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CrossFit pros reveal wonders of jump rope

September 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Studio City's CrossFit Horse Power owner Dan Wells is big fan of hitting the ropes as a way to burn fat fast.

"In five minutes with a jump rope, you can basically get a better workout than you would an hour on a Precor," said Wells. "You can basically sprint for a quick minute and then take a rest. Sprint for a quick minute, take a rest."

It's a simple sport that can torch 100 calories off of a 130-pound woman in just 10 minutes. But, size matters. You should first get fitted, then learn the ropes.

"What's really important is that a jump rope fits your body properly so that you're using ideal mechanics," said Dave Newman, owner of RX Jump Ropes.

To measure, step on a rope with one foot, keeping handles together and wear shoes you plan to jump in.

"We like to see where the end of the cable hits on your torso and we usually want it to be right around the chest range," said Newman.

Newman's RX Ropes are sold across America and 30 countries, offering five different weights. Yes -- the vinyl coated aircraft cable ropes carry weight.

A heavier cable makes it easier to jump as it slows the rope down a bit. A lighter cable requires more coordination and skill level.

One way to master your sport is by pretending. Two ways to get better at this is to practice both rhythm and timing.

Jon Pera, who placed 23rd out of 70,000 in the CrossFit Games, demonstrated how to fake a rope. From a heel pulse, to a little hop, then to a bigger hop yet. The standing figure eight is another technique that keeps the body moving while taking a bit of a break.

"For me that would be a warm up technique," said Pera.

Then there's the proper jump stance: Hands near your belt line, slightly turned out with elbows draped at your side with a light hand grip.

"They barely hang on to the handles," said Newman. "It's very loose so that your wrist really is the primary swivel doing the work."

Beyond plain jumps, there is footwork like criss-cross, scissors, skiers, even cross cable and the double under.

"It takes a little bit of practice, a little bit of coordination and technique," said Pera.


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