Jump Rope vs. Running for Boxing Cross-training

Choosing the right cross-training workout can be a challenge, especially when boxing is your sport of choice. Jump rope and running are popular cross-training methods amongst boxers, but which is the better option, and why?

Jump rope is a great exercise to get the blood pumping. It exercises your legs and stretches your whole body. However, running increases blood flow throughout your cardiovascular system, which is important when training for boxing or any physically demanding sport.

Being fit and healthy is incredibly important if you are cross-training for boxing. Gloveworx coaches are familiar with the differences between jump rope and running, and know that jump rope is the safest option compared to running in terms of wear and tear on the body.  Many individuals prefer sticking to a longer jump rope workout, as long as they don’t have medical problems, such as weak hip abductors or a history of plantar fasciitis.

What are the Benefits of Jump Rope Over Running?

Boxers often run in the mornings to build their endurance, before partaking in a boxing session in the gym. At the gym, they may transition to jump rope, where their warmed up cardiovascular system is used to its full advantage. This helps Contenders build their stamina and endurance.

This type of routine helps Contenders in the boxing ring, as jump rope develops wrist movements. If you begin training without some sort of cardiovascular pre-workout, you’ll most likely begin to feel a burning sensation in your lungs and need to sit down to recover – not ideal!

The Similarities Between Jump Rope and Boxing

Jump rope is great before a boxing workout, as it mimics the weight transfer from one foot to the other, similar to what boxer’s experience when punching and shifting their weight.  Jump rope also warms up the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint – perfect for seamless punching. If you find yourself getting bored of jump rope, try adding different rope lengths and weights to add variety to your workout.

Preparing Your Muscles for Training

Jump rope increases the core temperature of your body without causing you to feel too much fatigue. Everybody has a slightly different core temperature at which they experience optimum performance, and it can even vary with different sports! Warming up before a workout reduces your risk of injury. This is because the viscosity resistance is lowered in your muscles, improving your performance. Standard static stretching does not offer the same benefits as a dynamic warm-up, as this method doesn’t raise your core temperature enough for optimum performance.

A Dynamic Warm-Up

A sport-specific dynamic warm-up incorporates movements similar to those an athlete might do while preparing the muscles for training. The similarity in movement patterns and effectiveness in warming up one’s muscles make jump rope an ideal dynamic warm up for boxing.

A dynamic boxing warm-up consists of 8-12 minutes of dynamic stretching, focusing on the range of motion used in boxing. Sport-specific movements that increase in intensity such as sprint drills, jumping activity, and bouncing activities are incorporated as the intensity of the workout increases. This combination makes it beneficial to jump rope just before starting a boxing workout.

The Bohr Effect

When someone is adequately warmed up, their shoulders are loose and their punches come out smoothly. The wrist and shoulder movements of jump rope aids the muscle temperatures in those joints – creating a perfect amount of fatigue with minimal symptoms of the Bohr effect.

The Bohr effect is when higher muscle temperatures affect the circulation in your body and slows down the oxygen release systems in your body. Therefore, higher temperatures will deliver a higher Bohr effect and limit your performance.

Is Running Beneficial?

Running is still classified as a great way to increase your core temperature – especially when sprinting in intervals. However, fatigue is a huge concern when it comes to running. Have you ever felt dizzy and nauseous when getting off the treadmill? That’s fatigue.

Allowing your body to feel too fatigued can impact the efficiency of your boxing workout. People get fatigued faster when they are not warmed up correctly. So, if you go for a 10-minute jog or run, you may actually feel more fatigued than if you were to do 10 minutes of jump rope or 5 minutes of sprinting intervals.

Taking it Into the Ring

Jumping rope and running both are two very different warm-up activities. However, they can both impact the overall performance of your boxing skills. Running is great for cardiovascular performance, as well as creating the important blood-flow your cardiovascular system needs in order to perform more comfortably and efficiently.

Jump rope is beneficial in areas such as wrist and joint movement and increasing stamina. An idyllic pre-boxing workout could be a 5-minute jog followed by a 10-minute jump rope routine – however, if you notice signs of fatigue it may be best to reduce this to suit your body’s potential. Nonetheless, both of these workouts complement each other in ways that contribute to your boxing and help you Become Unstoppable!