Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rope Skipping

For most runners choosing a different activity to do on their cross training day usually means getting on the elliptical x-trainer, biking or deep water running. What about me, what do I do for some cross training since I already swim, bike and run?

I get out my skipping rope. I've found rope skipping to be an excellent activity to add to my training routine. Especially when I was traveling. Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I traveled extensively with our Singapore Badminton team as their physiotherapist. Whilst the players were training on court, I'll mix in some rope skipping and suicides (sprints from one court to another) and still be able to keep an eye on the players just in case they get hurt.

I've found it to be really helpful in strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the ankles -- good for protecting against ankle sprains. Just ask the players, I often doubled up as assistant coach/ fitness trainer when the head coach needed help with endurance training. I'll often incorporate my routines as part of their training. No ankle sprains in the lead up to the Olympics as a result. Plus they get to do something different instead of just running.

In addition, rope skipping is an aerobic session that's relatively easy to do, inexpensive and travels well. Be aware that skipping barefoot (in your hotel room) if you're traveling is more difficult than with shoes although it does work your intrinsic foot muscles more. Doing it on a carpet or exercise mat will be easier if you are planning on doing it barefooted. Start with ten minutes and build to thirty. You can alternate between double leg, single and alternate. If you get a chance to watch any competitive boxers skipping, you'll be amazed at their routines. If not check out any of the Rocky Balboa movies. And trust me on this, boxers are super fit. If you don't believe me, watch how Filipino southpaw Manny Pacquiao fights. 6 world titles in 6 different weight classes.


  1. Rope Jumping is a great exercise. I do this for only 15 seconds at a stretch,then rest for 15 seconds and this cycle of skipping and resting goes for 30 minutes while watching your favorite programme over TV.Just keep eye on the centre second hand of the wall clock and enjoy the exercise.

  2. I do a lot of endurance walking and am annoyed at how easily I roll my ankle when it is not strapped. I like the tip that jumping rope can help strengthen ankles.

  3. Hey Guys,

    Do join us for some free skipping fun at East Coast Park every Saturday

    Details can be found on