Mike Tyson skips.
Floyd Mayweather skips.
These are hard men - elite boxers, one of whom once chomped on Evander Holyfield’s ear in the ring.
But they know the power of doing the same activity that 6-year-old girls love doing on the playground.
In this article, Beast Gear examines why boxers skip - and why you need to start taking it seriously as your new number one footwork drill.
Skipping And Footwork
Okay, so boxers don’t necessarily do traditional skipping. You certainly don’t see them in the middle of two girls who are whipping that rope while singing some playground song.
Instead, they do something called the boxer skip, which replicates the footwork they use during a fight.
When a boxer jumps over the rope, they move their weight from their left foot to their right foot with each jump (and vice versa).
In so doing, they aren’t distributing their weight equally on both feet. Instead, they’re shifting pressure from one foot to the next all the time.
This footwork technique enhances your energy so that you can last longer during a fight. It also ensures you stay light so that you can - in the famous words of Muhammed Ali - float like a butterfly.
Jumping ropes is just a fantastic way to train yourself so that you understand how to move around in the ring with dexterity, poise and efficiency.
Jumping Rope Techniques To Learn
The great thing about skipping is that all it costs is the price of a skipping rope - say, £10 for less.
Other than that, you just need some patience whilst you master this new technique. It’s a really important skill set, so it's well worth dedicating some time each day to getting acquainted with it.
Here are some routines you can do:
Front to Back
With traditional skipping, we jump up and down. With this slight variation, you should jump forwards and backwards. Not too much, just slightly. Make sure you maintain a regular rhythm and pace and use this particular exercise as a warm-up if you wish.
Side to Side
Next, instead of jumping back and forth, try bouncing from side to side. Once again, aim for a consistent rhythm and pace and try to visualise where your feet are going to land. If you can, picture a straight line right beneath you, and aim to jump slightly to the side of it each time.
The Boxer Skip
Earlier, I mentioned the boxer skip. This skipping routine is a tad more complex than all other skipping techniques as it involves some boxing-centred footwork.
Start with your feet a few inches apart and then start jumping rope. As you do, perform the boxer shuffle, shifting your weight between the ball of your left foot and then the ball of your right foot (and vice versa).
In essence, you’re looking to run in place while placing your weightsolelyon the balls of your feet.
It’s a bit tricky to pull off at first and you will make mistakes. But the more you do it, the more your footwork and your boxer shuffle will improve.
Before I go, I’d like to quickly outline a few more ways skipping can benefit you as a boxer:
Skipping improves your conditioning
Skipping improves your speed (bolsters your lower leg explosiveness)
Skipping increases balance
With all that said, it’s now time to go buy yourself some rope (or borrow your daughters) and go get some!