in jogging; but to get more work done (skip faster) in the same amount of time. Total time skipping should only be about 20 minutes max. Workout efficiency is always key so go hard and exhaust yourself. The more difficult it is, the more calories you will burn after the workout.
After your jump rope workout, if you have the time spend another 20 minutes or so doing strength training. If at home, some body weight movements are best. If at the gym, hit the free weights.