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By: Peter Nestler

My final week of performing for 2010 had me, quite literally, bouncing all around the country. I performed in Florida and then flew out to California. After my final demo of the year at a school, I was invited to teach a Crossfit class in Santa Rosa. I gladly accepted and we had around 10-15 people show up looking to learn how to jump rope. That may not sound like a lot in comparison to a normal jump rope camp, but these were all regular people that were looking to learn some jump rope skills to add to their workout.

Crossfit Santa RosaI focused the session on teaching skills that they could master relatively quickly, but at the same time were challenging and would give them a great workout. One of the greatest things about rope skipping is that it offers a nearly limitless variety of skills to avoid the traditional burnout that comes with exercise. We ran through some various footwork skills (without the rope first as it's the best way to learn them) then we focused on a couple different styles of jumping, the cross, the rope release, the speed step, etc.

We finished out the workout with a session on Double Dutch. I showed them how rope skipping can develop some awesome upper body muscles by doing push-ups, crabs, shoot-throughs, handstands, etc. I ran everyone through the skills outside the ropes so they could practice them on their own, and also to see how much of a workout they really are. We then went into the most important part of Double Dutch...Turning. We ran through a variety of turning drills and then gave everyone a chance to try jumping. As I always find, people are amazed at how hard it is to do. But at the same time, they're amazed they can all do it. The key to being good at Double Dutch is being a good turner. When I was turning, we were able to get everyone in the ropes that wanted to give it a go.

Crossfit Peter JoAnnaJoAnna runs the gym and she was all about learning as much as she could. All in all, we had a great time and everyone walked away with a variety of new techniques they could add to their workouts. If you haven't given it a try before, rope skipping will challenge you in ways that you won't believe. If you're willing to try a few different techniques, it will give you an awesome total body workout. Your legs will burn (but in a good way that will help them get that lean shape you've always wanted), you'll feel muscles in your fore-arms that you didn't even know were there. Your heart will also be in for a treat as it's one of the best cardio workouts available today. Give it a go and see how you come out.