Very recently I publicly stated that I was going to learn how to skip rope — or jump rope as some call it. My reasons for wanting to learn involved many constraints including time, space, and weather. Well, shortly thereafter I got in contact with a classmate who does some personal training out in Surrey. With his help and skip rope, I had a starting point that wasn’t as terrible as I remembered.
After my first solo 30-minute session, I wondered what made the difference between 2011 and 2016? You see, little known fact: I used to kickbox before jiu-jitsu, and our warm-up involved three two-minute segments of skip rope. And I was downright terrible back then, always coming to a sudden and often painful halt less than 15 seconds after starting. Let’s try to compare then and now:
- Then: rubber skipping rope, probably 9 feet in length. Possibly ball bearing setup in handles, handles made of wood
- Now: rubber skipping rope, probably 9 feet in length. Ball bearing setup, handles made of plastic, notched for comfortable grips
- Then: barefoot on 24mm puzzle mats over concrete
- Now: in running or wrestling shoes, on hardwood dance floor or carpet-over-concrete
- Then: mirrors in front and behind
- Now: some mirrors, location dependant
The quality or make of the skip rope may have played a factor, but I believe the biggest factors are footwear and being able to not look in a mirror. Even if I skip at school, I can actively shut out the mirrors — mirrors that are on adjacent walls to each other rather than opposite. In this tiny sample size that has far too many unchecked variables, I have done three bursts of 30 seconds without missing a skip. All three involved alternating single legs and then back to doubles, something I likely would not have been able to do back in 2011. Whatever the cause of my improvement, I seek to improve upon that. Fellow blogger Jennerosity commented on my last post with a YouTube channel full of tutorials, so I thought I’d share it with you all.
–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
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