It happens every time.
Day 3 of the Prep Course. We bring out the jump rope and the athlete gets these BIG EYES. We just imagine them saying "oh crap! I haven't touched one of these since 6th grade!" [or sometimes they DO say that!]
Yep, we were all there, feeling that same way. So why do we even jump rope in CrossFit? Here's my take:
1) It works 6 of the 10 General Physical Skills
Coordination - 100%
Accuracy - in timing the rope.
Balance - yep.
Stamina - oh yea.
Cardiovascular Endurance - definitely
Speed - of the rope and speed of your jump!
2) It builds strong bones
According to The National Osteoporosis Foundation, high-impact weight bearing exercises (such as jump rope) help build and maintain strong bones! Be sure to combine this with solid nutrition habits to ensure the bones get the right vitamins and minerals to grow and remain strong.
3) It teaches you to relax and breathe
The holy grail of jumping rope - learning to finally relax and take deep breaths while you execute your jumps.
As noted above, jumping rope works 6 of the Physical Skills. This takes a lot of brain power. The athlete is deep in focus, trying to spin the rope, jump, and time it all correctly. Often times breathing is forgotten about. This inevitably spikes the athletes heart rate, making it even harder to time the jumps. The key to the whole process - focusing on the breath. Two seconds in ... two seconds out. Once the athlete relaxes and breathes, jumping becomes easier. The athlete then takes their new skill and applies it to wallballs, then rowing, then running, then deadlifts ... the list goes on, as do the gains, PRs, confidence, and athleticism!
So go ahead, grab that rope, and practice some jump rope before class for all the gains!