You don’t have to travel far or spend money on a trendy abdominal machine to develop a strong core and a flat stomach. All you need is a jump rope, bench or chair, and sufficient space.
Jumping rope helps you develop both upper- and lower-body muscular endurance. It also speeds up your fat-burning metabolism and reduces belly fat. Do it in combination with prone, side and supine planks to strengthen your core. Here are some sample workouts to get you started.
Jump Rope Equipment
•Bench or chair
•Exercise mat or soft surface (carpet)
Jump Rope Workout Guidelines
•Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
•Perform an upper- and lower-body dynamic warm-up (Arm Raises/Lunges).
•Perform the Beginner Workout a few times (especially if you’re a novice with a jump rope) and gradually build your endurance by adding 5 to 10 seconds to your jump rope and plank times in successive workouts before trying the Advanced Workout.
•Keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back straight. Don’t sag your lower back or hips during prone, side and supine planks.
•Do combo workouts on non-consecutive days to allow for recovery.
•Finish with cool-down static upper- and lower-body stretches for greater flexibility.
Beginner Jump Rope/Plank Combo Workout
Perform 2 combo sets of each.
•Jump Rope/Flat Prone Plank: Jump rope for 30 seconds and immediately follow with flat prone plank for 30 seconds. Rest 15-30 seconds and repeat.
•Jump Rope/Side Plank: Jump rope for 30 seconds and immediately follow with a 30-second left side plank. Without pausing, turn and do a right side plank for 30 seconds. Hydrate, rest for 30 seconds and repeat combo movements.
•Jump Rope/Supine Plank: Jump rope for 30 seconds and immediately follow with a supine plank for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and repeat. Hydrate and do static cool-down stretches.
Advanced Jump Rope/Plank Combo Double Circuit Workout
Perform 1 non-stop combo set of each; rest briefly before repeating circuit.
•Jump Rope/Elevated Prone Plank: Jump rope for 60 seconds and immediately follow with a 60-second elevated prone plane (feet placed atop a bench or chair). Without resting, perform next combo movements.
•Jump Rope/Elevated Side Plank: Jump rope 60 seconds and immediately follow with a 60-second left side elevated plank. Without rest, turn and perform a 60-second right side elevated plank. Without resting, continue with next combo exercises.
•Jump Rope/Supine Elevated Plank: Jump rope for 60 seconds and immediately perform a 60-second supine elevated plank. Rest 30-45 seconds, hydrate and perform another circuit. End with cool-down stretches.
Jim Carpentier, November 29, 2013