Skipping, a great way to tone up and get a fantastic figure

No, skipping ropes aren't just for the playground! As a true ally to losing weight, they are increasingly used by athletes to increase their muscular strength. All good reasons to give it a try!

Skipping for weight loss is immensely effective.

There are few physical exercises out there which are as thorough as skipping. It's no coincidence that it plays an integral part in the sporting regimes of high-level athletes: from runners to boxers, including basketball players and swimmers, they all skip! It's one of those sports that helps you burn a high number of calories: for every hour of activity you can burn up to 700 calories, which is double the equivalent for a running session. This is because the body needs to put a lot of effort in to follow the rhythm of the rope: all of the leg muscles are engaged, but they are not alone. The arms and abdominals also play their part. Very quickly your buttocks are more defined, ‘saddlebags' are reduced and abs start to appear, without expanding. And as you increase the intensity of your workout, your muscles will also become more toned.

The benefits of skipping

This is clearly the perfect exercise to tone up your muscles and shape your buttocks, as well as thinning out your legs. However, it is also a great cardio exercise: aside from the impact on your figure, you will notice a real change in your endurance and breathing. It will be easier to climb the stairs in your building, even at a run! Finally, skipping can help you improve your balance, thanks to the coordination effort it requires. You will stand up straighter and will have better posture as you go about your daily life. On top of this, skipping can also be very effective when eliminating stress. All good stuff! The only people who should avoid this exercise are those with heart conditions, who are overweight or suffer from issues with their joints.  

A typical skipping session

Practising skipping is dead simple: you can skip inside, in a park, on the beach, you can keep the rope in your bag, it can follow you everywhere. To skip you don't need any bizarre equipment, except the rope obviously, and you can easily find this for less than £10. At the beginning, it's best to go gradually…and start doing it every other day. Try to keep it up for a minute without stopping, then build in one minute of jumping, one minute of rest, one minute of jumping. Following this, crank it up to two minutes and reduce the rest period. For example, jump for two minutes and then have a 20 second rest between the two phases. Don't forget to stretch your calf muscles at the end of your session to avoid any soreness the next day!