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January 31, 2006



First, you have to jump. And white boys can't jump. I'm afraid you're out of luck.



Oh, I'm jumping just fine. It's the rhythm bit I'm struggling with, getting the rope's swing and the jumping to work in synch. Now, if we want to talk about white boys and rhythm...


other than travel back in time and turn into a girl, so then you can just know how to do it without ever really remembering how or when you learned? that seemed to work for me (minue the travelling back in time part, as i didn't have to do that). it was just one of those mandatory little girls things one learns.

funny, the strange skills we randomly pick up along the way due to our gender!

Mr. Bad

Heh, white boys and rhythm (Mozart was a "white boy" are wrote some of the most complicated music of his time, while Frank Zappa - another "white boy" - wrote some of the most rhythmically complcated music of modern times), men and jumping rope (tell that to all those boxers), white boys can't jump (you mean like Larry Bird(sp)?), etc.

Negative stereotypes anyone? All this stuff sounds like the "girls can't do math" comments that people used to make back in the 1950s. I'm betting Hugo wouldn't put up with this kind of thing if we were making such broad-based negative stereotypes women.


You're having problems with rhythm?? Turn your music on while you do it!


How are you jumping? One foot, two feet, one after another?


I also learned to jump rope as a white male adult, so I know it can be done. :)

A few suggestions:

  • Don't actually jump: give the tiniest of hops.

    The rope will fit under your feet if you're only about an inch off the
    (smooth, clean, level) floor. the higher you try to jump, the more erratic
    everything is and the less successful you'll be. If you've watched boxers
    jump rope, you know the tiny hop I mean - you barely get off the floor.

  • start with the rope in one hand, not two

    To get the rhythm down, put both ends of the rope in one
    hand. swing both arms like as normal, and try to get rhythm going.
    You can get both arms and legs going for an extended time and get
    things 'lined up' in time because you're not tripping - the rope
    is going to the side of your feet.

  • start with a heavy rope

    The extra inertia will help smooth out bumps. It's more of a workout,
    but easier to keep moving.


bb, thank you -- excellent advice! I will look for a heavy rope!

Zuzu, I'm trying to jump with two feet together. My feet want to come apart, however.


To add to a poster above: jump to music, but make sure it has a good, hard beat. If your too focused on the rhythm of the music, you'll lose concentration. Music makes it more fun, but you could just use a metetron.


Jumping rope is tricky, but it's an amazing workout -- and it's a key part of the boxing regimen. I've been working with a boxing trainer for a few years (at the Wild Card in Hollywood). It took me a little while before I got the hang of it. Since you're a runner, just try to take short, tiny steps -- going back and forth from foot to foot like a jog in place. Here's a link to a good site with more tips:


Good luck! Boxing is an incredible workout.


Thanks for the link, Deb!

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I learned to jump rope by jumping on one foot. Actually, by jumping backwards on one foot. It helped, because every other girl in the entire world could jump rope forwards with both feet a million times before I could do it once, so teaching myself the one-footed way, I felt I was winning at something.


Zuzu, I'm trying to jump with two feet together. My feet want to come apart, however.

I always had more luck with the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing. But others have had good tips, including keeping the jumps low, starting with the rope in one hand until you get the rhythm and all that.

If all else fails, go find some teenage girls doing Double Dutch and be awed.


I always had to mutter the little syncopated songs under my breath. Skipping songs straight from the schoolyard.
(Cinder-ELLA Dressed in YELLA)...


Ummm...can I recommend starting (or always) jumping rope on the grass and not on the sidewalk or driveway? Jumping up and down on a concrete surface is a really, really rude thing to do to your ankles, knees, and back.

As far as that goes, everyone else has said what I'd have said if I'd have said it earlier :) so my only other suggestions are:

1) Start slowly. If you're not getting the rhythm, start with a slower rhythm.

2) Practice hopping without the rope if you're having Foot Issues.


I've been skipping for a while, and after that stagation period in the begining, things will eventually get better if you try it for at least half of an hour.

As said only time hops are used, use momentum to achives this, not phisical force e.g. pushing of like jumping.

The idea is to be light like a butterfly, so you can sting like a bee or a nasty ass wasp :)

Speed, balanence and weight, all products of skipping can come from this if you keep at it even if you have to start slowly.

Also keep in mind that when spining the rope, although the timing can be hard to keep the pace. You only spin the rope with your wrists, on the first spin, you can use you're arms to get you going, but other than that your wrists should be somewhere near your hips. Like I said use the momentum to keep the rope spining.

I also try running forwards and backwards with the rope. But the best is to alternate between small light hops where your feet are barly leaving the floor, to full rasing you're knees to your stomach.


I'm 68yrs old and used to box when I was a good deal younger. Skipping was always a very worthwhile and enjoyable part of the training and I used to be pretty good. I was recently diagnosed with heart problems and decided that getting back into skipping was going to be a good way for me to recover some of my fitness and get the heart back into working shape.
I re-started just a week ago and, at first, thought I am never going to be able to get back into the rythm but, lo and behold the old magic is returning. Those of you who are finding it difficult, stick at it, it is great exercise and the co-ordination will all of a sudden kick in. The best of luck.

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