It's not just for your bones
Team! One of the most important pieces of fitness equipment for anyone striving to be their fittest self is the jump rope. If you haven't purchased one yet, now is the time! It's compact, you need little space to use it, and it can be done indoors or outdoors with lots of fun variations! Enjoy today's workout in all of its bone-building glory! Cheers! -Carla
Bone and muscle health are two critically important elements that become front and center during mid-life as the hormonal changes of the menopause transition result in a decline in both of these areas. Plyometric training helps stem the tide of these changes so that you can potentially reduce bone fracture risk and maintain explosive muscle power! Check out this awesome blog from my friend, Selene Yeager that takes a deep dive into the specific benefits of plyometric training.
Plyometric training comes in many flavors. Jumping rope, running, and tennis, to name just a few. But one of my favorite plyometric movements is the box jump because of its bone AND muscle-building effects!
The “box jump” is a foundational movement in the CrossFit world. In addition to plyometric benefits, this movement also builds explosive muscle power, keeping those Type 2 fast-twitch fibers at the ready and less susceptible to decline with changing hormones. See the photo with a linked video below:
Getting from the squat position on the floor to the standing position on top of the box requires explosive hip extension, which involves the fast twitch, Type 2 muscle fibers of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles. If this looks intimidating, don’t worry! Start with jumping onto a single plate on the floor. The benefits are the same! Once you feel confident at that height, add another plate - and before you know it, you will be strong enough to jump onto a box!
For my friends whose plantar fasciitis is acting up just reading this, I have movement options for you too! For modifications for any of your plyometric needs, check out this episode of Hit Play Not Pause podcast with my friend, Kerry Ann Madden who has some great suggestions for those who have injuries that preclude jumping.
Looking to purchase a jump rope? Try these two great options! RPM and Rogue/Rx. I have personally purchased ropes from both of these vendors. I started with a weighted “training rope” from Rogue/Rx and moved into a speed rope with RPM once I became proficient with single and double-unders.
TABATA 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest. Perform each movement, in sequence for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest until you have completed 4 rounds of all 3 movements (6 minutes)
Take 5-10 minutes to select your options for the workout. For the box step-ups, choose 2 dumbbells or kettlebells to hold by your side and a box height that allows you to do all 16 repetitions unbroken, but becomes challenging by the 10th repetition.
TIP! For any movement requiring that you step or jump onto a box or plate, please be sure that object is stable!
For each round do as many unbroken jump rope repetitions as you possibly can. You need a minimum of 20 for the round to count – this will get VERY challenging under the fatigue of the box step-ups! If you trip up on repetition 10, you need to start over that round. Once you have completed a round of jump rope reps, do 16 box step-ups *Be sure to even out your right and left sides initiating the step-up.
Unbroken jump rope - check out this awesome video for jump rope “how-to” for all levels! (if no rope, sub a simulated jump rope or jumping jacks)
16 Weighted box step-ups (if you want a plyometric bonus, sub 10 box jumps!)
Sub the jump rope with 25 low-impact squat jumps that do not require your feet to leave the floor.
Your score for the workout is the total number of COUNTED repetitions in the 5 rounds of jump rope. If you are doing the modified squat jump, your score is the time it takes to complete 5 rounds of both movements.
7-minute Back and Hips Static Stretch Sequence from TFW. It’s also a great quadriceps, hamstring, and ankle stretch!
Check out my latest podcast appearance that dropped last week!
Hit Play Not Pause: Hormone Therapy: Where We Are and Where We Are Going with Carla DiGirolamo, MD hosted by Selene Yeager