Skipping is not just for girls — Kickboxing training tips.
A huge part of both training and gradings in kickboxing is skipping. It might look easy, but trust me you'll change your mind quickly.
I don't know how kids seem to do it so effortlessly... It takes a lot of practice before you nail your rhythm. And when I was 7 years old I didn't realise how much of a cardio session it was — something else that hits you when you first get back into it.
With skipping, practice literally makes perfect. Make it easy for yourself and go slow, set a rhythm in your head and keep to it. Move your feet however feels most natural; both together, hop on one at a time. I find bouncing twice on each foot worked best for me and stopped me getting tired as quickly.
Set an interval timer. Go for a minute if you can, then rest for a minute. Keep this up, gradually shortening your rest time to 20 seconds. Then try a set of 1 min skipping, 20 secs rest for as long as you can bear.
After you've nailed the generic rhythm, you can start throwing in some fancy moves. My yellow belt grading required double jumps (or double unders) — spinning the rope around twice while you jump. At first these seem impossible, but again practice makes perfect. It's just a case of getting to know the rope and when to jump a little higher.
You can then start to cross the rope over on every few jumps; throw them all together and you have a perfect cardio warm up. Your calves will thank you for it.
Photography — Scott Cross