Jumping rope is a good activity to burn calories, improve heart health, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
However, there are doubts about the negative effects it can have on the joints. Is jumping rope bad for the knees? Experts say no, but to avoid injury it is necessary to take some precautions.
Jumping rope or rope is an aerobic or “cardio” exercise, that is, a type of physical activity that is characterized by its low intensity developed over long periods of time.
It is ideal for burning calories, it is estimated that jumping rope for 30 minutes (approximately 120 repetitions per minute) can burn around 370 calories.
It also increases resistance and lung capacity, helping to take care of cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, muscles and joints, and reduces the risk of injuries or falls, since it improves balance and coordination.
Does jumping rope hurt your knees?
As with other types of exercises or physical activities, jumping rope is beneficial as long as it is done correctly, otherwise there is a risk of joint injuries, mainly in the knees.
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According to experts, the pain or injuries associated with jumping rope can be due to different factors:
For many it may seem like a no-brainer, but there is a right way and a wrong way to jump rope. Generally, joints can be affected when jumping too high, hitting the ground hard with your feet.
To do: To prevent knee pain or injury when jumping rope, try to reduce the impact on the joints by jumping lower, no need to get too far off the ground.
Jump in excess
Another factor responsible for joint pain when we jump rope occurs due to excess training. Anxiety about getting quick results, losing weight immediately, or speeding up the muscle building process can lead to you overloading your body every day of the week.
Moving towards longer routines or more intense movements can also affect the knees.
To do– Experts warn that even with exercise, the key is in moderation. Progress in the intensity of your training should be gradual, otherwise, not only will you not get quick results, but you may lose the opportunity to train regularly due to possible injuries.
Start with a weekly workout and progressively increase to two or three times a week, the important thing is that you have rest days between each workout so as not to overload your knees.
Wear unsuitable footwear
It may be mistakenly thought that footwear does not matter when jumping rope, since it is not necessary to travel long distances to do so.
Keep in mind that flat shoes are poor for physical activity, due to their low arch support and low impact resistance, so wearing them during exercise increases the risk of injury.
To doWhether for walking, running, or jumping rope, opt for sports shoes. This is manufactured in such a way that it reduces the impact on the joints during exercise.
Jump on hard surfaces
Another aspect that often goes unnoticed when jumping rope is the surface where the activity takes place. Be aware that hard floors can increase the impact on your joints.
This is because hard surfaces exchange much of the force instead of absorbing it. The more intense each jump, the greater the thrust that the ground returns to the legs, and therefore the impact that the knees receive.
To doJump rope is ideal on soft surfaces, such as those found in gyms with foam floors. However, not everyone can access it, so an alternative is to do it at home on a yoga mat or blanket.
The repetitive shock of skipping can be worse for people with a joint condition or injury, such as arthritis or chronic joint pain. If this is your case, consult a health professional first to find out what type of exercise you should do.
To avoid knee injuries or joint damage when jumping rope (and when doing any other physical activity) it is essential to elongate or stretch correctly before and after exercise.
This allows for better range of motion and flexibility in the joints, while preparing the muscles for the activity.
Also keep in mind that while jumping rope offers many health benefits, it can be very taxing on your muscles. Therefore, specialists advise interspersing this type of training with other practices during the week, such as yoga, dumbbells and even walks.
This will allow you to work on all the muscles in your body and reduce the constant pressure on your knees and other leg joints caused by constant jumping rope.
Sources consulted: American Chiropractic Association, US National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.