“Ultimate Jump Rope Workouts: Kick-Ass Programs to Strengthen Muscles, Get Fit, and Take Your Endurance to the Next Level” by Brett Stewart and Jason Warner
In June of 2011, around the time of my birthday I made a pledge to myself that I would run a 5K within a year, even though I’m not a runner nor have I ever enjoyed running. I suffered from shin splints in high school, so running has never been anything but painful to me, and with more and more of my friends taking up running I thought well, maybe if I buy one or two or five (no joke!) of the most popular running apps for beginners, I would be set. Boy was I wrong. I totally rushed into it, and let’s just say my ankle hasn’t been fond of me ever since.
Over the last year I’ve done everything in my power to strengthen my ankle enough for exercise, and read that jump roping is a fantastic exercise for strengthening this part of the body. I’d always been tempted to try jump roping again, I loved it in elementary school, and I was pretty good at it (if I do say so myself) but that’s as far as it went….a thought. Well, a few months ago, I was approached about reviewing the book “Ultimate Jump Rope Workouts: Kick-Ass Programs to Strengthen Muscles, Get Fit, and Take Your Endurance to the Next Level” by Brett Stewart and Jason Warner, and jumped at the chance (no pun intended!). As I mentioned, I’d always loved jump roping, and thought maybe this was just the exercise I needed to get me back on track to feeling great?
Once I received the book, I was anxious to get started. The hardest part was finding a jump rope that I could actually use. It’s not as if I’m tall or anything, I’m only 5’3, but the jump ropes I found were all for teeny tiny kids. I ended up ordering two jump ropes from Amazon.com – the 8′ Olympic Style jump rope and the Valeo Deluxe Speed Rope. I ended up only using the Olympic Style. I love it, but FYI make sure you wear pants when exercising with this jump rope! A jump rope to the shins doesn’t feel too great, let me tell ya! Maybe once I’m a pro, I’ll pull out the speed rope.
There are so many great things I love about the book – from how the authors teach you to jump rope correctly, exercises for beginners to experts, detailed images and instructions for each exercise; but I especially love that the authors insist you to listen to your body and never work harder than you should. I walk fast every day with my Weimaraner, lift weights, do planks, jumping jacks….everything except run, and let me tell you, I was beat! I was so sore after the first day that I didn’t move for the next three days. Thankfully it’s gotten easier. Don’t get me wrong, I am tired after the exercises, but I’m not exhausted nor in pain the following day. I feel physically stronger. I think this would be beneficial to anyone, especially those on the go who don’t feel there is enough time in the day for exercise. Trust me, these exercises aren’t reminiscent of your elementary school double dutch jump rope days. They challenge you, strengthen your body, build muscle and endurance, and most of all, you’ll be thankful once you accomplish the day’s exercise that you stuck with it and accomplished your goal. Does it get better than that?