|Jump rope is one of the
single best exercises you can engage in. In just 15 to 20 minutes,
jump roping will improve agility and fluidity, lateral movement,
explosiveness, hand and foot speed, and timing. Jumping rope will
help you "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee."
If you mastered some of the basic Jumps and
footwork, here are some drills that will challenge your foot speed
Start with the boxer's skip and lift the knees higher in front.
Ensure that you land softly, a slight bend at the knee. Keep the
body upright, arms and hands in the proper position. Focus on the
push-off phase of one foot, then the other, lifting the knees as
high as possible. By practicing this jump, you will help improve the
muscle power in each ankle and leg. Try performing 10 to 20 high
knees, then go back to the boxer's skip to recover. You may also
want to add direction into the jump, by traveling forward for eight
jumps and backward for eight jumps
Jumping Jacks /Stride Jumps
Start with a basic two-foot jump, and jump, separating the feet
about shoulder-width. Land with the feet in this position, push off
again and bring the feet back together in the air before landing on
the floor with the feet together. When performing this jump, be
careful not to make the foot separation too wide, as the rope will
most likely get tangled with your feet. The longer the rope, the
farther the feet can be separated, the shorter the rope, the tighter
This is the boxer's jump, with the addition of moving the feet front
and back. As you jump in the air, move one foot forward slightly and
one foot backward slightly, and then both land on the floor. Push
off the floor again, taking the front foot toward the back and the
back foot toward the front, landing with both feet on the floor.
Repeat, landing softly and moving quickly. The center of gravity
changes slightly as one foot is in front and the other foot is in
back, challenging your agility and response time. Muhammad Ali was
known for his quick foot movements, shuffling across the canvas from
side to side and frustrating his opponents. Practicing this jump
will teach you to be on your toes, moving and changing your foot
positioning and maintaining a center of balance, ready for any
Ali Shuffle and Jumping Jacks
To improve agility, timing, and balance, combine the Ali shuffle
with jumping jacks. Start with eight shuffles, then eight jacks.
Reduce down to shuffle and a single jack. Shuffle-shuffle-jack.
Work on the basics and the more difficult and
intricate jump roping will come easily.
For more tips on Jumping rope - check out
drill # 34: Jumping rope for endurance from September 2006 News
drill # 10: improving technique from August 2004 News letter
drill # 2: Jump rope technique from October 2003 News letter