JUMPROPE SKILLS - DAY 2

JUMPROPE SKILLS - DAY 2

Skipping: It's all in the wrist!

Now that you've started skipping with a properly-sized rope, it's time to focus in on correct technique. We'll be spending the next several lessons reviewing what good skipping looks like and incorporating solid mechanics into your own practice.


Knowledge

At the most basic level, the goal of skipping is to continuously swing the rope in a full circle around your body, hopping and clearing the rope each time it approaches your feet.

We know what this looks like from the side: 

Just as important is what this looks like from the front, specifically the shape of the rope as it makes each rotation. Your rope should keep a nice tight parabola with each swing! A wobbly rope shape isn't sustainable for more than a few skips--eventually, your rope will either catch your feet or collapse.

✗  Bad Form: Loose, wobbly rope leads to excess arm movement and trips.  ✓ Good Form: A nice tight parabola that just clears the head and toes allows consistent jumps.

✗  Bad Form: Loose, wobbly rope leads to excess arm movement and trips. 

Good Form: A nice tight parabola that just clears the head and toes allows consistent jumps.

The good news: if you did yesterday's prep and practice and correctly sized your rope you're half way there! 

The next key element in maintaining a solid parabolic shape is getting down solid arm and wrist technique. This is an important element in generating the momentum that gives you that nice, tight arc!

First, let's take a look at how NOT to move your arms and wrists. 

When you are just starting out with the rope, you may be be tempted move your arms around your shoulder socket in a sweeping windmill motion: 

Windmills are for Don Quixote!

Windmills are for Don Quixote!

While this will move the rope around, you are doing way too much work, lessening the resistance the rope needs to maintain its shape. And burning out your arms in the process! 

It's far better to keep your upper arms relatively motionless. Instead, focus on using your wrists:

So smooth, so efficient...

So smooth, so efficient...


Prep

Try the wrist motion for yourself! Let's first take the feet out of the equation, paying attention to one hand at a time. Take the jump rope handles in one hand. Now, keeping your upper arm steadily near your side, swing the rope around at your side using ONLY your wrist--try to use your arms minimally or not at all. If this feels a little strange, you can gently hop on your feet to maintain a good rhythm.

Here's what it looks like when you apply this motion to your skipping:

Masterful skipping: it's all in the wrist!

Masterful skipping: it's all in the wrist!


Practice

Now that you've practiced swiveling your wrists, let's take this technique for a spin! First, warm up with one set of standard skips, just as you normally do them. Next, to really get an appreciation for bad form, practice the 'windmill' for a set before giving the wrist swivel a go. Finally, finish off with a standard set of skips.

1 set x 50 jumps - standard form
1 set x 50 jumps - wind-mill arms (bad form)
1 set x 50 jumps - straight-arms (good form)
1 set x 50 jumps - standard form
Rest between sets: 25 seconds


Reflection

How did that feel? Did you notice the difference between engaging your whole arm versus focusing on your wrists? Note how much tripping was involved when you skipped with that laborious windmill motion, and how often you tripped using proper arm and wrist form. 

When done correctly, skipping from your wrists gives you a far more controlled, efficient rope swing. Maintain this practice in each of your sessions from here on out!

Good wrist motion is just one key stepping stone on the road to flawless skipping under an elegant parabola. Tomorrow we'll tackle another key element!