ANALYSING THE JUMP ROPE
Skipping is one of the most beneficial forms of conditioning for dancers, but only when done correctly and for dancers who can actually absorb force upon landing.
Its great to want to do extra conditioning work, but anytime you add in more stress to the knees you must think about what your bigger picture is going to be.
One of the main issues with dancers is that they already have a huge amount of impact in their weekly training schedule (2-3 hour classes 4-5 times per week) which is why the sport has so many impact injuries such as knee pain, shin splints, servers, plantar fasciitis and so on.
If we realise that the sport has a great deal of impact and injuries then we know that it is important to limit impact outside of class to allow for the inflammation in the knees, shins, ankles to reduce and recover, whilst still finding an option to improve fitness.
If we are looking at conditioning to simply improve fitness then there are a multitude of different options that will train the heart and lungs in exactly the same way and bring the same benefits without the risk of injury.
For example if we look at conditioning on a bike, standing upright on a bike and forcefully driving down through the calf will allow the dancer to keep the upper body still, be explosive down through the pedal, condition the heart and lungs, and also completely remove the impact from the ground, and so becomes much better option for those that already have too much impact in their weekly training and/or are suffering from any impact related issues.
If including the jump rope into your training you firstly want to make sure that you are absorbing impact as much as possible, meaning you are landing like a spring on the ground and cannot hear a thing. If you are landing heavy then you are simply losing all of your energy through the floor, teaching the body to land flat-footed, and of course, drastically increasing your injury risk.
Be smart in your approach to conditioning, remember your main job is to stay injury free.
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