The sound of ropes slapping the floor in various tempos is a common sound in the boxing gym, one that becomes almost comforting as you step away from the outside world and into the haven of the sweet science. Skipping, or jump rope, is a universally practiced workout in boxing training, and at Legends, it is a ritual that unites all members in training. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or what kind of day you’ve had, when the session begins you get a rope and start warming up. The five minutes of jump rope is when the student/executive/entrepreneur/technician/retiree becomes a boxer.
But why skipping, and not any other kind of warmup? To those unfamiliar with boxing imagery or training practices, it might seem strange that practically every striking sport uses skipping as the basic warm up. But this is no accident, and here’s why.
Hitting the right muscles
Your legs do battle against gravity constantly, and contain most of the strongest muscles in the body. This is why all punches come from the legs, whether setting your balance, getting in and out of range, and torquing your calves and glutes and hips to bring power to a punch. Skipping helps warm up those exact muscles for the boxing training ahead – every muscle activated when jumping rope will be utilised in boxing.
Rhythm and focus
Boxing is about getting in a good rhythm – and being able to break that rhythm any time you want. Skipping lets you practice both – you can slow down or speed up whenever you want. You can choose to skip in time with the music playing in the background, or not to. In boxing, one often sets traps by varying the rhythm of their punches. Skipping forces you to be aware of the existence of rhythms at all, and then how to manipulate them.
The jump rope also forces you to be focused. You constantly have to ensure that the rope is passing smoothly beneath your feet with each small jump. A constant back-and-forth between resting and bursting, in sync with how far the rope has to travel before it is at your feet again. You may not even realise it, but skipping is conditioning your subconscious to be able to operate at a base level of effectiveness (ensuring the rope doesn’t tangle in your feet) while your conscious mind is able to think, plan, and react. Just like in the ring, where your balance and footwork and in-ring awareness must be at a subconscious level, while your conscious mind thinks about how to attack/defend against the opponent in front of you.
Balance and footwork
The more comfortable you are at skipping, the more comfortable your balance and footwork while boxing will be. This is because they are very similar motions – you need to stay light on your feet and land on the ball of the foot, not the heels, just like in boxing. You need to maintain your centre of gravity and coordinate your upper and lower body, just like in boxing. You need to be switched on mentally and physically, and connect the 2, just like in boxing.
Skipping is an investment – think about every single jump as adding into your arsenal. Boxing has everything to do with skipping – that’s why all the greats did it.
At Legends, boxing is everything to us. Besides getting in a great workout, we want anyone who trains with us to box well. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s also a ton of fun! Download our ‘Legends SG’ app to book your free trial today, and perfect your punches with us. You may also contact us via WhatsApp at 8949 2236 if you have any questions.