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How to Skip

By Kim Nunley

Skipping can be used as part of a dynamic warm-up before a workout, incorporated into a cardio circuit for conditioning purposes or used as a training drill to improve running technique. The technique of the skip, which is also referred to as an “A” skip, is similar to the way you skipped as a kid. However, to master the skip for fitness and training, place greater focus on minimizing the time your feet are in contact with the ground, on keeping your limbs in line and on improving the flexibility of your hips.

Step 1

Find a grassy field, a track or a gymnasium where you have at least 25 yards of space in front of you. Make sure there are no obstacles or loose items in your way.

Step 2

Warm up your legs and hips with a three to five-minute slow jog before beginning your skipping workout.

Step 3

Stand and hold each of your elbows bent to 90 degrees to begin skipping. Propel your body upward by driving off of your left foot, bringing your right knee toward your chest and simultaneously swinging your left arm upward. Your arm swing helps to create upward momentum.

Step 4

Land on the ball of your left foot and lower your left arm and then quickly step forward onto your right foot. As soon as your right foot hits, immediately drive off your right foot to propel your body upward, driving your left knee up toward your chest and swinging your right arm forward. Both elbows should remain bent to 90 degrees while you skip.

Step 5

Land on the ball of your right foot and go immediately into the next skip, stepping forward onto your left foot and then pushing off it to leave the ground. Drive your right knee upward while swinging your left arm forward. Repeat these steps, switching back and forth between legs to continue skipping.

Step 6

Focus on decreasing how long your feet are in contact with the floor after you get into the rhythm of skipping. Lift your knees up as close to your chest as you can while skipping to improve hip flexibility. This hip flexion mimics how your hips move when sprinting.

Step 7

Incorporate leg-extend skips as well as 45-degree skips into your routine. For leg-extend skips, after driving your knee upward to your chest, straighten your knee to kick forward before your foot returns to the ground. For 45-degree skips, as you drive your knee upward, open up your thigh so that your knee lifts toward your obliques and you feel a stretch at the inside of your thigh.

Step 8

Use skipping to build power in your hips and legs. To work on your vertical jump, try to jump up as high as you can with each skip. To focus on explosive power forward, like what you do when sprinting, try to travel as far forward as you can with each skip.

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