You don’t need to be a hardcore boxing fan to realize jump rope is an integral part of boxing training. From movies like the “Rocky” series and pre-fight footage of boxers getting ready for their bouts, we are all familiar with boxers training with jump rope, and we even expect them to be extremely skilled with it.
What you might not know is why jump rope is such an important part of boxing, especially when it seems like boxers spend more time using it than any other combat art.
The benefits of skipping for boxers
Skipping is a great cardiovascular exercise, and it works great as a warm-up or cool-down before intense exercises like training at a boxing gym. It’s also one of those things you can do virtually anywhere, so you don’t get to use not being able to go to the gym as an excuse for missing workouts. Let us take a closer look at some of the main reasons why jump rope is such an important part of training at a boxing gym in Singapore or anywhere else:
1. Improves footwork
If you pay close attention to a boxer as they jump rope, you will notice they do not skip as most people do. Boxers use something known as a boxer’s skip. This style of skipping imitates the footwork a boxer uses in the ring and it’s one of the most effective ways to improve your footwork.
This approach to skipping involves slightly shifting your weight from one foot to the other for each jump, so both their legs are never supporting their weight at the same time. This approach to skipping gives your legs more of a workout, yet it helps to preserve energy since you are making smaller movements.
2. Improves conditioning
Skipping gives you a better workout than running since it also involves your shoulders, wrists, and arms. Out of all the exercises a boxer can perform to imitate fighting in the ring, nothing comes as close as skipping.
Jumping rope also expends more energy than running when done at a comparable pace. It is a great aerobic workout for boxers, and it improves their overall stamina. It also helps to keep fighters lean since aerobic exercises promote fat burn.
Skipping doesn’t just help to improve a boxer’s mental stamina, it also helps to condition their mind. Like most sports, success as a boxer requires you to be as mentally tough as you are physically. The person who wins a match is not always the more skilled fighter. At times, it’s simply a matter of who has the stronger mind and who breaks first when things get tough. Skipping helps to train your mind to keep going even when your body is signaling for a break.
3. Build mental toughness
To add to the point discussed above, mastering jump rope requires lots of mental toughness. It takes lots of effort to master moves like double-unders, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you finally do.
Even traditional skipping techniques can be quite a challenge for some people to learn. Skipping for boxing takes time to master, and it can take a few years for you to be ready for the advanced drills. The perseverance and patience it takes to master skipping will carry over to your performances inside the boxing ring.
The experience you gain from skipping over the years will teach you how to stay focused while performing precise movements as your arms and legs sting from the burn you get. You can’t expect to have much success as a boxer if you can’t stay focused when fatigue and other distractions start to creep in during your fights.
4. Improves coordination
To successfully complete a single skip, your eyes, arms, and legs have to work simultaneously in a specific rhythm that swings the rope towards your legs while you jump over it repeatedly. The skill that allows you to do such things is called coordination.
It comes more naturally for some people, while others have to spend years working on it. Most people who end up becoming world-class boxers are extremely well coordinated. You can say that about most athletes really.
How coordinated you are affects how you move through the world while performing your daily routine, how well you jump rope, and how well you perform inside a boxing ring. The more coordinated you are, the easier it will be for you to simultaneously use different parts of your body efficiently and smoothly. Improving your coordination will make your movements faster, your defense sharper, and your strikes more accurate.
5. Improves speed and quickness
Skipping regularly is an effective way to improve the explosiveness of your bottom half. Skipping can be very beneficial to anyone with clumsy and heavy movements since it smooths them out. Jump rope also leads to faster footwork.
Perfecting your skipping techniques
Understanding how your body works and how to keep yourself balanced during movements is an essential part of mastering how jump rope works. Boxers need to be aware of how their bodies react and move in the ring since they are constantly trying to land punches while avoiding their opponent’s attacks.
Skipping helps to improve these attributes, improving your performance inside the ring. You can also get other benefits from skipping depending on how you train. For example, speed ropes can be used for interval training or metabolic conditioning, while light jump ropes are great for aerobic workouts and improving your endurance. A few minutes of skipping with a light rope also serves as a great warm-up and cool-down for your workouts. This allows you to get the most out of your time at the boxing gym while minimizing the time it takes to recover from each workout.
With so many different skipping techniques used by boxers, you can keep your jump rope sessions interesting by constantly switching things up.
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