Forum: Irish / Irish - Technique & Training

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Jump Rope Workout (karma: 18)
By CelticAngel
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 08:43 AM
Edited by CelticAngel (104726) on 2008-04-04 09:00:47
Edited by CelticAngel (104726) on 2008-04-04 09:21:34 added some more ideas
Made sticky by oz_helen (35388) on 2008-04-08 03:31:17

Jump Rope Workout


So who's ever said they wanted to work on these in their dancing??

Skipping with a rope is not just for kids in the playground:
- Great for building cardio-vascular fitness;

- Great for Irish Dancers, as it works the lower body hard;

- Although you'd assume it's all a lower body workout, the arms and upper body are involved too so you can work on your posture, body control, balance and ceili arms too;

- Can be done in short high-intensity bursts to mimic to doing a dance;

- Or can be done over a longer, more sustained level to work on endurance (get you through that hornpipe or Kilkenny set!);

- Speeds up metabolism & burns about 200 calories/15min high intensity jumping;

- If jumping as cross training, it's much kinder on your knees than running because you land on the balls of your feet so your calves and shins cushion and control the impact.

Things to check before you start:
- Make sure your rope is the right length (needs to be at about armpit height when you stand in the middle of it;

- Wear dance sneakers if you have them (or shoes with good support and cushioning especially around the ball of the foot);

- Watch the surface you jump on, it's the same rules that apply for dancing (no concrete or floors laid onto concrete, use foam mats if you have no alternatives);

- Keep your shoulders relaxed, elbows in, close to your body & use your wrist & some forearm (not your whole arm) to turn the rope;

- Don't jump too high (only about an inch or so off the ground, just enough to clear the rope).

Jump Rope Workout Basics:
- Alway begin with a warm-up (e.g. jogging on the spot, moving to get your heart rate and body heat up) and some stretching (same rules as for dancing BUT don't forget your arms too!);

- I'm going to take a bold step here and assume that the majority of us have used a jump rope/skipping rope before, so will not go through learning to skip here;

- As always, start off slowly and in short sessions to get your body used to something a bit different to dance (start with 10min sessions working toward 30mins of full paced skipping!);

- Jump to music that has 120 to 135 beats per minute (that's about the feis speed for Beginner Reel 122 and Single Jig 124, and show speed for some reels).

Keeping it interesting:
"Jumping rope is as challenging as you make it. There are endless jumping patterns and styles. I've heard some trainers describe the jump rope as boring. Anyone who describes the rope as boring does not know how to jump rope. There is always a new skill that you can learn to keep the conditioning session enjoyable and challenging."
(from . . .)

- Running on the spot, lifting your knees up high [great for conditioning, endurance];

- Double unders are when you turn the rope twice under your feet for only one jump (i.e. the rope moves faster), keeping two feet together [adds extra arm work in, great for ceili arms!];

- Criss cross is when you cross your arms at the elbows on the downward swing of the rope, jump through the loop of the rope that is formed in front of your body & uncross the arms on the next downward swing (you would have done something like this as 'hot cross buns' as a child!);

- Travel moving forwards, backwards and side to side;

- Backwards, exactly that, go backwards!

- Circuit training, incorporate other exercises in between bouts of skipping (e.g. push ups, sit ups, burpees, whatever you're wanting to work on, even particular Irish practice in between);

- Mix these up, try variations (e.g. one leg double unders), get creative and have fun with it!!

Direct application to Irish Dancing:
- Try doing rally-hop (shuffle hop, treble hop, batter hop) over the rope;

- Try jumping off two feet and cutting up to your hip while turning the rope;

- Use the rope as part of your drills (e.g. jump with feet crossed in 5th position, 1st position, try hopping on one leg with other leg up at your bum and pointed etc);

- Hop alternating feet and lifting pointed foot up to your bum in between;

- Hop on one foot with other leg up at the front hopping to the knee;

- Try entrechats, shivers, changes, doubles etc (boys you could even try this is in your reel shoes and try clicking!!).

*Remember when trying differnt alternatives and experimenting, do not jump too high (or trip yourself over for that matter!!) because this will just put undue pressure on your joints when you land, leave your height for dance class*

Get motivated:
- Get a friend to jump with you (seperate ropes of course!!);

- Have competitions to see who's got the most creative move, who can do the most of their jig whilst skipping, who can go the longest/fastest etc;

- Pump up some funky music (be it Irish or radio stuff, whatever inspires you!);

- Jump outside in the fresh air and scenery (BUT BEWARE when jumping on grass because the hidden uneven surface could cause ankle injuries and we don't want that now do we!);

- Challenge yourself to do that bit more each day (even if it's only 30secs more, or having one less break), keep track of your progress and impress yourself;

- Check out some of the crazy people on youtube who skip, flip, handstand and jump at the same time (BE INSPIRED!)

- Ask your TC if you could have one time a week/month when you use skipping ropes for warm up in class (you might feel a bit silly to start but if everyone gets into it, it'll be awesome fun!);

- Try the group skipping (you know with two people holding the ends of the rope and people run in and out jumping in the middle);

- Choreography anyone!?! LOL

Wanted to stress that in no way am I an expert, I have used internet resources aswell as some of my own knowledge, common sense, creativity and experience. Please consider your own circumstances (i.e. injuries etc) before trying any of the above and consult your parents/TC/doctor if you are worried about anything.
There is no exercise to help Irish Dancing like actually practicing dancing, BUT there's nothing wrong with some healthy variations!! ENJOY :D

References: . . . . . . . . . . . .

