Did you know that some of the most common injuries amongst rope skippers are knee related?
In 2009 a study was conducted in Sweden where they looked at knee and torso strengthening warm-ups and their effects on knee injuries. (BMJ 2012;344:e3042) The study showed that injuries were reduced by almost 2/3 in the test group that did this warm-up two times a week.
This study was conducted on Swedish female football (soccer) players1 which have the highest risk of getting a knee injury, and since being published this warm-up has been widely adopted in a range of sports in Sweden.
The warm-up consists of fairly simple exercises, but be very careful to do them with proper technique. It’s important to not rush, do the exercises at a steady pace and take the time required to find the balance after and each. It’s not about how many or how fast, it’s about doing them in the right way else they may end up counterproductive.
- Squats (3*15) Be sure to have your knees and feet pointing straight forward, in the same direction, not outwards, not inwards, straight forward. They should be quite deep squats. Keep your feet shoulder width apart.
- One-foot squats (2*10 per leg) Same as normal squats, but here you should have one of your legs off the ground and point it straight forward of you.
- Lunge (2*10 per leg) Be sure to keep your legs parallel during the whole exercise, do not twist any feet or legs. Start with your feet together, take a long step forward with one foot, place it so that your legs make up two 90° angles. The foot you’re not taking the step with should roll up so you stand on its toes and not the whole foot. your knees shall not touch the ground, it should be approximately 10 cm between your knee and the ground.
- Lunge with upper body twist (2*10 per leg) Same as normal lunges, but when you’re standing in the step with the right foot forward, you twist your upper body to the right and vice versa. DO NOT twist your legs, they should still be parallel and pointing straight forward. Twist as far as you can while still maintaining the legs correctly positioned. You will find that you probably can twist further but do not do that.
- Lunge with hands straight above head (2*10 per leg) As normal lunges, but keep your arms raised straight up, parallel to each other above your head.
- Sideway lunges (2*10 per leg) Start with your legs together, lift one and move it to the side, follow with your upper body, but not the other leg. Do not lift the other legs foot from the ground, do not tilt it, keep it touching the ground completely. Keep your body above the leg you moved, the leg and feet should be pointing straight forward, not inwards and not outwards. Bend the leg you stepped to the side with about 90°, straighten it and return to the initial position.
- One leg jump balance (2*6 per leg) Stand on one leg, foot and knee pointing forward. Jump a bit forward, it’s important that you bend your knee slightly when you land. Find balance, jump backwards on the same leg in the same way and find balance. The jumps should be performed in a straight line, it’s good to find some reference line on the ground.
- Ice-skating jumps (2*6 per leg) Jump from leg to leg, from side to side, keep the foot and knee of the leg you’re balancing on pointing straight forward. If you’re standing on your right leg, jump to the left and land on your left leg. If you’re standing on your left leg, jump to the right and land on your right leg. When landing you should bend your knee slightly and be sure to land with the foot and knee pointing straight forward.
- Running One leg jump balance (2*6) Same as 7. but make a few running steps before the jump.
A small study
I’d love to know more about injuries in rope skipping. Thus I’d be happy if you could reply to the following poll. The results will be published here once the dataset is big enough to provide an accurate image.
Waldén Markus, Atroshi Isam, Magnusson Henrik, Wagner Philippe, Hägglund Martin. Prevention of acute knee injuries in adolescent female football players: cluster randomised controlled trial BMJ 2012; 344:e3042 http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3042
1 – Soccer in American English