jumping rope and calf training

i did some rope jumping the other day for about 10 min and my calves where getting sore, and today they are really sore.

i know soreness is not any kind of indicator of the quality of a workout, but it got me thinking, with rope jumping your are systematically doing plyometrics for the calf muscles and when you land your landing with up to 6 times your body weight.

so isn't jumping rope a good way to exercise the calves? better than say a donkey calf rase or a standing calf rase? and i also mean from a functional prospective.

jumping rope and calf training

I would classify rope juming as a plyometric action rather than a plyometric exercise. For example, in a true plyometric jump, the landing and take off is executed as fast as possible, with maximal effort. This is very explosive. Thus true plyometric jumps would be better when reactive (plyometric) strength has to be developed than jumping rope, which would be more of a preparatory exercise with sub maximal effort.

jumping rope and calf training

true, but i'm not viewing this so much as a plyometric exercise, as i am trying to determine weather or not jumping rope is as usufull an exercise for developing the gastrochnemius and soleus as other methods.

cursor's picture

jumping rope and calf training

Josh wrote:
Isn't jumping rope a good way to exercise the calves?

I would answer, "yes, without a doubt." Consider wearing a weight vest while jumping rope.

Todd Wilson's picture

Re: jumping rope and calf training

Josh wrote:
i did some rope jumping the other day for about 10 min

Perform curls, squats, bench presses, etc. for 10 mins see if you get sore from that. DO you think that would be good ways of training those muscles?

Re: jumping rope and calf training

Todd Wilson wrote:
Josh wrote:
i did some rope jumping the other day for about 10 min

Perform curls, squats, bench presses, etc. for 10 mins see if you get sore from that. DO you think that would be good ways of training those muscles?

Todd - point taken and it is a great one! But isn't this kind of the same concept as strength shoes? I.e. that calves grow from this kind of repetitive overload?

This differs from person to person. E.g. cyclists often have great calves but scrawny thighs. The repetition seems to build good calves but poor quads/hams (although some cyclists do get some pretty good thighs, I am just giving a general trend).

jumping rope and calf training

ah, point taken todd, point taken

it's not the jumping rope it's the continouse ankle plantar flexion for 10 mins straight.

ok, now new quesiton, the gastrochnemius and achellies (spelling??) are mostly slowtwich oxidative fiber right? so wouldn't they benifit most from long endurance type training?

or should i train calves with the good old 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 6 reps with hevy weight?

if were talking about athletic development that is, as is found in most team sports or as is found in gymnastics or even OL.

jumping rope and calf training

Not sure of the science here. But whenever I do glute-hams for low reps a muscle somewhere in my calf gets very sore. There must be fast-twitch muscles there.

Jump rope is good because you can perform it often. You can build up your jumping slowly. Perhaps Americans are more accustomed to jumping due to the populariity of basketball. Jumprope is better for conditioning than reactive or strength work. It's good for coordination and will give you quicker feet and as prelude to footwork drills. You can make it more intense by jumping higher and using double and even triples unders.

Exlplosive calf-raises using a slight dip was recommended by Mel Siff.
I have tried these but don't trust the calf-raise machine anymore. You can use big big weights on this exercise.

jumping rope and calf training

Jumping rope is about as outdated as jumping jacks. Jumping rope is a poor way to develop your calves and an especially poor way to achieve athletic development.

Jumping rope is not better for conditioning than strength work. And the idea that it will give you "quicker" feet is also outdated. If a basketball player wants to get quick feet he should perform basketball related drills or build up strength. Sports specificity is neglected by those who think jumping rope leads to quick feet and stability training leads to balance.

Finally double and triple unders will not train you to jump higher than will simply train you to spin the rope quicker and to bend your legs better. Jumping rope makes you more coordinated at jumping rope, thats about it.

Sorry to be a downer, but Im not a fan of jumping rope because the little value it has to an athlete is far outweighed by the shock of repetitive landing.

jumping rope and calf training

We've been here before Mourad lol. It does have a good fun factor.

Todd Wilson's picture

Re: jumping rope and calf training

Todd - point taken and it is a great one! But isn't this kind of the same concept as strength shoes? I.e. that calves grow from this kind of repetitive overload?

### Not really, the strength shoe, because of the way it is built causes a slight stretch, or perhaps it should be said a greater stretch than simply jumping. But the loading with strength shoes is more intense. Of note, while I am not anti-strength shoe per se, I'm not the biggest fan of them either.

This differs from person to person. E.g. cyclists often have great calves but scrawny thighs. The repetition seems to build good calves but poor quads/hams (although some cyclists do get some pretty good thighs, I am just giving a general trend).

