We see it all the time in the boxing industry, in movies, training montages, and the gyms we train in – but why is skipping so popular in the boxing world? There are scores of benefits to this exercise that can boost your boxing capabilities as well as your general fitness. Let’s explore them!
Footwork is invaluable to a boxer. It gives looseness and ease of movement which is handy when evading trouble or moving so well your opponent can’t even land a hit. Transferring their weight from one foot to another, generally, boxers won’t distribute their weight evenly in a stationary stance. This technique is used to not only stay light and mobile but also conserve energy allowing for better efficiency.
How does this tie into skipping? A great way to mimic this boxing footwork is with skipping and it’s a sure-fire way to boost this skill and a big reason why you see so many professionals doing this movement.
Skipping as a conditioning tool:
Conditioning is a top priority to a fighter of any calibre, and while running is a great way to achieve this – skipping has added benefits for boxers. Skipping targets: the arms, wrists, and shoulders, all vital areas to strengthen as a boxer. In terms of cardio-vascular activities skipping has the closest resemblance to boxing.
Outside of this the benefits of skipping extend to joint health. NASM-certified personal trainer Joshua Vela explained that, “when done properly, the light, repetitive movements [of skipping] put less pressure on your knees than pounding the pavement mile after mile.”
Additionally, there’s an element of mental conditioning and endurance that’s gained through this exercise. A cardio routine that incorporates skipping can reap some major rewards for boxers and non-fighters alike.
The dictionary defines coordination as the ability to use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently. Applying this to skipping the form used utilises the upper and lower body in cohesion to achieve a smooth motion. The repetition of this can make a fighter lighter on their feet and more coordinated – an invaluable tool for evading attacks, counters, and more.
As a boxer being agile won’t only help you duck your opponent’s blows but also allow you to move with greater pace, balance, and control – sounds pretty good right? Skipping taps into this space and provides a means to progress one’s agility. A pivotal aspect in which this is done through is the development of explosiveness within the legs – obtaining this can help facilitate the benefits listed above.
There’s no getting around that skipping has tremendous value for boxers in terms of the skills and muscles that it trains. Exploring some variations of skipping let’s dive into some techniques to try:
Front to back: As the name suggests this technique asks that you jump front and back as opposed to the traditional form of jump up and down in the same place. This is a fantastic form to incorporate as it can also target the lower abs during the back-and-forth movement.
Side to side: Similar to the first one, in this movement your feet will jump from side to side. An easy way to visualise this is to imagine a straight line at your feet and jumping horizontally across it. Tying back to the notion of coordination, agility, as well as your obliques – this is a great movement to work on these skills and area.
Double-Unders: This variation is fantastic for developing explosiveness in the legs and breaking a sweat. The way to complete this movement is to jump high enough so that the rope can sweep the ground twice before you land. In addition to your elevation, a key aspect to note is the speed at which you rotate the rope.
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Until then, happy boxing!