Jumping Rope

My goodness.  When was the last time you jumped rope?

For me it has been over 70 years.  At least until several days ago when Phil, one of my closest childhood friends, challenged me to jump rope with him.

Phil frequents a small, but efficient workout facility on the top of his apartment building in New York City.  He explained to me that among his twice or three times a week routine, he jumps rope.

My response was holy cow!  Immediately I asked him why.  His answer was that it was a quick way to increase his heart rate.  Phil, a retired physician, should know what he is talking about, I say to myself.

So, I ask him to show me how he does it.  we go outside on the roof of the 12 story apartment building in the City.  He attempts to jump rope.  It is not easy.  Many false starts.  It is difficult, and it is difficult to watch.  He invariable gets very frustrated.  and, with some anger, hands me the rope and says, “you try it!”

Link to Phil’s video

Man alive!  This is not easy.  I try to twirl the rope around my head and touch the ground right where my feet are on the ground.  That takes some doing.  Remember now, I have not even begun to think about jumping.  I am just trying to get the rope to circle my frame and hit the ground where my feet are.

Now, I say to myself, I need to jump.  I don’t know about you, but I do not at this stage of my life make a habit of jumping each day.  It is one thing to lift my leg up and place my foot on the next step when ascending stairs.  It is quite another thing to jump up in the air with both feet, and to do it simultaneously, in unison.

So here goes.   I try it.  Not even close.  Try it again.  Failure once more.  A third time.  No dice.

Finally, I succeed in getting the rope to go under my jump!  Yea!!

Success can be measured in many ways.  One way to measure this effort is to determine whether your heart rate has increased.  I can say, without equivocation, the yes, my heart rate has increased dramatically trying to jump rope.  Yes, success.

If, on the other hand, one chooses to measure success by the number of consecutive twirls and jumps of the rope, then we have a different conclusion.  Not good.

But, the more I try it, the better I get.  My best was 8 jumps in a row before missing a jump.

Link to Neil’s video

Now, to put this accomplishment into perspective.  The world record for the time of continual jumps before stopping is 33 hours and 20 minutes.  The world record for consecutive jumps in one hour is 14,657.

Supposedly you can burn 1,000 calories in an hour jumping rope.

I can’t really explain why, but this ridiculous effort to jump rope on the top of an NYC apartment building has challenged me.  It has inspired me to see if I can do better.

In doing some research, it turns out that there are some tools one needs to be a decent rope skipper.  The first is a good rope.  It needs to be the right size for my height and it needs to be slightly weighted.

Second, there is a technique to skipping rope.  I will need to pull up some UTube videos to get me going.  Where the hands are placed, where your eyes are focused, how your knees are bent, to name a few.  All make a difference.  How to hold the rope.  The proper pounding technique.  These all are to be learned to be more proficient.

Bottom line, I have just ordered my first slightly weighted jump rope from Amazon.  To be delivered on Sunday, at a cost of $119 plus tax!

I will keep you posted on what progress I make on my self imposed goal to increase my consecutive skips from 8 to something more.  The world record being 14,657 skips in an hour.

If there are any good jump ropers out there, please don’t hesitate to forward any advice you may have.


11 thoughts on “Jumping Rope”

  1. Good first try! Like many things, break it down to succeed.
    Find two people about your size to take either end and turn the rope while you jump. (You can trade off and take turns so they can jump, too.) As long as they turn consistently and at a speed you like, all you have to do is get jumping down — anticipating, jumping, preparing, doing it again. (You can also have one person turn while the other end is tied to something.)
    Once you’re really comfortable jumping, try adding on the very different and not at all easy task of turning the rope for yourself. Hard to do both things at once but you’ll get there,
    (Last jumped at least 12 yrs ago with my daughter)

  2. You are nuts! Balance training?This makes sense. Jumping rope at our ages? Check out the pain and cost of hip replacement.

    Now, learning to use a yo yo again, that makes sense. Pick up sticks is a reasonable alternative. If you are more sedentary, Monopoly works.

  3. I have jumped roped not very well with the grandkids. Yes, a challenge. I also skip with them. That’s not very pretty either.
    Keep at it. $119.00. Wow. Also, just tried taking the stairs two at a time because my 5 year old granddaughter was …also a challenge.
    Played hop scotch lately? Oh my.
    The aging process 🤩

  4. Neil – great blog. I’ve jumped rope for 3+ years; it’s not easy. It increases your heartbeat dramatically. To me, the key is to develop a steady rhythm. One must start slowly and develop a smooth pace or rhythm. I do 3 reps of 50 each but take a good break in between the reps.
    Good luck and keep at it.

    1. to all of you that posted comments,

      just want you to know that i am working on my jump roping!

      happy to report that i am now up to 35 skips in a row. still far short of the world record, but moving in the right direction!


  5. There was a little jingle that we’d say while jumping. The rope turned in perfect time with the jingle. Maybe someone else remembers how it went? . But it ends with “Don’t forget the red … hot … PEPPERS! At the moment they said peppers, they’d double the twirling speed, so you didn’t get that extra hop in between.
    (Maybe that’s why I always had band-aids on my knees?) .

  6. Vince Mercurio, center on my high school football team, impressed me about a decade ago with his rope-jumping dedication and skill.

    He was ahead of Neil, but had been doing it longer.

    I was impressed but SOMEHOW avoided the step of buying a rope and seeing if I could keep up.

    Now, if the world record for an hour is 11,462, could Neil or any of us reach it! If we doubled the number per hour every year — say from 2 to 4 in the first year, then to 8 in the 2nd year, etc. — we should break the record somewhere in year 13.

    Maybe we have enough time for that?

    Time now to invest in the $100 rope?

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