Class Review: Whiplash

27th June

My brief forays into the world of skipping past the age of ten have mostly served to remind me how much fitter I was as a child, but I also know that I used to be queen of the playground, so I was kind of excited to see how I got on with a class based around the mighty skipping rope.

First things first, thumbs up to Gymbox for keeping the numbers down on the class size. Most of us know the pain of being squashed into a studio for an exercise class (at other gyms, of course!) where you spend more time trying not to hit people in the head with a wayward limb than getting your workout done, so it was nice to find that, with a load of skipping ropes flying around, we had the space to get on with it.

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The warm up set the scene, focussing on getting our legs ready for a lot (and I mean a lot) of jumping up and down, and then it was straight in.

We started with two 15-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions of 40 seconds work, ten seconds rest, swapping between bodyweight movements and skipping. The bodyweight exercises covered every muscle group, switching up between lunges, squats, walk outs, push ups and core exercises, yet they still felt like respite from the skipping.

Speaking of which.

There was fast skipping, one-foot-at-a-time skipping, skipping while twisting, and skipping with high knees, which was very nearly the death of me. My abs, my thighs and my lungs had no idea what was going on, and neither did my hands and feet if the number of times I kicked the rope is anything to go by.

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If your hand-eye-feet coordination also leaves something to be desired though, don’t let the acrobatics put you off. You’re always given the option to revert to basic skipping, which is a ridiculously good workout on its own, but you also might surprise yourself if you give things a try. It turns out I can twist and skip, but I definitely can’t do double-unders. Just no. Terrifying. And while there were some people in the class doing impressive skipping rope sorcery, there were also those of us who were just trying not to hit ourselves with the ropes too many times.

To finish off we paired up to do an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) session, with one partner skipping as the other completed a series of squats and push-ups. A few minutes of that flew by as we raced around between mats and ropes, and by the end, I was very ready for the thorough cool down.

I was disappointed to find out I wasn’t the best in class at skipping (all my playground competitiveness came roaring to the surface the second I picked up my rope), but I did thoroughly enjoy the chance to have a play around and indulge my inner child while getting a decent workout in at the same time. My one tip? Make sure you stretch your calves at the end. Then stretch them again. Your next-day self will thank me!

You can follow Louise on Instagram and Twitter @iamlouisesmith

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