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skipping for excercise - warm-up

Posted on Saturday, 25 October 2008 09:14AM by Scott Robert-Shaw, skip-hop
An effective warm-up for skipping must consist of a series of dynamic and active movements that start with low impact, low intensity exercises and progress naturally to high intensity, full speed exercises that simulate the upcoming activity, in this case skipping. In order for you to be ready to perform speed rope work in your routine or compete at high intensities, you must get warmed up properly, there is simply nothing more important!

At skip-hop we sometimes find that there is some confusion as to what constitutes a proper warm-up. For example, some sports coaches are still using static stretching to get loose before practice and competitions. Unfortunately, this outdated method actually reduces speed and power and could actually cause injury by attempting to stretch tendons and muscles that are cold. Instead, perform dynamic exercises that are similar to the types of movements you will be going through during your skipping class, skipping workout or skipping competitions. Keep moving and gradually increase the intensity of your activity. That way you can get the blood flowing into the muscles through a natural progression. The muscle warms naturally and is gently stretched through the range of movements that will be used, reducing any likelihood of injury. Remember, a good warm-up should take at least 5 minute for low intensity activity and up to 20 to 25 minutes for high intensity workout or in preparation for a display or competition etc. This will reduce the likelihood of injury by ensuring that you do not try to go too fast too soon. In addition, you will get the most out of your muscles because you allowed them to progress to peak efficiency gradually and naturally. By the time you have finished warming up, your muscles and joints will be warmed and loosened up, and you will also be mentally focussed and ready to get the most of out of your skipping.

It is vital that any warm-up activity is performed correctly. You must warm-up like you exercise. If you are not performing the techniques correctly you are going increase the likelihood of injury by changing the movement thereby adding unnecessary stress to joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. skip-hop skipping techniques are designed to be done a certain way for a specific reason. If you are not technically sound during the warm-up you will not be technically sound during workouts, displays and competitions when it counts.

The warm-up is the foundation of the sports activities and sets the tempo for all that is to follow it.
So now that you know what types of activities must be done and how to approach them, let us take a look at an actual dynamic warm up that we suggest before skipping. Here is a sample warm-up:

High knee walk - x 10 each leg

shake out arms and legs

Lunge walk (both legs) x 10 each leg

Jog 20 metres

Front leg swings - x 10 each leg

Jog 20 metres

Lateral leg swings - x 10 each leg

Jog 20 metres

Star jumps (feet together, feet apart)  - x 10

Jog on the spot x 20 seconds

Criss cross - x 10

By performing a proper warm-up, you will be loose, powerful and fast. Perform a dynamic warm-up before each practice and competition; otherwise you are not exercising or competing to the best of your ability and the likelihood of sustaining an injury is increased. You are now ready to enjoy your skipping - have fun.