Running x Jump Rope

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One of my favorite running drills is to use a Jump Rope. Feelings of Rocky aside, jumping rope is a great activity that works a variety of general physical preparedness elements (coordination, agility, speed, balance). When properly combined with running, this drill will help you understand why pulling and falling work well together and translate to forward motion. Here are essentials to the drill:

Ensure you have a decent foundation of quality singles-unders with speed. Keep a quiet upper body, elbows in, movement of the rope that originates in the wrist only, slightly bent knees, and heels gently kissing the ground upon contact. Ideally you want to aim for the same running cadence of 90, continuing to reinforce efficient habits of movement.

Once you comfortably have single-unders, move on to alternating pulls. When pulling, ensure your foot is being pulled beneath your hips. If you are working at the target cadence of 90, you will find that it will be too difficult to jump rope using your hip flexors/quads (i.e. your foot is front of you) or with a “butt-kicker” motion (i.e. your foot is behind you). The movement of the rope will keep you caged in for a proper pull. If you get tripped up or you feel like your are jumping too slow, take this as a queue that your pull needs to be properly aligned under your hips.

Once you have alternating pulls with a decent cadence, fall forward keeping proper position. If you were to remove the rope from the equation, your body position pull should look very compact and swift. If you are getting tripped up on the rope, that means your pull is erring in front or behind you. Go back to jumping rope in place to enforce proper position, then try again.

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