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Jump rope for cardiovascular health

Another classic exercise, jump rope, dates back to the ancient world where athletes would train with a jump rope to build up cardiovascular fitness. Watch any boxing film and you will see the boxers train with jump rope and there's a very good reason for this.

Jump rope is a spectacular way to develop cardiovascular fitness as well as developing lightness of foot, balance and agility. It's a very cheap way to exercise, requiring only a length of cord and a pair of trainers, and can be performed in or out doors.

Several key muscle groups are worked on while skipping, and will become stronger if you keep up the practice. Calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, shoulders, back and arms all benefit from this exercise due to the circular motion of the arms and shoulders.

Beginners are advised to start slowly and work on developing a steady rhythm where each step or jump is even and not too high. Once you have mastered the basic rhythm you can then begin to experiment with speeding up and introducing different rhythms with the arms and legs. Watching someone proficient at skipping is an exercise in fluidity and grace, and since this exercise can be done anywhere it's a valuable skill to introduce to your exercise palette.

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