The History of Jump Rope in Boxing
The outcome of a fight as a boxer is not always determined by the big things you do in the gym.
Sometimes, it’s the attention you give to the details that really make the difference.
One of those details is the jumping rope.
Aside from the obvious cardiovascular benefits, jumping rope can improve your agility, quickness, leg strength and it has the same ability to raise your heart rate and keep it elevated as roadwork does. We wrote an in-depth article about the benefits of jump rope for boxers here.
In fact, a 2013 study from Arizon State University showed that 10 minutes of jumping rope is the cardiovascular equivalent to running for 30 minutes. The study followed 92 male college students as they compared the benefits of jumping rope to running.
Half of the group was randomly assigned to run 30 minutes per day for 6 weeks while the other half substituted 10 minutes of jump rope for running. The Harvard Step Test was performed on all subjects before and after the 6-week window, and results indicated that a 10-minute jump rope session was equally as efficient as a 30-minute run amongst the subjects.
While road work remains a valuable aspect of boxing conditioning, we believe jumping rope is a more effective and efficient workout to perform as a boxer - so in today’s special article, we will be diving in the the history of jump rope in boxing.
THE HISTORY OF JUMP ROPE IN BOXING.
Jump ropes have transcended boxing history, evolving from basic warm up tools to flashy and versatile training weapons for pugilist greats like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
While fancy footwork on the ropes is a popular promotion trope for the pros, basic skipping remains a foundational component of warm ups for amateur and recreational boxers everywhere.
Legendary heavyweight Sonny Liston was one fighter who became synonymous with jumping rope.
He used to jump round after round to his favorite song, "Night Train" and switched back and forth between Jimmy Forrest's original 1952 version and James Brown's 1965 version. Liston jumped with unusual grace and skill, the exact opposite of his stalking, physically imposing ring personality.
What jumping rope provides that other lower body exercises do not is that it is perfectly suited to the demands you meet in the ring, more than any other leg work you can do.
For instance, when you are performing road work, which is great for endurance, you are engaging the larger leg muscles. You need this type of training to build leg strength, but what you get from jumping rope is an intense focus on short, compact movements. It requires intense and explosive bursts of movement.
Jumping rope helps you to get used to moving your feet instinctively and constantly for a full round. When you require yourself to stay on your toes, perpetually moving, for three minutes at a time, that’s when moving non-stop in the ring becomes second nature.
Many boxers use the jump rope and approach it like it is just a warm-up or cool down, but it should have a regular place in your workout and become an integral exercise in your training routine.
How many times have you heard a fighter say that he “just couldn’t get his timing down or couldn’t find his rhythm?” Incorporate the regular use of the jump rope into your training routine and you’ll never find yourself dancing to your opponents tune.
At times, boxing is about doing the little things - giving time to the details that your opponent isn’t paying attention to or is just not dedicated enough to spend some rounds on. The jump rope has become so commonplace in the gym that it can be easily overlooked or taken for granted.
While it is a simple piece of equipment, don’t let that fool you into thinking that it doesn’t hold the key to gaining some crucial advantages, ones that your opponent may choose to skip.
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