Jump Rope and Abdominal Exercises

Jumping rope is no longer just for the kids.
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Few workouts torch as many calories per minute as jumping rope. This basic exercise sends your heart rate sky high, giving you a major cardio workout in no time. If you want a workout that both builds your cardiovascular strength and leads to a flat stomach, then shuffle in 30-second to one-minute jump-rope intervals between abdominal exercises.

Jump Rope Basics

    You probably haven’t used a jump rope since childhood, but this basic tool provides a killer workout. The basic jump-rope hop is a high-impact cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart pounding, torching tons of calories, and engages your ankle, knee and hip joints. In addition to the aerobic benefits, jumping rope can improve your hand and foot coordination and increase body awareness.

Jump-Rope Exercises

    Jumping rope is a high-intensity exercise that takes minimum skill to master. Begin with the basic hop before tackling more advance exercises. With the basic hop, grasp one end of the rope in each hand. Start with the rope behind your body and swing it over your head. Jump up to have the rope slide underneath your feet. Land on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent. Try to minimize how high you hop, just enough to clear the rope. Once you have mastered this, other jump-rope exercises include the boxer step, criss cross, heel tap, jog step and side swing.

Abdominal Basics

    A flat stomach never goes out of style, no matter what outfit you are wearing or what time of year it is. Your abdomen is composed of four muscles that protect your spine and assist in bending from side to side and forward and back. Your rectus abdominis runs from your ribs to your pelvis; it is the "six-pack" ab muscle. Your obliques — internal and external — run along your torso and connect from your ribs to your pelvis. They assist with rotating, twisting and bending. Your transversus abdominis is like a built-in corset. It wraps around your stomach horizontally and stabilizes your torso. Your erector spinae is your only abdominal muscle that also connects to your spine. It stabilizes your spine when you move your arms and legs.

Abdominal Exercises

    While crunches and situps are common abdominal exercises, they only work one muscle in your abdomen. You need to do a few moves to get solid, strong healthy abs. In addition to crunches, standing wood chops, bridges and medicine ball pushups target your rectus abdominis. For your obliques, do side planks, standing medicine ball rotations and bicycle crunches. To strengthen your transversus abdominis, grab a stability ball and do knee tucks, planks and bridges. A few moves to strengthen your erector spinae include the front plank and squats.

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