Want to improve your running form? Try skipping

If you thought skipping was just for kids in the playground, or boxers, think again. It’s great for runners, as it builds calf strength, boosts endurance and helps you reduce ground contact time.

How can skipping help runners?

If you’re looking for a quick, simple and cost-effective ways to improve your running form, try skipping. Skipping can burn more than 1,000kcals an hour, but its benefits for runners stretch far beyond the aerobic. It also teaches you to land directly underneath your body, rather than out in front, and will help you to reduce your ground contact time – a hallmark of quick, efficient running.

Related: 3 ways to build your calf strength 

In addition, skipping can help to increase calf and foot strength, while giving your arms a workout too. Seriously, you’d be hopping mad not to do it.

How to maximise your skipping workout:

1. Use the correct rope length

“If you bisect the rope by putting it under your feet, the handles should reach your sternum,” says Ruth Martindale, Everyone Active fitness manager.

2. Limit your arm movement

As with running, you want to reduce any unnecessary movement, so try to let your wrists do most of the work with the rope.

3. Don’t jump too high

“You’re looking for quick, shallow jumps, not huge leaps: remember, the rope is only an eighth of an inch thick,” says Martindale.

4. Feel the rhythm

“You can skip as fast as you want,” says Martindale, “but getting into a good rhythm can make it easier and much more enjoyable.”

The best skipping workout for runners:

Do two repetitions of this set, with a minute’s rest between sets. It’ll take you a total of 10 minutes.

1 minute of skipping

30 seconds of high knees

1 minute of skipping

30 seconds of skipping (left leg only)

1 minute of skipping

30 seconds of skipping (right leg only)