Rope Skipping

A Guide to Jump Rope Workouts for Boxing

If you’ve been around boxing for some time, then you’ve seen fighters jumping rope in the gym. And if you’re just getting started in our boxing classes, someone’s probably told you to jump rope as a part of your training. Many of the boxing greats, Ali, Marciano, Tyson, Mayweather, all used the jump rope to get ready for their fights. It’s clear that the jump rope is a fundamental part of the boxing workout. But why?

Obviously, spending 5-10 minutes jumping rope is a great cardio workout, but it’s more than that. Jumping rope can be an excellent tool for improving your footwork and focusing your mind.

In today’s blog, we’re going to lay out a few reasons that jumping rope is a critical part of your boxing training program. We’ll also help you decide on the right rope for your needs. Finally, we’ll lay out a few jump rope techniques that will challenge and add variety to your routine.

Why Add Jumping Rope to your Boxing Workout?

Better Coordination and Footwork

Jumping rope requires you to master rhythm and timing. It forces you to time your jumps while at the same time spinning a cable around your body at a fast but steady rate. Because of this, it is one of the best tools for improving your overall coordination. If you incorporate a technique like the Boxer’s Skip, you’ll also be taking steps to improve your footwork, as you train your body to shift weight from one foot to another rapidly.

Interestingly, the activity can also help decrease foot and ankle injuries by boosting coordination and helping to strengthen the inner muscles that help keep your feet strong and stable.

Improve your Conditioning

Jumping rope works your whole body. Your legs are constantly working to keep you bouncing over the rope. Your arms and shoulders are spinning a rope around you at a constant speed. Your core is engaged in making sure you keep yourself upright. Just like in the ring, when you jump rope, you engage all of your body.

The speed at which you jump rope can also be calibrated to achieve different training goals. Jump at a slower speed if you’re focused on warming up or building endurance. Spin the rope faster, though, and you can work yourself into a high-intensity sprint, pushing yourself to your limit for a short time. The ability to vary the speed and intensity of the exercise makes it an ideal tool for dialing in specific conditioning goals.

Develop your Mental Toughness

Keeping your rhythm while spinning a rope around your body looks easy. But to do it well, you need to be 100% present the activity. The moment you let your mind wander away from what you’re doing is the same moment that rope slams into your shins. Or your crossover turns into a mess of tangled rope.

Maintaining awareness of your body and your surroundings with the jump rope, for one minute or ten, translates to your presence in the ring. Knowing where your feet are, how much room you have behind you, and what tactics your opponent favours are all things you need to keep track of during a match. If you’ve trained yourself to be present, even if it’s just on the rope, it will help improve your ability to focus on all your boxing efforts.

Good Warm-up for Muscles and Joints

Jumping rope is one of the best warm-ups for any boxing workout. The activity itself raises your core temperature without leading to excess fatigue. And when you raise your core temperature, you improve your blood flow and increase your muscles’ efficiency.

Additionally, if you’re incorporating a lot of different movements into your jump rope routine (see below for some great movements to add), then you’ll be working all the same muscles and joints (hips, ankles, wrists, shoulders, etc.) you’ll be using when you work the bag or spar in the ring—getting these joints loosened up leaves you better able to punch and move with proper form while avoiding injury.

It’s Easy to Carry With You

One of the best features of the jump rope is that it is small, easily portable, and amazingly affordable.  You can integrate it into your routine without much effort or investment. You can also take it with you when you have to be on the road, so you can get a good workout in, no matter where you are.

Pick the Right Jump Rope for your Boxing Workout

If you’ve decided to add a training jump rope to your WOD or training routine, you’ll need to decide on which type to get. Like many types of training equipment, jump ropes come in a few varieties.

Beaded Jump Rope

The beaded jump rope is excellent for beginners. This rope is made of a nylon cord covered with plastic or polyurethane segments, usually about 1.5 inches long. The beads prevent the cord from getting tangled and increase its durability so that you can use it even on rough surfaces. And it makes a loud sound when it hits the ground, making it easier to get into a jumping rhythm.

Speed Rope

Made from a thin vinyl cord, the speed rope is lighter and faster than most other ropes. These ropes are easily adjustable by tying a knot in the cord above the handle. Many of the more advanced moves discussed above are most comfortable to master with a speed rope. These ropes don’t stand up to a lot of abuse and need to be used on soft or smooth surfaces. This makes them ideal for use indoors. On the downside, the thin material makes them prone to getting tangled.

