In particular, there are a number of benefits of jumping rope for runners. Not only can jumping rope improve overall cardio and breathing techniques, but it can also improve coordination and rhythm to assist you on your runs.
Below, we’ve spoken with Aaptiv trainer Rochelle Moncourtois, who specializes in and teaches running and run training, about the myriad of additional benefits of jumping rope for runners and their performance.
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Get out your jump rope and read on, as we learn more about the positive implications that jumping rope can have on your overall running health.
It improves coordination.
Jumping rope for runners develops a steady and regular relationship between their eyes, feet, and hands. This can positively impact a runner’s ability to kinetically connect different parts of the body.
According to Moncourtois, “Doing the same movement over and over and staying on the ‘balls’ of your feet can help you with staying light on your feet during a run. It also helps increase your timing skills.”
It increases overall breathing techniques and cardio.
By adding a cross-training exercise, like jumping rope, into your routines between runs, you are gaining tone throughout your whole body.
Additionally, you’re spiking your heart rate and increasing healthy blood flow. “Jump rope is aerobic, which helps with strengthening cardiovascular health. Just like finding your rhythm, you have to find your breathing pattern, too. This forces you to learn proper breathing habits! Building up stamina and strength at the same time,” says Moncourtois.
It prevents leg injuries.
It’s never fun healing a sprained ankle or having the constant fear of tearing your knee ligaments.
Jumping rope for runners continuously builds muscle in these areas and provides a healthier foundation. Many rehabilitation centers use jumping rope as a way to regain muscle tissue around joints, tendons, and ligaments.
It creates rhythm.
More than just jamming or running out to the beat of your awesome running playlist, rhythm is crucial when running.
Cadence, which is measured by strides per minute, can be perfected and worked on if cross-training with jumping rope.
As stated by Moncourtois, “Timing is everything during jump rope. You have to find the right beat and cadence, just like in running. Learning how to find your rhythm can help find your proper cadence during your runs, as well.”
It sharpens your mental skills.
They say that running is the ‘thinking person’s’ sport. So why cut any corners when training for a run or looking to boost your running game?
By participating in jumping rope, you help improve your overall cognitive function (this also has great reviews).
Jump roping causes the development of new motor patterns, i.e. circular arm movements and rhythmic jumping, to occur.
These new motor functions create communication flow in the body’s central nervous system. The brain talks to the arms, wrists, and legs to complete necessary functions to carry out the exercise.
By stimulating these processes, we’re naturally enhancing our cognitive skills and sharpening our minds.
It strengthens muscles critical for running.
Just as discussed above, when mentioning injury prevention, jumping rope can strengthen vital muscles in our bodies.
When adding lower body strength training, especially with posterior chain exercises (like jumping rope), the development in your muscles will help increase running speed, as well as decrease the amount of energy that your body will need to expend to increase velocity, making your runs go more smoothly.
Here’s a video by our trainer John why the posterior chain is so important:
A common misconception in running is that forms of weight or strength training aren’t necessary for training. In reality, exercises like jumping rope can be not only supplemental to a runner’s success but also critical.
There are a few aspects of the exercise to keep in mind. Always make sure that your form is correct and that you’re not jumping too high.
Remember to never hyperextend the wrist or have the arms too far from the body. Practice proper landing by jumping softly with slightly bent knees and placing both feet on the ground simultaneously as you land.
When you keep those important points in mind and give the rope a try, watch how your running performance sky rockets!
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