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Boxers shuffle around the ring with the greatest of ease. Their quick-footed movements are due in part to hours of practice with a jump rope. A jump rope is a simple piece of exercise equipment, but it has a variety of purposes in the sport of boxing. Jumping rope helps prize fighters improve their cardiovascular endurance, coordination, footwork and balance.
The main purpose of jumping rope in boxing is to improve cardiovascular endurance. A boxing match can last up to 12, 3-minute rounds. During this time, boxers are constantly throwing punches, getting punched and moving around the ring. This rigorous activity requires incredible endurance. Jumping rope at a brisk pace raises your heart rate and prepares your cardiovascular system for the demands that boxing places on it. The more jumps you perform per minute, the more intense the workout. To further increase the intensity, occasionally perform two rope rotations with just one jump. To simulate a boxing match, try jumping rope for several 3-minute rounds with short breaks in between each round.
A jump rope is also a good tool for improving coordination. A boxer's hands and feet must work together to win a match. A fighter's feet must always be in the right position to maximize the effectiveness of his punches. While skipping rope, your hands control the rope, but your feet must consistently jump over it. This repetitive activity helps you coordinate your hand and foot movements. To further challenge your coordination, try crossing your arms as you perform a jump. This creates a loop in the rope through which you must jump.
Another purpose of jumping rope in boxing is to improve footwork. During a match, a boxer quickly steps, shuffles and pivots on his feet. Rapidly skipping over a rope helps boxers develop foot speed and agility. When you practice jumping rope, stay on the balls of your feet. Boxers spend much of their time on the balls of their feet because they can react quickly and pivot their feet better from this position. If a fighter is caught flat-footed, he may soon find himself flat on his back.
Because jumping rope is done on the balls of the feet, this exercise also improves balance. A loss of balance in a fight could have disastrous consequences for a boxer. A boxer must be able to simultaneously step and punch while always keeping his balance. A fighter must also be able to gracefully shift his weight from one foot to the other. This weight shift plays a vital role in increasing the power of punches. To practice shifting your weight in a balanced manner, jump rope on one foot. After a few jumps, switch to jumping on just the other foot.