History Of Skipping

The first evidence of people skipping can be seen in medieval paintings where children roll hoops and jump rope down the cobblestone streets of Europe. Although, the exact origin of jump rope activity is unclear. Some evidence suggest jump roping started in ancient China; however, the Western versions probably originated from 1600 A.D. Egypt. Skipping spread through Europe to the Netherlands, and eventually to North America. In the early 1940s and 1950s, jump rope became tremendously popular, and many children in inner cities used jumping rope as a form of play. It only required a rope, and anyone could play


Great as a serious exercise work out, not just for boxers but for the keep fit and training fan. Using a skipping rope is an excellent aid for cardio exercise. It conditions the heart and tones muscles in your legs, shoulders, chest and forearms. Every jump combines coordination, balance, rhythm and endurance. Skipping ropes are great value for money, and you won’t get many better workouts for the cost of a skipping rope, as well as improve your fitness it will improve your coordination, jumping height and footwork. Great for all types of sport.

Types of Rope

Speed ropes, although light in weight, are stable & fast turning for working on footwork skills and speed skipping.

Beaded Ropes is more visible & ‘audible’, compared to normal speed ropes, which makes it easier to time your jumps. Will not help improve footwork or hand speed.

Leather Ropes are stable and slightly heavier and slower turning for a steady stamina workout. Not usually adjustable in length, or suitable for working on footwork speed and skills.

Weighted Ropes, Leather Ropes weighted on the handles to make you work harder when skipping. Not usually adjustable in length, or suitable for working on footwork speed and skills.

Wire Ropes are very fast turning, but can break easy. Used for speed jumping not advanced jumping or skipping. Pose a bigger risk of injury.

Important Advice

• Set your rope to the correct length (Diagram Below)
• Always wear training/running shoes when exercising
• Always warm up before you skip
• Start slowly – Stop if you feel any discomfort
• Begin by learning the basic, two foot bounce
• Learning takes time – practice is important

Setting your correct length of rope


• Adjust rope length so that handles reach your armpits
• Tie a knot below each handle to shorten and balance
• Elbows should be tight by your side and at 90 degree angle leaving your forearms parallel to the floor.

You can adjust the length of many ropes, people often tie knots in ropes to get them to the right length if they are in a hurry, we recommend you adjust the length of the rope as instructed rather than tie knots as this affects the swing of the rope.

Sizing Guideline

Under 5ft Rope Length Required 7ft (Rare) May have to tie rope up or get adjustable rope.
Under 5ft 4″ 8ft
Under 5ft 11″ 9ft
Under 6ft 6″10ft

The Basic Skipping Technique

Basic Bounce Step

• Jump only high enough to clear the rope (one inch) and land lightly on the balls of your feet.

Alternate Foot Step

• Swing rope around and jump over it with one foot. Now, swing rope around again and jump over it with the alternate foot.
• Continue alternating feet (lifting knees slightly as if jogging in place).
• Do not kick feet back. It will cause them to catch on the rope.


• Keep your elbows tucked in nice and tight, turning the rope from your wrist and forearms
• Try to keep your back straight, with knees slightly bent. Try to not lean forward or skip slowly, so you catch your feet less
• If you are starting off lift your feet 1-2 ” from the floor.
• Try and keep the rope straight and skip at teh same pace.
• If you are just starting out jump rope training even if you are quite fit, start slowly. Jump for 1-2 minutes and rest, you can use this time to stretch out and reduce the risk of strains. Skipping for 1 Minute and 2 minutes rest will help build your skipping stamina up slowly without any setbacks. Skipping increases your heart rate rapidly, if you lose your breath i.e can’t speak a sentance slow down. As your fitness levels increase so can your work out plan
• Make sure your are wearing suitable footware, such as cross trainers

The Warm-Up and Cool Down

During physical training, the physiological systems of the body are working to adapt to exercise-induced stress. Therefore it is vital to warm up properly in preparation for the increased energy demands which muscles and related systems have to cope with during exercise. Warm-up decreases the chances of injury by raising the muscles temperature, increasing the blood flow and by stretching muscles, ligaments and connective tissue: improves physical efficency and prepares the body for work by raising the heart, metabolic and respiratrory rates.

As skipping mainly involves leg work, this is the focus of the stretch in both the warm up and cool down guidline. The speed rope can be incorporated by folding it in half or tied around the waist.

All actions x 5 on each leg/arm
• Walking on the spot
• Marching on the spot
• Wide march using arms
• Heel digs forward (like toe pointing but with heels)
• Heel dig and chest press with arms
• As above in half time
• Heel digs, chest press with arms – double time
• Shoulder circles
• Shoulder circles and leg squats (flex/bend legs to 75 degrees)
• Leg squats and bicep curl (flex/bend arms from waist to shoulder)
• As above but with palms facing downwards (pronated)
• Leg squats and shoulder shrugs
• Leg squats with wider legs – hands on hips
• Leg squats with buttock kicks – One leg at a time (towards but not touching approx 45 degrees)
• Side Leg lift – alternate legs (abduction)
• Leg squats with hands on hips
• Hamstring Stretch – take leg out to side, one leg flexed/bent all weight on this leg. Other leg extended with the toe pointing upwards – relax in to the stretch. Change legs
• March off on the right leg

(as a pre-workout warm up)

1. Go easy at first. Go slowly in a forward motion and give your body time to warm up. Let your body dictate the pace of your workout. Don’t let yourself get out of control. The concentration and focus necessary in creating rhythms are just as important as the physical workout.
2. During a fight, you’re constantly varying speeds. Jumping rope should be no different. Be conscious of not staying in one rhythm for too long. You need to be able to vary your speeds without losing control.
3. As your conditioning and strength improves, add movement to your rope workouts. Start out with high leg lifts, and gradually try out rope turns, and side to side movement. All three all great techniques to incorporate into the routine.
4. For more advanced jump ropers, step it up by finishing hard. I like to finish my rope sessions at what I call “ultimate speed”. For the last 30- 60 seconds, go as fast as you’re comfortable with (while remaining in control) and really make your body work, then slow it down, giving your body a chance to recover while not tightening up.

For a great range of skipping ropes visit SUGAR RAYS.

For other training advice and help visits our Sugar Rays HELP SECTION