Leather Rope

Slightly thicker and heavier than the speed rope, the leather rope will tangle less while remaining far faster than the beaded option. Many jumpers prefer the leather rope to the speed rope because it’s extra weight allows them to better “feel” the motion of rope going round.

Weighted Ropes

Most of this article focuses on using jump ropes for improving speed and coordination. But weighted ropes have become popular recently for allowing advanced jumpers to enhance strength and power as well. There are many varieties of weighted ropes to choose from, but you should only look to move to this style after you’ve mastered the basics.

Adjust the Size

Whatever rope you choose, it won’t be much good if it doesn’t fit you. To size, a jump rope, stand on the middle of the rope with one foot. Bring the handles up together against your body, making sure there is no slack in the line. The top of the handles should be:

  1. Close to the top of your shoulders (for Beginners jumpers)
  2. Right at the armpit or a little bit below (for Experienced jumpers)
  3. At the nipple line (for doing Double Unders)

Many ropes are adjustable, allowing you to pull the rope through the handle and cut or tie off the excess. For ropes that are not adjustable, shorten them by tying knots in the line below the handles.

Key Jump Rope Exercises for your Boxing Workout

Here are some of our favourite jump rope exercises to master if you’re looking to add this aerobic essential to your boxing training equipment arsenal. You can combine any and all of these jump rope exercise to create a fun high-intensity routine tailored to you.

Boxer Shuffle

Sometimes referred to as the boxer skip or the boxer step, the boxer shuffle is a super-simple move you can use to improve your footwork and rhythm. You can perform the shuffle with or without a jump rope, but adding the rope helps you sharpen your coordination and also turns the step into a full-body workout.

To do the boxer shuffle, you simply shift your weight from one foot to the other, side to side, every time the rope comes around. It looks a little like you’re hopping from one foot to another. To spice things up, you can add a weighted jump rope to the mix.

Fast Skip

If you want to advance from your basic jump—that is, swinging your rope over the head and hopping with both feet off the ground at the same time—then the fast skip is the perfect next step, as it’s what many advanced tricks are built on. The fast skip is practically just skipping quickly while you jump, so only one foot is off the ground at any given time.

High-Knee Jumps

High-knee rope jumping takes your everyday jump roping movement and makes it a little more high-intensity. Working to strengthen the leg muscles while burning some serious calories, this exercise requires you to lift your knees high on the jump, working out the muscles in your core and legs.

Crisscross Jumps

After your basic jump, the crisscross jump is one of the simplest ways to skip rope. During this exercise, you start with a basic jump and then cross your arms—and the rope—every other skip. The benefit of this hop over others is that it helps boost hand-eye coordination and agility. It will also engage your shoulders a bit more into your workout.

Front Back Cross Jumps

Are you looking to take your rope skipping skills up a few notches? The mesmerising front back cross jump exercise turns simple jumping into a feat of rhythm and concentration. It requires you to swing the rope to the side, in-between jumps, which helps you become more deft and agile.

Side Under Jump

Another impressive trick for building your way to advanced skills, the side under jump requires you to toss the rope to one side and then toss it to the other side before you throw it under your feet. Requiring serious rhythm, quickness, and coordination, this high-intensity jump rope skill is a great one for boxers looking to strengthen their footwork.

Half and Full Twist Jumps

If you’re looking for a way to add the rest of the body to the jumping movement, this is the perfect drill for you. It requires you to twist your body intermittently as you jump, either in a half-circle or a full circle. This exercise is ideal for engaging the core and abdominal muscles as you jump.

Start Jumping

Some of these advanced exercises can be very daunting if you’ve never jumped before. But the best way to learn is to start. Begin with the easy exercises until your familiar with the rhythm of jumping rope. Then begin to add in more complex options. Eventually, you’ll be able to mix and match exercises (and learn new ones) to turbocharge your coordination. To get serious with your footwork training, check out our selection of Jump Ropes, pick your favourite, and start jumping.

 

Bagwork Fundamentals – 6 Important Tips when Hitting the Bag

Hitting the Bag

Hitting the heavy bag, commonly referred to as bag work, is one of the essential drills in combat sports like boxing, Muay Thai, or MMA. However, using the punching bag properly is a skill on its own.

In this article, we are going to talk about bag work fundamentals and will give you some tips on how to utilise the punching bag the best way possible.

1.Hitting the Bag

Hitting the heavy bag, commonly referred to as bag work, is one of the essential drills in combat sports like boxing, Muay Thai, or MMA. However, using the punching bag properly is a skill on its own.

