Remember: you’re not Rocky Balboa. Doing his one-foot hop is like having Apollo Creed and Drago pound your kneecaps. The keys to pain-free jumping: (1) stand tall, (2) land on both feet, and (3) stick to brief spurts, says Bill Hartman, co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. “Standing tall shifts more of the impact to your hips, which are able to bear more load than your knees can,” he says. “And landing on both feet spreads the impact to two places, not just one.” Another mistake that can lead to injury? “Jumping for too long or too often can overload the tendons in your knees,” Hartman says. For a full-body workout that minimises joint impact, combine intervals of jumping with floor moves that will help strengthen your core.
DIRECTIONS: Alternate these rope-jumping drills with two additional moves: the T-push-up and the single-leg plank. Do the four exercises as a circuit (jump, push-up, shuffle jump, plank), without resting between exercises. Do eight to 12 reps for the push-up, and hold the plank for 30 seconds on each leg. Do three to five circuits, resting 60 to 90 seconds between each.