Finding a Good Shoe for Skipping
Sport & Activity
Skipping is a great addition to your workout, but it's important to wear the right shoes.
Skipping can be so much more than a kids' game—it's a great cardio exercise that actually burns calories and can help improve your heart health. It can also help with coordination and making your bones stronger. It's also a low injury-risk exercise, which makes it appealing for those looking to incorporate a new cardio exercise into their routine.
As with all exercises though, wearing the right footwear is key to doing a skipping workout safely and effectively.
Skipping as Part of Your Workout
Creating a diverse workout routine helps give you the ability to hit all your muscle groups and throw in some excellent cardio. In order to stay engaged and motivated by your fitness routine, it's important to choose a mix of exercises that you enjoy. Luckily, there are so many different exercises to choose from—and, for many adults, skipping is an option that will bring back feelings of joy, fun and nostalgia.
One major benefit to skipping is burning calories. The movement and cardio output of skipping knocks those calories out fast. For example, a person who weighs 68kg can burn approximately 750 calories by skipping for an hour—or 250 calories for a 20-minute skipping workout. This happens because so many muscle groups are engaged when you're skipping. Additionally, the high-calorie burn happens because skipping is a thermogenic exercise. This means it generates a lot of body heat, which translates to more calories burnt.
Other benefits to skipping as part of your regular exercise routine may include:
- Improved coordination, as several body parts are communicating in unison to jump with the movement of the rope
- Better agility and body awareness
- Enhanced cardiovascular endurance during exercise, which can lead to better heart health
- Increased bone density and a lower risk of osteoporosis
The intensity of skipping and the high-energy workout it provides make it a great addition to high-intensity intervals (HIIT) exercise routines.
How to Skip for Beginners
If you're new to skipping, the best type of rope to begin with is a beaded rope. It's easier to control and will hold its shape better. Skipping ropes aren't sized for individuals, so you'll need to adjust your rope to make sure you're working with the right length. To do this, stand on the centre of the rope and hold the handles up to your armpits. This is the ideal height for skipping.
You also want to make sure you have enough space to skip. Unlike stretching or exercising with free weights, when you're skipping, you're flinging your equipment over your head, behind and in front of you. To avoid hitting anyone or anything, give yourself an area of around 1.2–1.8 metres with about 25cm above your head.
It's also important to think about the surface you're skipping on. Soft surfaces such as carpet or grass are not ideal. Your foot can easily slip. Whilst concrete and tarmac are too firm. The impact can put too much stress on your muscles and joints. Instead skip on a wooden floor, a piece of plywood or an impact mat.
When you're ready to skip, there are few different ways to use your skipping rope. You can go traditional, swinging the rope over your head, around your whole body, using both feet to jump at just the right time, but you can also:
- Alternate heels and toes
- Skip with one leg at a time
- Lift those knees up extra high
- Bounce from side-to-side with each jump
- Criss-cross your arms as you jump
Working in more complex jumps as you get more comfortable with the workout can help keep the exercise fresh and interesting.
Wearing the Right Shoes
Once you've got your skipping technique down, and found the ideal spot for the exercise, it's time to think about what's on your feet. The exercise itself can put a lot of stress on your knees and ankles, and the right shoe can help relieve these joints.
With this in mind, the right shoe for skipping should have the following features:
- Great arch and ankle support. This means a little bit of cushioning in all the right spots.
- Flat, rubber sole. You'll want to avoid having an elevated heel on shoes that you're using for skipping. This is purely for safety reasons, as an elevated heel can make you less stable when landing from a jump. Your ideal shoe for skipping should be flat and have a rubber sole that will prevent you from slipping, while also absorbing some of the impact.
- Breathability and flexibility. These features are important because skipping is high impact, which means you're likely to start sweating pretty quickly.
Overall, the best type of shoe to capture most, if not all, of these features are those categorised as training shoes. This particular type of shoe is designed for the type of movement you do inside the gym, whether you're lunging, lifting or skipping.
Grab a Rope and Get to It
You know what skipping rope to use and how to set yourself up for success with this sweat-inducing, high-impact exercise, so what's holding you back? Grab your sneakers and start skipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Workout Routines Typically Include Skipping?
Using skipping as part of a HIIT workout is a great way to incorporate it into your exercise routine. It's a nice addition to the lunges, squats and jumps you'll typically do with this type of workout. If you're a runner and you're looking to strengthen your calves to reduce the risk of shin splints, inserting a skipping warm-up into your pre-run routine can help make a difference.
What Kind of Skipping Exercises Do Boxers Use?
Many boxers incorporate skipping into their warm-up routine. This can mean skipping for 10–20 minutes straight or breaking up the time into shorter sets with a resting period between.
Should I Skip Barefoot?
When you skip barefoot, every time you land, your feet, ankles and even your knees absorb the shock. That's a lot for your joints to endure. For that reason, you should really only think about skipping barefoot once you're sure you've got the proper form down. Beginners should always wear shoes. For experienced skippers, skipping barefoot can help make your feet stronger and improve stability and mobility as your feet are coming in direct contact with the ground.