Running Vs. Jump Roping for Boxing Training

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Running and rope jumping are both valuable training tools.

Most boxers run and jump rope as part of their regular conditioning program. Both exercises develop endurance and cardiovascular conditioning, as well strengthening muscles of the upper and lower body. Jumping rope works more skills specific to boxing, but both exercises are an important part of a complete boxing program.

Movement

Running and jumping rope incorporate two different movements. The differences in movement also translate into different uses of certain muscle groups. Running involves forward movement and puts the entire body through the full gait cycle repeatedly. The gait cycle flexes and releases the muscles of the foot, ankle, knee and hip through the stance and swing phases of each step. Jumping rope is a predominantly stationary activity that conditions the muscles of the foot, ankle, knee and hip through repeated, weight-bearing impact. Jumping rope also develops grip strength and uses the muscles of the back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearms to hold and turn the rope.

Cardio Conditioning

Endurance is essential to stay competitive through the duration of a boxing match. Both running and jumping rope are effective for developing cardiovascular, or cardio, conditioning. According to the MayoClinic.com, a 160-pound individual running at 5 mph burns 606 calories in an hour. The same individual jumping rope for 60 minutes burns 861 calories. Though these statistics indicate jumping rope as the more effective form of exercise, keep in mind that intensity changes the efficacy of either exercise. A 160-pound individual running at 8 mph for an hour burns the same amount of calories as jumping rope. Running faster or for a longer time, or jumping rope at a faster pace will alter how much cardio you gain from one exercise or the other.

Coordination

Jumping rope has long been used by boxers for its ability to improve coordination. The hands and feet must work together in order to establish a consistent rope-jumping rhythm. Even as you grow more proficient with the jump rope, coordination can continuously be challenged with exercises such as double-unders — where the rope turns twice for once jump — or criss-cross patterns and rope swings. Adding these advanced styles into a basic jumping session increases the demand and level of coordination required to keep jumping without faltering. Running can vary in intensity but challenges the coordination far less than jumping rope. Running can be varied with intervals of shadow boxing while running to challenge coordination, but the emphasis remains more on cardio than coordination.

Rhythm

Every fighter finds his or her own rhythm in a fight. According to Dale Herring, head coach and owner of Fight Sport Fitness in Hixson, Tennessee, jumping rope forces the athlete to learn and establish a sense of rhythm. A steady rhythm is established by the fighter staying on his toes and light on his feet while jumping as is required for effective footwork in boxing. Running establishes a certain rhythm once a cadence is established, but the rhythm is less pronounced and usually slower than the pace of a boxing match.

( Source : http://www.livehealthy.chron.com )

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