In this article, we are going to talk about bag work fundamentals and will give you some tips on how to utilise the punching bag the best way possible.

 2. Snapping Punches

One of the most common mistakes that inexperienced boxers make when working on the heavy bag is pushing on their punches.

This is a terrible mistake that translates to poor performance in sparring and competition. Pushing your punches results in:

  1. You get tired quickly.
  2. You have less power in your punches.
  3. You punch slower

This often happens because inexperienced fighters want to throw big, heavy shots. However, speed is what kills in the ring. This is especially true for boxing in particular and for combat sports in general.

When you’re engaging in bag work training, don’t worry so much about striking with 100% of your power. You can knock your opponent down even with your lightest punch if you catch him off-guard and perform the punch with good technique.

So rather than concentrating on power, keep your focus on punch speed and technique.

Always try to snap your punches explosively rather than pushing the heavy bag left to right. This is a skill that is best learned on a punching bag, and you will see a real difference when it translates to fighting. Think of your hand like a whip that has to snap the target and then return to the start position relaxed.

3. Footwork

Footwork is one of the most important aspects of boxing and combat sports as general. When you are doing your bag work, think about your footwork like fighting a real person.

Manage the distance, don’t lean on the bag and don’t get sloppy with your feet. Circle around, go in when you are punching and out when you are not. This will create good habits which will be useful in sparring.

4. Eye Contact

Talking about eye contact for heavy bag training feels funny. However, a common mistake for beginners is to develop lazy eyes during bag work.

Focus on your opponent(in that case – the punching bag) but don’t stare. Make sure you are aware of your position and distance.

The natural eye position is just to look forward, and that is what you should do.

5. Keep Your Guard Up

Dropping the guard when training on the heavy bag is a common rookie mistake, and you must make sure to avoid it. Yes, the bag won’t hit you but as we already said a couple of times so far in this article – the habits you practice in your bag work will translate to the ring.

It’s easy to drop your hands when you are tired during training; especially since the bag can’t punch back. But you need to keep your guard up at all times. You can even simulate more complicated defensive techniques after you attack the bag for maximum real-life experience.

6. Move Away When You Aren’t Punching

Just like in a real fight, you should move away if you are not punching. Why? As we already said, habits play a very important role in the fighting. When you are in a fight, you need to do as much as you can do instinctively without thinking about it. You can’t stop to remind yourself to move away from your target.

And what if you are used to not moving away from the target? You get hit.

Maintain your distance at all times and don’t get lazy with your feet. Jab your way in an out and don’t stop moving.

If you can’t move fast enough to keep up with the bag, you should try working on some heavier punching bags.

7. Punch Constantly

This is an extremely important thing if you want to maximise the effect of heavy bag training. In a real fight, your opponent usually starts punching when you stop. That’s why if you can touch the bag, then you should be hitting it.

Also, this constant motion is extremely beneficial for developing your cardio endurance. If you work hard on the heavy bag, you will translate that same cardio in the ring, which is always a good thing.

You can throw some light punches and move around the bag if you get too tired but combining constant punching with good distance management and raised hands will result in a great heavy bag workout.

8. Bagwork Fundamentals Conclusion

Remember, everything you do during your bag work will translate to sparring and fighting. Practising your moves on the heavy bag correctly, will, over time, mean that you naturally perform those moves in the ring. That’s the end goal.

Make sure always to perform the punches with the best technique possible and train like you are fighting a real opponent. That is the best way to progress.

Boxing is one of the best martial arts for self-defence. It teaches and trains your mind to think and react quickly, giving you the athletic reflexes of a real fighter.

Boxing training will train both your body and mind in the science of combat. It will empower you with a heightened sense of awareness, making you ready to defend yourself at all times. It kicks your survival instinct into fifth gear.

Having the confidence that you can face an assailant in combat gives you peace of mind wherever you are.

Boxing is also an excellent way for you to relieve stress. It takes out the stress and anxieties of day-to-day life in a safe, supportive, and controlled environment.

Since boxing is a form of physical exercise, the brain releases “happy hormones” or endorphins that can leave you feeling calm and centred and also proud after each session, it is scientifically proven that physical exercise, like boxing, has a multitude of physiological benefits. It reduces cortisol (stress hormones), improves body image, and increases energy.

Give it some time, and if you try to commit to hard training regularly, you will soon realise how great you feel after every class. With regularity, you’ll soon discover the different and holistic benefits boxing training brings.

But you have to show up on the first day.

 

 

 

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