Once you've changed into your workout clothing, laced up your running shoes, strapped your iPod to your arm and grabbed a skipping rope, all that stands between you and a calorie-burning workout is finding the ideal surface. The key to finding a perfect surface for your jump rope workout is selecting a room that has a floor that can absorb some of the impact of your jumps.
The best surface for jumping rope is a floor that provides a bit of absorption for your joints as you jump. Rubber-mat floors, which are common in many boxing clubs and gyms, feel solid under your feet but provide the shock absorption you need for jumping rope. If you want to add jumping rope to your home workout, consider using a few square feet of click-together rubber mats, which are common for garage and basement floors.
Another ideal type of surface for your jump rope workout is vinyl flooring, which is softer than many types of flooring and usually has a padded underlay beneath it. Gyms don't often have vinyl flooring, but it's common in homes. If you plan to jump rope in a room with light-colored vinyl flooring, keep an eye on the floor to ensure your rope isn't leaving marks.
Although it's harder than rubber or vinyl, wood flooring provides a degree of absorption, making it a suitable surface for jumping rope. Boxing clubs commonly have a sheet or two of plywood placed on the floor for jumping rope. If you plan to work out at home and don't have a softer floor type, put a sheet of plywood on your driveway, in your garage or on your patio to jump rope on. .
When selecting a surface for your workout, avoid hard surfaces, including concrete and asphalt. These surfaces might feel fine initially, but after prolonged periods of jumping, you're placing more stress on your ankle, knee and hip joints because of the lack of absorption in the surface. Likewise, avoid jumping on soft, lush ground, such as grass or carpet. The grass or carpet fibers will impede with the path of the rope, making it difficult to develop a steady rhythm.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.