57 Replies to Jump Rope Workout

re: Jump Rope Workout
By happychick09
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 08:55 AM
This is an excellent post. I really need to start getting in shape for the summer feis cycle and your post has inspired me to try something new (vs. running on a tredmill or something). Thank you!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By noramay
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:01 AM
thank you - this is a really good post - I need to get motivated and now have some different options. Thanks
re: Jump Rope Workout
By Crazy_Clairemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:52 AM
Thanks for posting this. I think I too have been inspired to jump rope! :]

Karma for your efforts!

re: Jump Rope Workout
By oooshinymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:50 PM
This was a great post idea! Thanks for compiling all that research, CelticAngel.

I was watching like a "Dare To Dance" (like the 'making of' documentary for "Dancing On Dangerous Ground") the other day and there was a little piece where it showed one of the gents jumping rope and doing treble cuts. I thought it was cool :)
re: Jump Rope Workout
By reelyme
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 01:02 PM
What an excellent post! I had just been thinking about jumping rope as an overall fitness routine, now DD and I can do it together! Thanks for doing this!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By GhillieGirl117
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 03:47 PM
Thank you so much! This is a great a post and should be a stickey! I've been trying to increase my stamina, and got out the jump rope but didn't really know what to do with it to help me. So this really helped!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By Burkegirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 05:47 PM
Great post!

I had a heart problem two years ago... and my fellow dance friends reccomended jump-roping at first, seeing as I was struggling to make it through my dances upon returning.

Well, it REALLY made a difference! I now dance through three steps, no problems, and have even become an avid distance runner in Cross Country and Track. I still use my jump-rope as a cross trainer.

I've gone from being able to go two consectutive minutes at the most, to accomplishing forty consecutive minutes, which I actually just did today!

I love my jump-rope, and it really enhances my athletic ability. I'll have to try some of the incorporated dance suggestions, too, they seem very benificial! Thanks again for the great information!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By RodneysGlory
On Fri Apr 04, 2008 08:11 PM
Thanks so much. We just started jumping in class again.
re: Jump Rope Workout
By CelticAngel
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 01:53 AM
Thanks for all the positive feedback guys.
I have been thinking about putting skipping back into my practice (it was something we did for every class warm up when I was little) so was doing some of my own research. Thought I should share.

Glad you're all feeling inspired,
Hope all goes 'skipping-ly' :D
re: Jump Rope Workout
By peabody
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 03:00 AM
Everything these days has a competitive side. Search YouTube with "double dutch" and you'll come up with amazing videos of what can be done with 2 pieces of rope, talent, and lots of practice.
re: Jump Rope Workout
By bebbee
On Sat Apr 12, 2008 03:51 PM
This is a goodpost my dd skips but some times finds it boaring I'll get her to try some of your ideas thanks
re: Jump Rope Workout
By TwinPeakesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Apr 12, 2008 08:22 PM
We always skip for AT LEAST 5 minutes before the beginning of class. It's our form of warm up before stretches.
re: Jump Rope Workout
By ReelLover95
On Sun May 18, 2008 09:51 PM
Oh my gosh.. This is great.
Thanks for putting this up. I will be sure to try it =)
And i will ask my teacher if we can do it in class too..
re: Jump Rope Workout
By zippysmom
On Mon May 19, 2008 11:43 AM
This is a terrific post. I've been doing jump rope workouts for about a month now and it's really helping with my stamina. I have asthma and sometimes I just run out of breath towards the end of my hornpipe. The jump roping is really helping. Thanks for the great workout ideas.
re: Jump Rope Workout
By nycbuttafly
On Wed May 21, 2008 11:40 AM
That is an excellent point, we jump rope every class we have, and it definatley helps with your muscles and strength and balance
re: Jump Rope Workout
By cliche_irishmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jun 13, 2008 08:00 AM
i only signed into ddn today to post a question whether or not jumping rope was a legit form of crosstraining, since i'm getting pretty tired of jogging. good thing i saw this first! sooooooo helpful, thanks!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By Jillian_Dance
On Sun Jun 29, 2008 02:24 PM
Really Good!!
Going Outt To Buy a Skipping Rope Tomorrow!
And will start that workout!!
Thank You!!
Jillian xxx
re: Jump Rope Workout
By reeltreble_maker
On Mon Aug 11, 2008 09:50 PM
great post.. now all i have to do is find a jump rope and start jumping!!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By irishgirl26member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:49 PM
What a great post!! That really inspires me to get out and have some fun with it. Thanks for a wonderful post!
re: Jump Rope Workout
By boho_reel_grrlmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 23, 2008 09:15 AM
Thanks, great tips. I've gotta break out my old black and red rope now!
Have you tried leaps or bicycles while skipping? Leaps are fun, but I'm a bit nervous about my bicycles...
re: Jump Rope Workout
By CelticAngel
On Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:11 AM
Glad to see that some of the world's childhood skipping ropes are no longer forgotten in a box in the garage!

Hop you're all going well with your skipping routines, that you're getting the results you were looking for and that you're enjoying its creative side!

boho_reel_grrl- no I haven't tried bicycles before, I'd be worried about getting my feet caught I think (I'm a bit accident prone like that!)

re: Jump Rope Workout
By adasuv
On Sun Sep 28, 2008 09:54 AM
Wow that's really great! I'll definitely try that as soon as I get the jumping rope :)
re: Jump Rope Workout
By CelticCatPremium member
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 01:38 AM
This girl must have been inspired by this thread! . . .
re: Jump Rope Workout
By boho_reel_grrlmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:54 PM
I tried the bicycle...BAAD! It's pretty much impossible and makes you fall flat on your bum. Oh, the shame! :C
Rhythm, feeling, power,
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