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Green Exercise: Try These Moves With a Jump Rope

I'm sure you all used a jump rope in your junior high gym class, and the idea of picking one up now may seem pretty lame. Let me just say that jumping rope is a great way to get your heart pumping, work on your coordination, your balance, and your agility. It also burns calories beautifully since you're moving your own body weight against gravity. Plus it tones your calves, thighs, back, abs, shoulders, arms, and bum. Jumping also helps to strengthen the bones in your lower body (which is so important for women). All that and it requires no electricity, so it's good for Mother Earth.

So now that you're anxious to start jumping, I have some moves for you to try, so


    Jump with both feet together. Focus on keeping your back straight and drawing your abs in.
  • Jump like you're jogging, with one foot at a time.
  • Hop on one foot for 10 seconds, then switch to the other foot for 10 seconds, and continue alternating.
  • Hop with one foot for 10 seconds, while raising your other knee up towards your chest (you have to squeeze it in as tight as you can so the rope doesn't get caught on your knee. You'll feel this move in your abs). Then do the other side.

There's so much more you can do with a jump rope. To see what else

  • Jump rope backwards (this takes coordination).
  • Move forward while jumping rope.
  • Jump rope as fast as you can for one minute, then slow down the pace for two minutes, and continue the pattern.
  • Cross your arms while jumping rope for 30 seconds to stretch your shoulders.
  • Practice jumping as high as you can and swinging the rope under your feet twice (three times if you're really good).
  • After you're done jumping, you can use the rope to stretch out your hamstrings. Lie flat on your back, and lift your right leg up into the air. Fold the jump rope in half and take the looped end and wrap it around the back of your ankle. Then pull the other ends of the rope towards you, keeping your right leg straight. After 30 or more seconds, gently release and do the other leg.


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