Yes, there are so many training tools from years ago. Remember the Nordic Track cross-country ski machine, how about the abdominal wheel, rowing machine, etc. One that I continue to use regularly every week of the year is the jump rope.
Jumping rope and learning many of the various jumping techniques improves fitness levels and will have cross over benefits for endurance based sports. Yes, even for ultra distance events! Jumping rope improves overall body strength (upper shoulders, abs, legs) and of course speed/turnover. If you travel on business, it’s great to throw in the luggage. Also using the rope is a quick way for warming up before your main focus workout or combining with other workouts.
Consider adding jump rope training with one of your current workouts. For example during a hill repeat session (running) and at the bottom of the hill after your recovery grab the rope for 2 minutes of quick jumping and then climb the hill (repeat several sets). Do this workout weekly and you will notice strength improvements in the calves along with an increase of your turnover when climbing the hill. Not easy, but huge benefits! Start slow with the jump rope and consider purchasing a soft pad as you begin. It will help save your calves and shins vs. just starting out on the cement.
Combine jumping rope with bike intervals as well and build over time to several minutes. I highly recommend adding to your routine and the more you jump consistently the better you will become on technique and speed.
If you want a quality jump rope, check out Buddy Lee Jump Ropes. He is amazing watching him jump (check out the online video’s) and makes a great jump rope.
Add the jump rope a few times to your weekly training routine and experience significant strength and speed improvements!
By Wayne Kurtz
Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report, he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’