“Jumproping” is both a blessing and a curse in many runners’ training sessions; it is often considered little more than a diversion, whereas it can instead serve a very supportive, important role in our training program.
If done with continuity, exercises with a jumprope can bring significant improvements to various aspects:
– More effective thrust through the development of reactive force and elasticity, as well as the activation of all leg muscles, particularly in the lower leg, ankle and foot.
-Running technique through the development of coordination, in addition to the activation of muscles which are often underused between the ankle and foot.
-Resistance, if the exercises are part of a sufficiently intense training session
Let’s look at a few applications:
-2-3 repititions of 1-2 minutes each at the end of warm-up
-1-2 minutes as an interval exercise in indoor strength circuits when running outdoors is not possible. A potential workout is 20 min of warm-up, 3 sets of abdominals, + 1 min jumprope+half squats, 1 min jumprope+push-ups, 1 min jumprope+alternating-leg lunges, 1 min jumprope, with a recommended 2 min between sets
-technical strides with the jumprope, skipping, walk-kicking, heel-running, etc.
Expert runners can vary their jumprope use even more, reaching up to 5 min or more of continuous exercise. We suggest starting calmly and patiently (the first few times you may find it difficult to jump continuously), progressively including the jumprope in workouts, until you reach a level of continuity of at least one or two workouts a week.
In short we can say that the jumprope is a very useful tool to include in general training workouts in the fall and winter that all runners will benefit from, especially those who practice trail running, who will note and enjoy increased general coordination (useful on downhill and uneven terrain) and elasticity. Aside from the most expert runners, training sessions which incorporate jumproping are discouraged in workouts right before a race in order to avoid any leg soreness.