Getting fit is child’s play

Skipping isn’t just for schoolgirls with pigtails – it’s also for footballers who want fancy footwork and a tireless engine. Interested? Grab yourself some rope and jump this way

Co-ordination, balance and speed – they’re all elements of your game that will improve if you’re willing to spend hours whipping yourself in the face with a piece of old rope. 


More after the break

OK, we admit that’s not much fun, but once you’ve got the hang of it, skipping can transform your game. Don’t just take it from us – scientists have the proof. 


A study from the University of Milan found that youth team players who started their training sessions with a skipping workout scored much higher in tests for co-ordination and balance, and were able to complete the circuits faster, than those players who didn’t.


Paul Clements, Huddersfield Town’s head academy goalkeeping coach, introduced this training to his scholars and they’ve reaped the benefits. “It’s a low-risk exercise that gives the keepers an extra plyometric workout,” he purrs.


Clements, who used skip rope sessions at Middlesbrough and Wolves, has also noticed improvements in the body composition of developing academy players. “It doesn’t just aid a goalkeeper’s agility,” says Clements. “Using a jumping rope is a low-impact exercise for all players, making it a great way to condition frequently without putting undue stress on your joints and nervous system.” So ‘skipping’ a few training sessions could help stretch your career a whole lot further.


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