### Well, there's no doubting that many folks calves respond well to high volume from a hypertrophy stand point, but that doesn't in and of it self make a calf functional for another sport or activity. I.e., there are superior ways for improving functional strength and/or hypertrophy of the calf muscles than jump roping.

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

ok, now new quesiton, the gastrochnemius and achellies (spelling??) are mostly slowtwich oxidative fiber right? so wouldn't they benifit most from long endurance type training?

### The achilles is a tendon, not muscle fibers in it. The gastroc is primarily fast twitch, typically 60-65 percent or even a little higher. The soleus however, is slow twitch on the order of 80+ percent.

or should i train calves with the good old 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 6 reps with hevy weight?

### Here's the key to calf training, or training any other muscle.........if you want optimal results, give them an optimal program. I.e., 3 sets of 10, at the end of leg day doesn't cut it. Do you put as much thought and consideration into your calf training program as you do for your bench or squat routine? Honestly 3-5 sets are failry low when using 3-6 reps. When performing reps below 6 use sets of 4-12. And yes you should use low reps and lots of sets with them. Most people gain new found strength and size with the calves when they use such a program. However, while the calves need a degree of intensity, they need a degree of volume as well. I.e., they do/can respond well to sets of 20 reps. In addition, being a smaller msucle group, and the fact that we use them extensively everyday, the calves recover quickly. Therefore, they often respond well to a fair amount of frequency as well, i.e., at least 2-3 training sessions a week.

jumping rope and calf training

Which movements Todd?

Hill training /sprints always seems to hit them hard. as they glute-hams from the floor, also high/clean pulls sometimes make them sore.

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

the9thwonder wrote:
Which movements Todd?

Hill training /sprints always seems to hit them hard. as they glute-hams from the floor, also high/clean pulls sometimes make them sore.

Depends on the needs of the sport. Olympic lifters get plenty with the pulls, volleyball players jump so much they rarely need much specific work. Football players get great benefit from work on a hard surface that isn't as forgiving as grass or turf. Then, given the proper situation simple standing and seated calf raises can work great, but again, it's not so much the movement, per se, but attention given to detail with regards to how you train them. Few people do this.

jumping rope and calf training

i think jumping rope is a good way to develop stamina
that what iam doing exercising for boxing

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

Only in ROcky movies.

jumping rope and calf training

left jab wrote:
i think jumping rope is a good way to develop stamina
that what iam doing exercising for boxing

Sure it is! Pretty much every top boxer, past and present, used jump rope training in their routines.

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

They've also run for miles and miles on end, what's the point?

jumping rope and calf training

Todd Wilson wrote:
They've also run for miles and miles on end, what's the point?

Stamina, my friend, stamina! So they can go beyond the 3rd round!

Methodman's picture

jumping rope and calf training

What kind of stamina are you talking about?

jumping rope and calf training

Methodman wrote:
What kind of stamina are you talking about?

Great question! there are really three types of endurance. LSE - Long steady endurance, typically with heart rates in the 115-140 range, the middle or steady state endurance, with HR's in the 140-165 range, and above threshold endurance, in the 165+ range (these HR ranges would differ by person and by age, these are just general ranges).

For boxing, each of these ranges would need to be trained. Obviously the majority of a fight occurs in the 165+ range (although between rounds the HR would likely drop below 165, AND a fit boxer would not reach 165 for the entire round - watch a bout, they are not punching the whole time!). Just like in a bicycle criterium, most of the race occurs at 170bpm + but is not steady, there are accelerations, cornering, etc....one minute we are cruising along at a 120bpm, then boom...185bpm. But training solely in that range is NOT the best way to train. Time and time again it has been demonstrated that all three ranges must be maximized to improve threshold endurance as well as to increase the ability to raise the intensity even higher while highly fatigued. When, in cycling, you can accelerate away from a pack when your heart rate is already 175, you are special. When a boxer can send a flurry of punches in round 10 when he has fought the entire round at a high heart rate, he too is special.

So back to jogging, the training can be at any of the above three ranges. If we are talking jogging for many miles, then we can drop the high level (165+) as people simply cannot train at this intensity for a long time, in general. This range, for boxing, would be trained via intervals (see below). So jogging is a fair way to train the lower ranges. Furthermore, light jogging can be a recovery workout (BPM of 120 or less) which enhances recovery.

Obviously the best simulation, outside of sparring, to the type of intervals one experiences in the ring is with interval training, alternating high intensity running with slow jogs. But you can't do intervals every day! A slow 5 mile jog will do wonders for recovery (I would argue that a light 1 hour on the bicycle would be better as it would not stress the joints, but that is besides the point). Also - remember - most boxers are looking to make weight. The slow jogs are a great way not to tax the Central Nervous System while burning a high level of calories.

