jump rope

J is for Jumping

 

J is for Jumping

It may seem silly, but there are two things you can do to workout ANYWHERE and ANYTIME. Working out doesn’t have to be complicated, a gym membership isn’t necessarily needed, and you don’t have to drive somewhere to get fit. Sometimes all you need is to return to the basics.

These two activities are perfect for people that want to work out at home, or if they are on the road traveling and don’t have access to a gym. When I workout at home my typical workout includes the bike trainer + a circuit of jumping jacks, jump rope and weight lifting. In fact, in a few weeks I’m going to start doing the home workout again to avoid the overcrowding at the gym.

JUMPING JACKS

You don’t need anything to perform these. Perfect! Jumping jacks work your quadriceps (thighs) , your hip abductors/adductors, and is a great cardio workout. This is a “plyometric exercise that uses explosive movements to elevate your heart rate. (source)”

It seems silly that something so simple could burn so many calories, doesn’t it? But it’s true. The activity can build and tone muscles. Here’s a sample workout or try this:

1) 10 Pushups
2) 10 Crunches
3) 10 Reverse Crunches
4) 10 Triceps Dips
*Add 10-20 jumping jacks after before every pushup set and get some cardio benefit out of it.

You can do the jumping jacks in your normal workout, or do it during commercials when you’re watching TV. If you can only do a few at a time, switch off from jumping jacks to ab work on the floor or do some squats, then back to jumping jacks. Really, it’s all about staying in your target heart rate zone and burning those calories!

If you’re a crossfit junkie, they often incorporate the jump rope and jumping jacks into the routines. Lots of people are doing ’em!

JUMP ROPE

The jump rope is the same concept as jumping jacks. It elevates the heart rate, burns calories and trust me, by the time you’re done with a set your arms will be aching.  The best part about the jump rope: it’s cheap. I bought a jump rope at Ross for about $3. I bet the Dollar Store has them too. Pick one up to have on hand for the next time you work out at home.

When I was running a lot I sometimes took a break mid-run to do some jumping jacks. It kept my heart rate up but gave me a quick break from the mileage. If nothing else, it was variety.

Of course, the jump rope takes a little more coordination than normal, and definitely more than jumping jacks! It can improve coordination, agility and endurance. Here’s another workout suggestion for jumping rope. Next time you’re short on time and don’t think you can make it to the gym, try doing these two things for 20-30 minutes at home and see how you feel!

Note: Obviously consult your doctor first. Jumping jacks and jump rope exercises can sometimes aggravate knee issues.

QUESTION: Do you utilize these at-home workout routines? Any other suggestions for gym-free workouts?

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Jump Rope Workout

Since I’m not swimming tonight, I went to the gym in my office during lunch. I didn’t feel like putting my body through another run this week after my pulled muscle on Wednesday. I decided it was okay to do a light workout instead of my usual balls-to-the-wall-burn-as-many-calories-as-you-can kind of workout.

I decided to skip the treadmill and do the Elliptical machine.

The Elliptical is a good choice for people who have joint pain, or can’t run.

Low-Impact Elliptical

I did about 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, but nothing too crazy like I usually do. Actually, the elliptical machine is the machine I used to use the most when I was trying to lose 100 pounds. I did a combo of swimming and then the elliptical. It wasn’t until much later that I tried doing the treadmill.

After the elliptical, I hopped on the exercise bike for about 5 minutes and decided to change things up a bit. I grabbed an Ab Ball and the jump rope.

The rest of my workout was sort of like a “Cross-fit” workout. I’d jump rope pretty briskly then jog to the weight machines and then back to the jump rope.

This:

Jump Rope

To this:

Then I added the Ab Balls to the routine. I did this a few times, back and forth, until I was dripping with sweat. Man! Jump rope workouts are sweaty!

Then I added free weights to the routine.

In hindsight I should have skipped the elliptical and exercise bike and JUST done the weights/ab/jump-rope combo. That was a much better workout in itself!

Before you dismiss the jump rope as just a kid’s game, try it! It’s hard work and it’s a great workout. My heart rate spiked with each jump and I tried to do the jump rope faster with each set.

Finally, I did a bunch of stretching and some yoga moves.

Stretching

It was a good workout, even if I didn’t burn a ton of calories. It felt good just to move. Not only that, it’s good to change up your workout routine once in awhile to avoid boredom and plateaus!

Today’s Stats:

Time: 36 minutes

Calories Burned: 275

Final Thought: Jump Ropes Rule

Tonight we start the kitchen remodel again and will be doing it all weekend. I will be burning plenty of calories this weekend!

QUESTION: Are you doing anything fun this weekend? And have you ever incorporated a jump rope to your workout routine?