Since gyms initially closed in March 2020, the internet has been flooded with workout routines as people discover different ways to stay fit at home. One of the biggest trends to hit our screens has been skipping.
“Before lockdown hit, picking up a skipping rope never even crossed my mind. Now, I skip almost daily, it’s become a crucial part of my workouts,” says personal trainer Becky.
“I was in the gym five or six times a week before they closed and I had never really trained without machines or heavy weights. The thought of figuring out a whole new workout routine was quite daunting. I tried a bit of everything really; running, circuit training and countless burpees, but it was only when I started skipping that I started actually enjoying my workouts again.”Skipping is a full-body workout. Its benefits include toning the upper arms and shoulders, improving coordination and strengthening calf muscles.
“It’s a really quick and efficient way to get a good workout in. It burns a lot of calories in a short period of time and is a good exercise if you’re looking to lose weight or just keep in general shape. You can do it anywhere and can tailor it to suit your needs. I’m currently running virtual sessions for my existing clients and I include at least five minutes of skipping in most of them.”
Fitness influencers have contributed to skipping’s rise in popularity, having incorporated it into many of their home workout routines. Krissy Cela has more than 2.3 million followers on Instagram and has been hailed as “the female Joe Wicks”. Her social media platform encourages people to stay active, especially throughout lockdown.
The Instagram star documents her own fitness journey whilst providing recorded workouts for anyone at home to do. Her feed consists of a range of different workouts accompanied by motivational pep talks.
Earlier this year, Cela uploaded an eight-day “mini skipping challenge” for her Instagram followers to try out, saying it was a “simple way to evolve with your stamina and progress with your skipping.”Cela also founded the fitness app Tone & Sculpt. Since its launch in 2019, the app has attracted “tens of thousands” of people. Vanessa has been an avid user since the beginning of 2020, and told us: “It’s the one fitness/workout app that I’ve actually stayed consistent with. I’ve tried countless programs and guides without any success. Tone & Sculpt is the only one that has helped me make real progress.
“They brought out a skipping challenge (‘Skip It Out’) in August last year which was all new to me, I couldn’t remember the last time I used a skipping rope. It was only seven days, so I thought what would be the harm in trying it out.”
The interval-style workout requires participants to execute different skipping techniques, such as high knees, fast-paced and single leg, within 30 second time slots.
“The challenge was the best way to introduce a beginner to skipping. It allowed you to build up your ability throughout the days, and by the end, if it was something you enjoyed, you could just continue.”
Not only is skipping a great way to stay fit, but it is also a technical skill that takes determination and practice. Competitions are held worldwide for athletes to show off their skills, for instance, The International Jump Rope Union (IJRU) will hold an online Virtual World Championships later this year.
“At the start, I found it so difficult. I couldn’t even manage fast-paced skipping. It took a lot of willpower to get up each morning and practice this skill that I thought I’d never be able to master.” Vanessa told Artefact.
“Now I’m up every morning ready to start my day with 20 minutes of skipping (which feels a lot longer than it sounds). For someone who hates running and would only ever commit to cardio in gym classes, skipping has been the perfect solution during this time.”
Amy is one half of fitness and lifestyle page, TJTwins, and has been sharing her skipping progress since the first lockdown. Initially, it was a struggle to “go three jumps without tripping or whipping myself,” now I am “teaching myself some fancy footwork tricks and getting to grips with it.”The influencer uses Instagram to put out skipping tips and tricks, which has inspired others to follow in her footsteps. Amy shared that she was “so glad” to have “been able to motivate so many to get into skipping, whether it be to try it for the first time or get back into it.”
Long before lockdown, boxers and professional fighters considered skipping to be an integral part of their training. Like boxing, skipping requires a high level of total body coordination, meaning it is a great way for fighters to prepare before entering the ring.
Sarah Mainwaring was a kick-boxer for just under a decade, and within those years she competed professionally and held a World Champion title. “From five-years-old I was travelling all around the world, competing every weekend that I could fit in. Week in, week out, I was training and travelling to all sorts of competitions. There were even times when we’d end up sleeping in the gym.”
As you start winning local, friendly fights, you begin climbing the ladder. I went on to win national competitions and the Europeans before ultimately travelling to Italy and becoming a double world champion kickboxer for my weight category and the weight above.”
Sarah’s training was often made up of high-energy movement and technique practice. “Training was always made fun and generally included skipping. It’s an easy and effective way to warm up and stay fit. It teaches you to stay light on your feet and keep on your toes.
“This is one of the most important things for kick-boxers or boxers to learn. It’s essential before you start sparring with other fighters. Skipping throughout all of our training sessions meant it allowed me to build up my fighting technique which eventually lead to successful competitions and a world champion title.”
In a time when our facilities are limited, skipping may be the perfect way to keep on top of your fitness routine.
Featured image courtesy of Dom J via Pexels.
Edited by Betty Wales-Hulbert, Giuli Graziano, Sophie Victoria Brown, Martha Stevens and Natalia Zmarzlik.