Favorite exercise? Hands down, jumping rope. I got into it years ago when my friend the Doctor gave me a gift certificate for 10 weeks at a boxing gym. Boxers are amazing athletes–I never wanted to get into the ring (the coach at the gym once asked why, and I said that I didn’t want to get hit in the face. He replied, “That’s the point.”), but the idea of getting one’s body in good enough shape to get into the ring is appealing. Even though I didn’t actually fight during my time at this gym (no mouthguard, no getting in the ring), they did agree to punish me in other various ways 2-3 times a week, the warmup being one of them.
Boxing class warmups involved a few 3:00 rounds of jumping rope, sit ups, pushups and agility drills. For the first few weeks, I’d be dying after this 20 minutes and we hadn’t even started punching things. After class, I’d call the Boy just to tell him I’d made it out alive. Oh, and did I mention that I didn’t have proper shoes, so I went barefoot? Try whipping your bare toes a few times with PVC tubing and see how fun that is.
But I survived, and more importantly, I learned how fantastic jumping rope is, especially when I found out that I could get a jump rope that actually fit petite-sized me. Three rounds? No problem! Throw in 30 seconds of high knees while I’m at it!
I’ve tried to keep at it because jumping rope is a good, quick cardio workout. Unfortunately, I haven’t always been so smart with what surfaces I’d use–a couple of years ago I was jumping mostly on a not-so-flexible wood floor, asphalt or concrete. I’d gotten up to 24 minutes straight (awesome!) but managed to give myself a stress fracture doing it (not awesome). That put a halt to the jumping for a while. A couple of twisted ankles kept delaying it, but now my legs are pretty much back to normal, so it’s time to get out the rope and slowly build up my endurance again. I’m still hoping to one day be able to do 30 minutes straight. If I’m smart about it, that’s a doable goal.
This is where you come in. My Jump Jump playlist needs some refinement. It’s important to have a good playlist to set the right mood and help with the length of a workout. i also like the challenge of making up a routine for each song to work on different skills and keep it fun. Each year I rotate in a song or two, but this year I’d like to really switch out the list– and that’s where I need help. Some of my playlist dates back to 2011 and is now too slow for me. I’ll keep a couple of oldies but goodies on rotation, but I’m really looking for new music. Problem is, I’m not terribly up on the latest in fun, danceable tunes, so I’m looking for advice. What should I be jumping to this year?
To give you an idea of the type of music I’m looking for, here’s some of my current playlist..
- “Our Swords” – Band of Horses (this is a warm up song, but it’s really too slow now)
- “Learning to Fly” – Foo Fighters
- “Here It Goes Again” – OK Go
- “A Little Less Conversation” – Elvis Presley (JXL Radio Edit Remix)
- “Center of Attention” – Guster
Definitely being added for 2015:
- “Bang Bang” – Jesse J feat. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj (tempo’s around 149 BPM, which is ideal)
What else should I consider? Help a jumper out!