An excerpt from the EYC Podcast episode #30 – Jumping Rope Efficiently
Check out the full episode using the links below:
Technique and mechanics are closely related, because the mechanics, or the way in which something is done, the moving parts, come together to produce the proper technique of a movement. In this section on technique, I want to approach it in more philosophical terms to understand why technique is important in the first place. I’ve discussed technique in practical terms in previous podcasts, specifically in episodes 14, 22, and 24, so please refer to those if you want to learn more about what proper technique is. The second section on mechanics will focus on optimizing some of the moving parts, and how they come together to build proper technique.
If you haven’t noticed already, technique is something that I put great importance in, and love discussing. Jump rope is no exception. Very often, the jump rope is approached without, or with little consideration of how we are performing it. I’ve seen it in many people that pick up a rope in the gym. The movements are much more pronounced than they need to be, timing is off leading to catches, or they are managing to jump over the rope, but it is much higher than necessary, or the rope is being turned at the elbows or shoulders. It can even be a combination of all of these things. While degrees of success can be achieved despite these things, bad habits will develop, and there will be a point where the movements are not optimal enough to make significant progress. This most often requires taking a few steps back, understanding where the inefficiencies are, breaking bad patterns, and rebuilding from there. This can take a considerable amount of time and discipline, so it’s certainly in our best interests to understand proper technique from the beginning.
There are many different areas to consider, the mechanics of jumping, speed, timing, posture, proprioception, hand and foot placement, the length and type of rope, to name a few. While it may seem overwhelming, with sufficient practice and an understanding of technique all of these areas come together. A good analogy is driving. When first getting into a car, it may seem overwhelming having to manage the gas, brake, steering, the signals, the gear shift, parallel parking, paying attention to the road etc. However, over time it becomes second nature. So, why is proper technique important? It gives us something to strive for. It allows us to achieve the ideal form of a movement that we can reproduce consistently. From this, we can build a foundation for progression to more difficult techniques, and reap the most benefit. The key is knowing what it is you are striving for. Am I just looking to be able to jump over the rope? Am I looking to perform double unders, side swings, or crossovers? Each has its ideal form, so be sure you are always working toward it. It’s very likely it won’t be achieved right away, however when we have guidelines we can align our training accordingly. This is why it is so important to keep practicing the fundamentals. It may seem trivial when a sufficient amount of skill is developed, however simply jumping involves technique that ideally is precise, and repeated throughout. Without it, training will be significantly hampered regardless if speed, endurance, or tricks are the focus of your training. Now that we understand why technique is important, we can drill down deeper and look at the moving parts that create it.
Be sure to check out the podcast for the rest of the discussion!