Boxing

I should have done a Google search first! This link says pretty much the same thing I did, but he says it a lot better (and with more credibility) than I did!
http://www.secondsout.com/ringside/training.cfm?ccs=355&cs=9831

jumping rope and calf training

li0scc0 wrote:
Methodman wrote:
What kind of stamina are you talking about?

Great question! there are really three types of endurance. LSE - Long steady endurance, typically with heart rates in the 115-140 range, the middle or steady state endurance, with HR's in the 140-165 range, and above threshold endurance, in the 165+ range (these HR ranges would differ by person and by age, these are just general ranges).

For boxing, each of these ranges would need to be trained. Obviously the majority of a fight occurs in the 165+ range (although between rounds the HR would likely drop below 165, AND a fit boxer would not reach 165 for the entire round - watch a bout, they are not punching the whole time!). Just like in a bicycle criterium, most of the race occurs at 170bpm + but is not steady, there are accelerations, cornering, etc....one minute we are cruising along at a 120bpm, then boom...185bpm. But training solely in that range is NOT the best way to train. Time and time again it has been demonstrated that all three ranges must be maximized to improve threshold endurance as well as to increase the ability to raise the intensity even higher while highly fatigued. When, in cycling, you can accelerate away from a pack when your heart rate is already 175, you are special. When a boxer can send a flurry of punches in round 10 when he has fought the entire round at a high heart rate, he too is special.

So back to jogging, the training can be at any of the above three ranges. If we are talking jogging for many miles, then we can drop the high level (165+) as people simply cannot train at this intensity for a long time, in general. This range, for boxing, would be trained via intervals (see below). So jogging is a fair way to train the lower ranges. Furthermore, light jogging can be a recovery workout (BPM of 120 or less) which enhances recovery.

Obviously the best simulation, outside of sparring, to the type of intervals one experiences in the ring is with interval training, alternating high intensity running with slow jogs. But you can't do intervals every day! A slow 5 mile jog will do wonders for recovery (I would argue that a light 1 hour on the bicycle would be better as it would not stress the joints, but that is besides the point). Also - remember - most boxers are looking to make weight. The slow jogs are a great way not to tax the Central Nervous System while burning a high level of calories.

+1
well said!

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

li0scc0 wrote:
Todd Wilson wrote:
They've also run for miles and miles on end, what's the point?

Stamina, my friend, stamina! So they can go beyond the 3rd round!

That's exactly why long distance running, and endless hours of jump roping are quite silly and pointless for a boxer. They need greater anaerobic endurance and work capacity.

Get Doc's ebook. Or even take a look at SPortsci at the routine he had Holyfield on. Notice that he didn't do a half marathon three days a week, with thursdays dedicated to jump roping.

jumping rope and calf training

Todd Wilson wrote:
That's exactly why long distance running, and endless hours of jump roping are quite silly and pointless for a boxer. They need greater anaerobic endurance and work capacity.

Get Doc's ebook. Or even take a look at SPortsci at the routine he had Holyfield on. Notice that he didn't do a half marathon three days a week, with thursdays dedicated to jump roping.

You are very correct! If I WERE advocating half marathons (I don't, 5 mile runs is an excellent and really anybody who is in even reasonable condition should be able to jog for 5 miles) or jump roping for hours on end (far from it: jump roping is an excellent means of developing coordination and is a form of interval training) then yes it would be silly and pointless.

Doc's Holyfield routine is very similar to the interval based routine I was discussing in my earlier post, although I would have the 5 mile runs (or 1 hours on the bike) as recovery/calorie burning workouts. His routine has more details around what is performed in the actual intervals, mine has more detail around the heart rates at which these intervals should be performed. I'm not saying they are one and the same, but when analyzed in this light they are not that different.

One final note: this is a fun thread. Anything to do with boxing gets me interested!!!!

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

li0scc0 wrote:

You are very correct! If I WERE advocating half marathons (I don't, 5 mile runs is an excellent and really anybody who is in even reasonable condition should be able to jog for 5 miles)

### On what do you base that? Look in the archives. I have quite a few post dispelling the myth of the need for some quasi-aerobic base as a need for general fitness or general sports preparation.

or jump roping for hours on end (far from it: jump roping is an excellent means of developing coordination

### The only coordination it develops is the ability to jump a quarter inch off the ground every time the rope comes around. Boxing isn't quite that predictable.

and is a form of interval training) then yes it would be silly and pointless.

Doc's Holyfield routine is very similar to the interval based routine

### Interval anything and jogging 5 miles are nothing alike!

I was discussing in my earlier post, although I would have the 5 mile runs (or 1 hours on the bike) as recovery/calorie burning workouts.

