Wellness

Why skipping classes might be the most popular cardio workout for 2018

And how to skip your way fit from your living room (when it’s too cold to go outside!)

And how to skip your way fit from your living room (when it’s too cold to go outside!)

(Credit: Getty Images)

As we perpetually search for the most surefire ways to get our bodies right, following trainers' channels on Instagram is a great way to find inspiration and learn about training methods and techniques from super high-level professionals like Whitney Simmons, Cassie Day and Sarah's Day. For free!

You may have noticed a recent spike in jump rope and skipping posts on Instagram — skipping is a super solid cardiovascular workout and a fun way to improve hand-eye coordination, agility and your performances in most sports.

Amanda Kloots, a former Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette, created the interval-based skipping class The Rope that NYC cardio lovers are jumping up and down for. Kloots teaches The Rope to cool-kid NYC gym, Studio-B by Bandier, which scooped the class right away realizing there were none like it. The Rope combines cardio and toning intervals and a bit of dance, choreography and great music too.

Outside of NYC, The Rope is available in Mississauga, Ontario at Stacked Pilates and Dance and online, for Canadians to skip along with in their living rooms across the country. Plus you try a free online class with Amanda.

Jump rope is also becoming an increasingly popular add-on for trainers who want to boost their personal training programs or who are passionate about certain sports, like boxing.

Caleigh Rykiss is a CBC Life contributor and the Founder of a new gym in Toronto, BOLO, where boxing movements are the name of the game. Caleigh includes skipping intervals in her classes because of its efficient calorie burn and also because the skipping rope is a boxer's best friend.

"When teaching someone to box I always say: less effort, more power", said Rykiss. "Skipping is an extension of boxing and the same is true for jumping rope -- you always want to be as efficient with your energy and cardio as possible."

To do so, Rykiss suggests keeping your feet low to the ground instead of jumping high. Your toes should be skimming the floor when they lift off the ground. Also, it is most efficient energy-wise to hop back and forth from foot-to-foot rather than jump with both feet at the same time.

Personal trainer and Instagram fitness influencer Matthew Pauderis says skipping is a brilliant finisher for any weight training program. "Finishing your weight training with a high intensity form of exercise is a way of getting your heart rate up for one final push, and all the fancy footwork is actually great for your coordination — it's a brain health boost!".

As for which rope to choose, here are some tips from the experts: If the rope is too light it's harder to control and can easily get out of sync with your jumping rhythm. You can tailor your rope to the right length for your height by putting one foot in the middle of the rope and extending the ends vertically. The tops of the handles should land just under your armpits. If the rope is too long you can shorten it by putting a small knot on either side, near the base of the handles.

Because skipping has such a low barrier for entry, it's a brilliant solution for people who have roadblocks to working out at a gym or with a trainer. All you need is your living room, a rope and a soundtrack that will keep your energy high for 20 minutes to an hour. If your goal is to get more fit or boost your cardiovascular workout, turn up the music and give skipping a whirl.

Amanda Kloots' 4 steps to a killer skipping workout:

Since you don't actually need to attend a class or watch a video to get skipping ASAP, we asked Amanda to share the four basic steps she recommends for getting in a really great workout.

  1. Warmup: Start with a focus on finding your best form. Jump for 1 minute and then hold a plank for 1 minute. Continue for 6 minutes, or for 2 songs on your favourite playlist.
     
  2. Coordination: Get into some fancy footwork and move your feet. Get your knees high, and alternate jumping on your right and foot only. Skip for 1 full song.
     
  3. Endurance: Now is the time to pick up the pace and skip to the beat of your favourite hype song. In fact, skip for 2 full songs.
     
  4. Sprint: In the final stretch, alternate between 20 second sprints and regular tempo jumping. Skip for a full song.

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