How to Jump Rope to Improve Speed
Speed is an important factor in many sports, including soccer, basketball, boxing and volleyball. You can develop your speed by performing sprinting and other sports-specific exercises but you can also use a jump rope and perform an exercise called high knee sprints. This specific exercise will not only help to improve jump rope speed, but sport-specific speed as well.
High knee sprints are best performed with a jump rope that is the correct length. When standing on the middle of your rope with your feet together, the handles should reach your armpits. If the rope is too long, tie a knot or two in the middle to shorten it. If the handles don’t reach your armpits, get a longer rope.
Warm up for three to five minutes by performing some easy-paced jump roping, followed by joint mobility and dynamic flexibility exercises. Focus your attention on your ankles, knees and hips.
With your rope on the floor behind you and your feet together, use your shoulders and wrists to swing the rope up and overhead, jumping as it nears your feet. Keep your arms by your sides and your hands at around hip-level. Land lightly on the balls of your feet and repeat. Keep your head up and lift your chest — think “tall.” Continue until you have established a comfortable rhythm.
From double-footed jumps, transition to jogging lightly on the spot. Make your footfalls as light as possible. Maintain an upright posture.
Raise your knees and increase the speed of the rope. Your thighs should come up to approximately parallel to the floor. Lean forward slightly from your hips. Increase your leg speed gradually until the rope and your feet are moving as fast as possible.
Continue sprinting on the spot for 20 to 30 seconds or until you feel you are beginning to slow down because of fatigue. Upon completion, slow down and stop for 60 seconds or continue at a relaxed pace for recovery. Repeat for five more sets.