Jump rope is a fantastic way of introducing “quick feet” plyometrics in to your dry-land workout. There isn’t a more cost effective way of developing better athleticism and injury-proofing for the explosive swimmer.
If you are looking for a jump rope workout for swimmers, take a look at our workout article.
Swimmers combine a variety of dry-land work with the swimming that develop and refine technique, drilling fundamentals, whilst challenging a number of energy systems.
I remember using a skipping rope before training at NOVA in the 2000’s. This was performed before AM training sessions and consisted of mini-circuits as part of the RAMP protocol.
So, why is jump rope so good for swimmers?
Cost and Portability
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, swimmers can benefit greatly from a structured, dry-land training plan that incorporates movements such as box jumps, jump squats and strength / power training.
However, there is a requirement of supervision and tuition to be able to perform some of these exercises in an effective and safe manner. For swimmers that are looking to incorporate plyometrics in to their training a skipping rope can be a powerful alternative.
A study found that participants who jump roped 3 times per week, over 10 weeks, produced similar (and some cases better) results to a traditional, high-impact plyo training plan.
Strong ankles are an important part of a swimming start, turns and kicking. With the ankles at the start of the kinetic chain when pushing away from the wall, therefore we want to eliminate any weakness within this area. The nature of skipping can support and develop the strength and power of the ankles, giving them the TLC and attention that they deserve.
Fast Twitch and Low Impact
Unlike many plyometric exercises, which can be high impact, jump rope provides a low impact alternative to box jumps and sprints etc (However, I’m sure we have all experienced a jump rope catching between the toes!)
Not only this, but skipping can also provide a way to strengthen the stabiliser muscles within the wrists and forearms.
Further to this, jump rope can help develop Type 2B fast twitch muscle fibres in the shoulders, deltoids and forearms.
There’s a reason that boxer’s love jump rope. One of these reasons is that it helps the development of agility.
In essence, this lightness and speed translates well to the sport of swimming. As a swimmer we want to develop those strong, light, quick feet at turns, starts and during kick movements. This is important for swimmers, as unlike the arms, there is no recovery phase of the kicking motion.
Jump rope requires and supports the development of a good posture.
It can very difficult to keep the rope turning if the back isn’t straight, head up and shoulders pulled back.
Jump rope is a fantastic way of building in low-impact plyometrics within your workout with many benefits.
Jump rope can be very fun too. There are so many progression points that can be build in: criss-cross, side rope-swings, criss-cross hands, double unders etc.
I will leave you with a look at Tori Boggs, World Jump Rope Champion.
Over to you …