Skipping Can Be an Effective Rehabilitation Exercise
Skipping Can Be an Effective Rehabilitation Exercise

Training-Room Tips: Use Skipping as an Alternate Exercise Method for Injury Rehabilitation

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

There many training methods available for athletes with injuries: pool running, cycling, swimming, elliptical trainers. But the advantage of these methods—reduced impact stress—is also their weakness. They can develop fitness, but they can't maintain specific elastic (plyometric) strength in the ankle joint and foot: the strength that allows runners to bounce when they stride.

Athletes with injuries to the upper leg, like hamstring pulls or hip flexor injuries, often don't need to avoid impact stress: instead, they must avoid leg-lifting or bending movements. In such cases, skipping is an alternate exercise that allows them to maintain elastic strength in their ankles.

Skip Training - How to Perform
Injured athletes can skip aerobically, over a 20-minute period. Or they can perform anaerobic interval training, skipping very fast for short periods of time, separated by periods of recovery (rest or slower skipping).

An advantage to skipping is that it can be performed anywhere. We've had injured runners skip at track-side and mimic teammates' training sessions as they run.

For example, during a session of 8 x 200's in about 30 seconds with 200 jog recovery, the injured athlete skips as fast as s/he can during the 200's, then at a slower pace during the recovery periods.     This workout is intense, provides excellent specific muscle endurance for the arms, plyometric work for the ankles, and gives the injured athlete the feeling of still being a part of the team and regular workout sessions.

Dick Moss (Editor), Physical Education Update, 2011.

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© 2011, Physical Education,

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