When I attended a Coaching Class in Houston last month, our instructors spent a good part of the class discussing the physiology of the human body and how we can impact running through this knowledge. It was fascinating.

parts-of-muscular-system1

It was here that I learned about Slow-Twitch and Fast Twitch muscle fibers. Put in the simplest of terms, slow twitch muscle fibers are responsible for endurance and fast twitch muscle fibers are responsible for speed and explosiveness. While genetics certainly plans a role in the makeup of your muscle fibers, up to 40% of your muscles can be influenced through training.

Jumping rope can be an effective way to stimulate production of fast-twitch muscle fibers and therefore, increase your speed and agility. Jumping rope works multiple muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, ankles and feet, shoulders, forearms, and wrist and hand muscles.

Putting It To Work

I came across a very effective jump-rope routine today on Greatist.com/Fitness.

Here’s the entire jump rope workout (10 minutes):

0:00-0:20 — Move #1: Two feet together
0:20-0:30 — Rest
0:30-0:50 — Move #2: Front Straddle
0:50-1:00 — Rest
1:00-1:20 — Move #3: High-knees in place
1:20-1:30 — Rest
1:30-1:50 — Move #4: Side straddle
1:50-2:00 — Rest
2:00-2:20 — Move #5: Heel to toe
2:20-2:30 — Rest
2:30-2:50 — Move #6: Five hops to the left, five hops to the right
2:50-3:00 — Rest
3:00-3:20 — Move #7: Alternate feet
3:20-3:30 — Rest
3:30-3:50 — Move #8: Double hop
3:50-4:00 — Rest
4:00-5:00 — Easy skip for recovery

*Repeat*

5:00-5:20 — Move #1: Two feet together
5:20-5:30 — Rest
5:30-5:50 — Move #2: Front Straddle
5:50-6:00 — Rest
6:00-6:20 — Move #3: High-knees in place
6:20-6:30 — Rest
6:30-6:50 — Move #4: Side straddle
6:50-7:00 — Rest
7:00-7:20 — Move #5: Heel to toe
7:20-7:30 — Rest
7:30-7:50 — Move #6: Five hops to the left, five hops to the right
7:50-8:00 — Rest
8:00-8:20 — Move #7: Alternate feet
8:20-8:30 — Rest
8:30-8:50 — Move #8: Double hop
8:50-9:00 — Rest
9:00-10:00 — Cool down

And here’s a great video that demonstrates the different techniques very clearly.

For just $10 (to purchase a jump rope) and 10 minutes, you can have a very effective workout that will compliment your running!

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