### That doesn't help recovery. It hampers it.

His routine has more details around what is performed in the actual intervals, mine has more detail around the heart rates at which these intervals should be performed. I'm not saying they are one and the same, but when analyzed in this light they are not that different.

### They're compeltely different. The only time in training a boxer that a heart rate needs to be taken is perhaps upon waking up in the morning in order to determine stress levels.

jumping rope and calf training

What about the rope being used anerobically for intervals?

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

the9thwonder wrote:
What about the rope being used anerobically for intervals?

If you get a heavy rope, it's "ok." But it's nothing special. In the good, better best continuum, it's better than nothing, but not as good as other methods, and definately not best.

Throwing a cinder block is a much better conditioner.

jumping rope and calf training

Or hitting a tire with a sledge hammer

jumping rope and calf training

There are numerous points of commonality with what I was recommending for a boxer and what Doc had for Holyfield. Both have intervals, both have methods to increase coordination. Both work a variety of heart rate zones, and both emphasize heart rate as a means of recovery ability. Remember, my post (and the link) gets at the heart rates for improving boxing endurance, the intervals are not prescribed!

The routine I was advocating would take advantage of recovery workouts such as a short jog. THis is the main point of differentiation. Contrary to what many think, a 5 mile jog should be very easy for anybody who does not have shin splints once they have acclimated their muscles to running (don't go out and run 5 miles right now if you haven't run in years, your shins and thighs will hurt like heck) Also, as I mentioned, I would prefer somebody ride a bike as it has less of a pounding impact on the body.

Furthermore, most boxers are not in the heavyweight class, and making weight is obviously of the utmost importance. LSE (long steady endurance) is an excellent means of burning calories without taxing the Central Nervous System, allowing a boxer to focus on what is really important! Build up a simple base level of aerobic fitness and you can literally do LSE for hours without detriment to performance. Not that you would want to, mind you! A 5 mile JOG for me at a heart rate of 130 would take about 35 minutes. A boxer should be able to complete a 5 mile jog at a heart rate of 130 in 50 minutes or so without too much trouble. The boxers that are running or doing aerobic work for longer than this probably should have paid more attention to their weight previously!

Again, personally I would advocate riding a bike, as the heart rate is more easily controlled on a bicycle. It is very easy while jogging to go too fast, and the heart rates climb...this defeats the purpose of a recovery workout.

The problem arises when the heart rate is not monitored. Too often the athlete engages in a jog and it turns in a 160+ anaerobic run. THis burns the athlete out too quickly. A recovery workout is a recovery AID.

THis is my last post on the topic as this thread is supposed to be about jumping rope, so I apologize for leading us off track!!!

Todd Wilson's picture

jumping rope and calf training

The routine I was advocating would take advantage of recovery workouts such as a short jog.

### A short jog doesn't necessarily improve recovery. Besides, there are many more worthwhile modalities to improve recovery.

THis is the main point of differentiation. Contrary to what many think, a 5 mile jog should be very easy for anybody who does not have shin splints once they have acclimated their muscles to running (don't go out and run 5 miles right now if you haven't run in years, your shins and thighs will hurt like heck)

### Being easy or difficult has no bearing on whether or not it will improve the performance of an athlete or the overall health of a fitness enthusiast. SInce it will not achieve either goal, again what would the reasoning behind doing it be?

Also, as I mentioned, I would prefer somebody ride a bike as it has less of a pounding impact on the body.

### Please go read the archives, as I've gone over all of this before. Aerobic work is useless except for aerobic sports.

Furthermore, most boxers are not in the heavyweight class, and making weight is obviously of the utmost importance. LSE (long steady endurance) is an excellent means of burning calories

### It is the absolute WORST way! Man has not invented a worst way to attempt to "burn calories."

without taxing the Central Nervous System,

### Long Slow Distance (LSD....I hear it gives you hallucinations too), is terrible for the nervous system. It essentially dampens it. Japanese research has shown that as VO2 increases, vertical jumping ability decreases. It's most certainly damaging to the nervous system of someone who wants to achieve maximal strength, power, and speed improvements for their sport.

allowing a boxer to focus on what is really important! Build up a simple base level of aerobic fitness and you can literally do LSE for hours without detriment to performance.

### Wrong, it taxes recovery, it dampens the CNS, decreases recovery, can induce unnecessary injury, increases caloric needs, etc., etc., etc. Read the archives. You've been sold the old standard line about the mythological aerobic base for fitness. It makes perfect sense until it's questioned in the light of science and empirical evidence.

What about if you work the

What about if you work the crap out of your calves and then follow up with hard jump rope, ala Charles Poliquin (only he recommends jump squats instead)?

Todd Wilson's picture

If you can jump rope after

If you can jump rope after "working the crap" out of your calves you haven't done crap. Get a better workout program.