When I was growing up in the 40s jump ropes were a part of every little girl’s dress code. We wore them around our waists. But along with trees, fields, vacant lots, ponds and brooks, our playground of nature, along with sleds, skates, bikes and hopscotch, the simple things in life – the staples of our life of carefree years – went jump ropes.
Out Went Nature, in Came Buttons And Wheels
Push buttons, school buses, cars, planes, and now computers took over, and we abandoned our bodies as a way of getting things done. As our unused bodies atrophied and failed us so did our desire to use them. What used to be considered our playgrounds turned into enclosed rinks, gyms, spas, and studios of all kinds catering to those over 18 and mostly for those with extra money.
Bodies are built between birth and six, and those who have not had the opportunity to build them are robbed. Generations have been physically uneducated. In all too many schools, recess and gym classes are being eliminated. Most of today’s children and in fact our entire population now have a back pain rate of 85% due to unused key posture muscles and predominately weak abdominal muscles and tight back and hamstring muscles. Click here to learn about why your back hurts, and click here to learn about your muscle weakness – and how YOU can fix both.
Back to Jump Ropes
Boxers have always known that jumping rope is a great conditioner, so you can’t call it sissy. Jump ropes are great for endurance, coordination, and timing. In the early 1960s it was found at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia that rope jumping is one of the finest ways in which to condition a heart. Just a few minutes a day can accomplish that important result. Over half the deaths in America are due to heart failure and allied disease, and hearts are strengthened with exercise. It will be too late to try to influence a child to jump rope for ten minutes daily while you are packing his or her car for college or a new career.
When You Get Your Jump Rope
There are at least fifty ways to jump rope, and the best way for a child to learn is to watch another child who already knows how. Sometimes better is a parent. When you get your jump rope, get a good one, like the boxers use. If you are limited financially, buy heavy cord, not clothesline or the colorful but flimsy ropes sold in toy stores.
Anyone can jump rope, and when you first begin – as with any other sport or physical activity – the muscles involved need to be honed. When you first take to the ski slopes you are all over the place and falling constantly into ridiculous positions. By the end of that first day you are probably pretty tired from inefficient muscle use. But by the end of the season your muscles are both seasoned and efficient.
This is all to say that the better you are at any physical activity, the more efficient your fine movements are, the greater the risk for injury due to repetitive movement. Therefore start with a good warm-up, follow with your jumping routines and end with a balance of flexibility exercises to offset the activity of jumping. Stretch shoulders, chest, arms and hands, hamstrings, quads and calf muscles. Otherwise you may be sore tomorrow and give up your jump roping routine.
Start with a good warm up. Click one of the links below to warm up with me:
If at First
If jump rope is tempting but too much at the start, begin by developing your legs and your courage by running in place. Put the music on. Run, jump side to side, hop, twist, kick straight legs forward, and kick back, toes in, toes out, jump backward and forward.
Jump with or without a rope. Jump anywhere, anytime, with family, friends or alone. Jump for endurance, timing, coordination, and rhythm. Jump with music and rhythms.
JUMP FOR JOY!
If you have questions or need help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help. Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®.