Cross (training) Make You Wanna… Jump! Jump!

image It’s been a week now since I started the sneak peek  of my OpenSky Store. This week I’m still waiting for a bunch of my favorite recovery equipment to be sourced, so in the meantime I’m participating in an Opensky promotion with what I have – a jump rope! This week for Opensky’s Olympic promotion: “train like an Olympian” there are a bunch of training and recovery products that are on sale for 15% off, including the jump rope on my site.

I have heard of people jumping rope to cross train for running, but I recommend it for improving your swim. (And what triathlete doesn’t need to improve their swim?)

I started using a jump rope for cross training in 2002 with the Columbia Men’s Swim Team. We would do some brutal jump-rope and boxing workouts in the pre-season and it was amazing how much it improved our core strength, agility, and coordination. After college I stopped using my jump rope until I did a swim clinic with Milt Nelms (if you don’t feel like clicking on the link, basically he’s a stoke genius who travels the world teaching the best swimmers and their coaches how to be even faster) in 2006 and learned the importance of creating strong connections between the segments of your body (basically core stability and coordination). Long story short, when you jump rope, it forces you to align and connect your upper and lower body correctly – something that you must be able to do in order to swim fast.

I’ve been known, while giving swim lessons, to say things like, “you look like a rope of breakfast sausage links” or “you’re swimming like a plastic bag”. Doing a few jump rope drills before getting in the water can train your body to hold itself the right way, which will let you slide through the water like a kayak, rather than wiggling like a wet bumble bee.

Here’s one quick (10 minute) jump rope program that I recommend before swimming:

1’ warmup, just jump rope normally – a single bounce per rope rotation, getting used to the feeling of jumping rope.

2x{ 30” scissor kicks – one leg forward one leg back, alternate on each bounce

30” normal

30” split leg – alternating wide legs and close legs on each bounce

30” normal

30” building amplitude – increase the size of your jump until you’re bounding

30” rest

1’ “jogging” – do a running motion while you jump

1’ regular jumping increasing frequency – jump faster and faster until you fail, then start it again until the minute is up

1’ regular.

Whenever you mess up, just start take a moment and get right back into it. You don’t need to restart the clock, it’s all part of building coordination. If you only have 5 minutes, or if this is just too hard for you to get through at first (it was for me) just cut everything in half. You’ll still reap benefits from just 5 minutes of jumping with good form.

Another benefit to warming up with a routine like this: the water won’t feel nearly as cold!

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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