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Jumping rope can get your entire body, including your stomach, in great shape.
The jump rope games of childhood have gotten an adult makeover in the fitness community with intense calorie-burning potential. Jumping rope is a serious training tool that can help you burn a lot of calories in a short period of time, with a few added benefits -- it's cheap, doesn't require a gym membership and it's portable.
The Spot Reduction Myth
According to the American Council on Exercise, it is impossible to target one spot on your body to reduce fat. The way your body burns fat depends on your genes and the type of exercise you do. Some individuals are predisposed to lose fat on their hips first, others find their waist shrinking first. While jumping rope will not target your tummy exclusively, it is a positive first step to shedding pounds all over your body, which may also include inches around your waist. Cardiovascular exercise, like jumping rope, burns calories that contribute to weight loss.
Benefits of Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is a cardiovascular exercise that not only burns calories, it also strengthens your lungs and heart. If you're jumping rope to burn calories and flatten your stomach, you might not need to exercise for as long as you would with other less intense exercises. Jumping rope is high intensity and burns a lot of calories during a short period of time. For example, according to Harvard Health Press a 125-pound person should expect to burn around 300 calories during a 30-minute jumping rope session. Compare this to walking where you might burn only 125 calories during the same time period.
Work Your Muscles
Jumping rope is a full body exercise that targets all of your major muscle groups. With every turn of the rope, you engage your rectus abdominis muscle that runs along the front of your abs and the obliques that run along the sides of your abs. Your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes help propel your body upward with every jump. Lastly, the motion used to turn the rope engages your arm muscles, back and chest.
High Intensity Interval Training
To amp up your jumping rope exercise to help flatten your stomach, incorporate high intensity interval training. According to the "London Evening Standard," high intensity interval training is a workout technique employed to burn a higher number of calories during a shorter period of time. In this technique, you'll cycle through short periods of intense exercise -- working at or near your maximum capacity -- and periods of active rest. If you are jumping rope, this method of exercising might look something like this: jump rope as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by one minute of light jumping or walking in place.
Now Try This
Start off by warming up your heart, lungs and muscles with five to 10 minutes of either walking in place, jogging in place or lightly jumping rope. Next, spend two minutes jumping rope at a moderate pace to warm your body up further. For the next eight to 18 minutes either jump rope at a moderate, yet consistent pace or employ the high intensity interval training method by cycling through 30-second intervals of jumping rope very quickly and one-minute intervals of light to moderate rope jumping. Cool down with a few minutes of light jumping rope and stretch your major muscle groups.