There’s a workout out there that doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s considered a total body workout, exercising major muscles and your heart. Its minimal impact makes it easy on joints. People of all ages can do it, and they generally finish with a smile on their face. So why aren’t all of us skipping?
Yes, skipping. It’s the activity you picture in your mind with little pig-tailed schoolgirls tra-la-la-ing across a field of daisies.
Sarah Sanchez, an accountant in Denver, hasn’t been a schoolgirl for quite a while but recently took up skipping when she learned it was better for you than walking. She now leaves her desk a few days each week to go skipping over her lunch break. She skips around the 3-4 mile path at her office park and is loving the effect so far.
“It makes me feel happy, like a kid again,” she said. “It’s a nice bonus in the middle of a stressful work day.”
Who couldn’t use that kind of mid-day pick-me-up?
Trainer Corey Smallwood not only echoed the euphoria that Sanchez is experiencing, but backed up the benefits, too.
“In 19 years of training, I’ve seen more people than I can count finish a workout consisting of walking, running, or jumping rope looking miserable,” said Smallwood, a programming developer for popular workouts on AcaciaTV. Smallwood has been a certified trainer for 19 years and owns the goPerformance gym in Clarksburg, MD.
“Skipping, on the other hand, will instantly put a smile on your face.” As soon as his clients remember how to skip, something we seem to lose over time, the care-free smile returns to their faces.
And that, he says, is one of the biggest differences between more popular cardio exercises (likewalking, running, and jumping rope) and skipping — people actually enjoy it!
“When skipping is performed properly, you work just about every muscle from your big toe to your ears,” explained Smallwood. While skipping, he says you’ll use your legs, hip flexors, glutes, core, arms, and shoulders. He added that “with a powerful skip, you’re activating the muscular and nervous systems as well as elevating the heart rate.” So there’s cardio, too! When you utilize all three systems as Smallwood has described, skipping allows you to burn a lot of calories.
Skipping is arguably a better exercise than walking, running, and jumping rope. Smallwood clarifies that marathon runners will still need to log their running miles, but that you get all the aforementioned physical benefits of the sport without the impact.
“Skipping is certainly less impact on your joints and works more muscle groups [than running],” he explained. Because of the flow of a skipping movement — taking off and landing on the balls of the feet as opposed to heel strikes — you minimize the impact, making it safer and more effective.
So again, why aren’t all of us skipping around like schoolgirls? Sanchez noted an air of paranoia when she first started. “I only did it until I saw another person and then I would stop,” she recalled. “Then I just decided that I don’t know any of these people I see on the street and I shouldn’t care what they think!” Let the inhibitions go and you’ll be fitter than the rare person who might find your actions silly.
Smallwood thinks we should all be skipping as part of our daily routines. He does it, his mom does it, and his twin daughters do it, each gaining something different, but positive, from the experience. He refines a sprinting technique, his mom uses it for exercise, and his twins make it to their swing set a little faster. It’s a versatile activity that suits everyone!
“One day, while I was skipping in the office park, I looked across the street and saw another lady skipping! We smiled and waved at each other, like we knew something no one else did.”
Are you going to get in on the secret?
Wearing the Enell Lite ensures you’re ready to skip anytime the mood strikes!