Have you ever tried skipping ropes? It’s a great calorie burner. I always find it amusing that some people can jump ropes flawlessly, I mean, as if they are dancing with the ropes. It’s a terrific exercise that strengthens the upper and lower body. But, what if you can’t do it? Well, I tried it so many times and always failed. That made me wonder, should I continue trying it or do other exercises instead?
Today I shall discuss few alternatives of skipping ropes, that are as effective and even requires less space to do it. These exercises could be a great addition to your workout routine and will help you burn a great amount of calories.
Table of Contents
1: Seal jacks
Seal jacks are variations of Jumping jacks, and as it is a variation, it can be done in 2 ways, We will learn both ways. For this, we need to stand straight and we need to bring our arms in front of our chest (because you are about to clap), now put one leg forward(as if we are taking one step), at the same time we will clap with our hands, return to the original position and this time bring another leg forward, followed by a clap.
This was just to make ourselves aware of the coordination, when we are comfortable enough with the stepping in and out (and claps), we can jump while stepping in and out. So, every time we put one leg forward while jumping, we clap.
Another way of doing this exercise is, we spread our legs instead of step in and out, followed by a clap. This means, whenever we spread our legs we will clap and whenever we return to original the position we clap.
Try doing 30 reps of this exercise in one set, go for 3 sets (that’s a lot of clapping)
2: Lateral hops
Lateral hops or side to side hops is a fun exercise that targets calves, hips and legs. It is a very simple exercise and can be done in many ways. For this exercise, assume you are standing on an imaginary square and you need to jump from one corner to another. Suppose you are standing on corner 1, you need to jump to corner 2 and then return to corner 1. While jumping you need to lift both legs and jump with both legs at the same time.
If you still imagining a square ( like I always do), you can also jump forward and backwards, while considering 2 corners. Jumping forward and backward is called Bunny Hops (another animal-based name?). Imagining a square makes it easier for you to understand points 1 and 2. You can challenge yourself by keeping something in the middle and jumping across it. Try to do 25 reps in 1 set and achieve for more than 2 sets.
3: Running in place
Also known as High knees. To do this, start running in one place. You can also start slow, by lifting your knee till your abs and then returning to the original position, repeat this with another knee. When you are comfortable enough you can do this movement with a jump. You can either move your hands or you can keep your hands in front of your abs as if you are preventing your knees from going past through it.
I personally like to move my hands (like that in a running stance) while I am jumping, which goes in sync (hands gives added momentum).
This exercise, targets abs, glutes and hip flexors the top part of thighs, that helps you move and flex your knees up.
4: Butt kicks
This is one such exercise where you will kick your butts (yourself). Stand straight, and bring any foot you want to begin with to your glutes ( don’t hit too hard), return to the original position, repeat the same with the other foot, this was one rep, go for 20 reps or more.
You can either keep your hand in loose fists in front of your chest or you can keep your hands behind your back as if you are guarding your butts against getting hit.
This wonderful exercise targets hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes and quadriceps (front thighs).
5: Side shuffle
This exercise is my personal favorite (also known as lateral shuffles), as it was one of those few exercises that I did first when I started working out. This can be done by bending your knees (just a little) in a squat position while keeping the back straight and chest outwards. You need to move from your original position to either left or right (while still being in a squats position ).
You can decide 2 points from where you have to go and return, you can even keep 2 things at both points to get a better idea of both points. Now, whenever, you reach point 2, touch the ground or you can just jump at that point, return to point 1 and repeat the same.
You can do it as many times, but don’t overdo it. This is very a common exercise among athletes, they do it for developing coordination, speed and balance. But, if you don’t have any such goal, this exercise will still help you to target your hips, calves and thighs.
In the end
You can always mix these exercises with skipping ropes any time or even if you are not comfortable doing skipping ropes, you can do these instead. These exercises are just a substitute for skipping ropes. But there is no substitute for health. You can stay healthy with a proper diet and little workout. Even if you are a beginner you can start slow with the above-mentioned exercises and you can always intensify your workout by doing it faster (with full safety off course), and don’t forget to stretch .
There are some fun ways with which you can burn great amount of calories, check this out.
Elderly can do some other things to stay fit, check this out.
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