The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Skipping Rope to Improve Your Footwork

Below is an excerpt from another great post at The Art of Manliness. The full post may be read here.

When you think about boxers’ workouts — when you mentally run through all the real life preparation they put in before a fight, as well as all the cinematic training montages you can remember — one exercise probably comes most readily to mind: jumping rope.
Boxers, from bare-knuckle brawlers like John L. Sullivan to modern champs like Manny Pacquiao, have indeed made jumping rope a big part of their training regimens throughout the long history of the sweet science. And with good reason: the benefits of this exercise abound.
If you’re not planning on climbing into a ring anytime soon, you probably don’t think of jump roping very often; to get in your cardio or HIIT workouts, you’re more likely to mount some machine at the gym. Maybe that’s because you associate jumping rope with elementary school, think you’re too clumsy to do it effectively, remember it being overly monotonous, or feel like it’s too high impact an exercise for your older or heavier body.
Today we’ll show you how those objections can be overcome, and why you ought to train like a fighter by incorporating the jump rope into your workout routine.

The Benefits of Jumping Rope

Jumping rope builds your fitness, athletic skills, and even your mindset in ways few other exercises can match. When you look at the list of benefits below, it’s easy to see why boxers are particularly keen on this form of training, but these are advantages the average guy surely wants to develop as well:
  • Serves as a whole body workout that incorporates all the muscle groups
  • Works the body’s anaerobic and aerobic systems and efficiently burns calories
  • Builds speed and quickness
  • Develops overall balance, coordination, timing, and rhythm
  • Intensifies power and explosiveness
  • Increases reaction time and reflexes
  • Gets an athlete comfortable with being in the “readiness position” — on the balls of the feet
  • Enhances agility and nimbleness — lightness on the feet
  • Offers practice in moving through all planes of space — up, down, backward, forward, and side-to-side
  • Enhances ability to accelerate and decelerate while keeping one’s balance
  • Develops body control and awareness
  • Cultivates greater ability to synchronize the lower and upper body
  • Increases hand-eye coordination
  • Strengthens mental discipline and mindfulness (in calling upon one’s powers of concentration)
Beyond these physiological benefits, jumping rope is a super cheap and portable exercise — you can do it almost anywhere — and incredibly versatile to boot; with hundreds of variations in techniques, patterns, and progressions, it’s a workout you can keep perennially fresh.



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