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Jump Rope: Programming for adults and athletes

Hopefully after reading my last blog on jump rope technique, that some of y’all went out and attempted to learn or fix some mistakes. This time around, I would like to talk about how I add the jump rope into my programming for the adults and athletes I coach.

First off, let’s go over benefits to jumping rope. I think we can all agree these are things we can improve on. Especially for my athletes, improvements in these areas will translate to any sport. The adults that I coach, generally are training for strength and/or fat loss. Using the jump rope is another great way to add in conditioning, while improving everything listed below.

  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Quickness
  • Power
  • Endurance

Ok, let’s talk about programming. First off, There is no right or wrong answer to programming jump rope into a workout. For our adults, I generally program the jump rope with 2-3 other metabolic exercises, such as rowing, kb swings, and med ball slams (really anything). I will also pair it up with some core exercises. Mix it up, make it fun!

Let’s say you want to train hard for a short period of time, with 2 different exercises. Here is an example of a shorter workout, with built in rest.

12 MINUTES, ALTERNATE EXERCISES EVERY MINUTE

40S JUMP ROPE

40S KETTLEBELL SWINGS

Let’s say you want to train at a steady pace for a longer period of time, with 3 exercises. Here is an example of a longer workout with no rest built in, just when needed.

20 MINUTES, PERFORM AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE

200 SINGLE UNDERS

20 CAL ROW

20 HANGING KNEE TO CHEST

When coaching, I notice that keeping the intervals shorter with rest, allows “better” reps and generally people move a little faster from one thing to the next. With longer intervals, this format typically involves setting a pace. I wouldn’t recommend going all out from the beginning because the goal would be to continually move at a pace that would allow for little to no rest.

Now when I implement the jump rope for my athletes, I also use a lot of intervals, focusing on speed, power, and endurance. This format allows the athlete to not worry about counting reps, but instead focus on giving a good effort.

When programming for power, I will implement what I call “power” jumps. I know, complex name right! This is where the athlete jumps as high as they can and then rebounds off the ground into the next jump. The jump rope is moving slower, but effort is maximal on each jump. I also program, what I call “speed” jumps, focusing on quickness. This is where the athlete jumps as fast as they can, making sure they stay close to the ground. The jump rope will move a lot quicker, so technique and timing is vital for these jumps. Usually for both of these variations, I give a 1:1 work to rest ratio with shorter intervals. That way they get enough rest to give a max effort each time. Here is an example of a shorter interval with built in rest.

10 ROUNDS

20S MAX EFFORT “POWER” JUMPS

20S REST

When focusing on conditioning, I will make the intervals longer and may even add in different patterns with the jump rope, such as skipping and high knees. With this format, I will give the athletes an “active rest.” It’s exactly like it sounds, I want them to stay active, while resting! In any sport, there are moments when you go hard and then moments when you are still moving, but not “all out.” So, the idea of the active rest is to mimic that feeling of being in a game by letting the heart rate drop before it jumps up again. I usually give the athletes some type of active hold to do. Here is an example of a longer interval with built in active rest.

12 MINUTES

30S JUMP ROPE

30S PLANK

Doesn’t all this sound fun! Remember, whether you’re an adult or an athlete, you can jump rope just about anywhere. Doesn’t have to just be during a training session at BFP! All you need is a flat surface and a jump rope, which is generally a cheap investment. Now go out and try some of these examples I gave you and don’t be afraid to substitute exercises that you like!

Strength Coach,

Silas Perreault



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