Use a wide-open space to give every person plenty of room to move.
Ask everyone to bend down and pick up an (imaginary) skipping rope placed in front of them.
By way of demonstration, step inside the rope and start rotating the rope over your body as if skipping, slowly at first, then increasing your pace.
Invite your group to follow your lead, as you demonstrate a wide variety of skipping rope moves, one after another, eg turn rope as many times in one rotation, turn rope backwards, double-dutch, etc.
Continue for 1 to 2 minutes, or until you or your group is exhausted.
Video Transcript for Skipping Rope
presented by Mark Collard
And quite by chance where you happen to be standing, you’ll note that at your feet is a piece of rope. If you wouldn’t mind just bending down and picking up the two ends of it, shaking it out, and you’ll note that it looks like a skipping rope but it’s obviously something that you’re imagining.
So without tripping over, step into it first of all. Okay, great. Excellent.
Over it so you don’t… That’s it. It will depend on how big your rope is. And just gently start to turn and rotate the rope over your head and jump. And again, try not to skip over it or trip over it. Are you ready? Here we go.
If you’ve ever done skip rope, one of the horrible parts of skipping rope is of course that you often trip up.
As you get more comfortable start to pick up the pace a little bit. Pick up the pace. Very good. That’s it. Excellent. Now go backwards. Go backwards. Skip backwards so the rope comes the other direction.
Move about the room now. So move about the room as you’re skipping. Make sure you don’t whip anybody else. That’s it. Skip around.
Double dutch so cross it in front of you as you skip. You can go backwards if you want. That’s it. Good job. Alright. Okay, just skip in space, just in spot for a moment.
Now let me just demonstrate this next one for you because it’s often quite difficult to count, but if you were to playback the frames per second, you’ll know what’s about to happen here.
Nine rotations as I jump through it, folks. See how many rotations you can make as you jump between. Are you ready? Here we go. That was nine again. How many did you go? How many?
Twenty seven! It’s a record over there. Okay, very good. Jumping, jumping, jumping.
Jump on one foot now around the room, still not tripping up on the rope. That’s it. Swap the other foot. Other foot. Okay.
Now jump inside somebody else’s rope, they will jump inside yours. Try not to trip up. Jump inside someone’s rope. Here we go.
Go back to back now. Try not to trip up again.
Find someone new. Jump out of that, jump into a new one. Here we go.
Alright, jump out. Jump out. Just go back to slow jumping now if you wish back to the circle. I’d like you now in a moment, just identify someone on the other side of the circle as you’re turning the rope very slowly.
For example I can see Bea, Bea can see me. Okay, here’s the object. For the final bit is that as you’re skipping, go back to the normal pace, in a moment is that it’s going to look like this. You go back to the normal pace.
You will throw your rope to Bea, or to whoever your partner is, and Bea will throw her rope to me. We will catch it and continue as if we’re still skipping with that rope.
So you do it on same count as you are ready. So Bea are you ready? Just to demonstrate what this will look like. Are you ready?
One, two, three. Here we go! And you continue with it. Go! Swap with your partner, whoever that person is.
That’s it. Try not to trip up. Very good.
How To Play Narrative
Ever tripped up on a skipping rope? Then this one’s for you.
Spread your group out, way out, and ask everyone to bend down in front of them and pick up their very own skipping rope.
When they observe you do this and pick up what appears to be nothing, yet shake it out as if you really were holding a rope in front, they’ll soon get the idea.
Start off slowly by turning the (imaginary) rope over your body a few times. Once you have warmed up and become accustomed to the pace and responsive qualities of your rope, try these illusions on for size:
Skip rope as fast as you can as you move about the area.
Skip on one foot at a time.
Spin your rope as many times as possible in one jump. Shout out your record.
Cross the rope in front of you as you jump, ie ‘double dutch.’
Spin your rope backwards.
Skip up to another person and introduce them inside your rope, skipping in time together, and vice versa. Start by facing one another, then go back to back.
Within a minute or two, you’ll be puffed out, and warmed-up ready to move on.
Practical Leadership Tips
Naturally, as there is no actual skipping rope involved, the success of this exercise relies entirely on your commitment and enthusiasm to believe you are holding a rope.
It’s nigh impossible to get this warm-up wrong. Focus entirely on encouraging your group to have a go, play, be creative and move their bodies. Do this, and success will surely follow.
You could use real skipping ropes for this activity, but I’d recommend against it. Apart from the obvious issues of entanglement, there’s no way it would be half as much fun.
For the record, did you know it was possible to jump rope 332 times in one minute? Yep, just ask Beci Dale from the UK, who performed this extraordinary feat in 2011, smashing the previous record by 78 jumps! I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Throwing Rope: Face another person who is perhaps a few metres away, and toss your rope to them mid-skip as they toss theirs to you. Aim to keep your partner’s rope spinning as you catch it.
Skip Your Way: Ask your group to create and demonstrate some unique skipping rope moves.
Group Skipping: Take a look at Turnstyles to explore a real skipping rope exercise with dynamic team-building possibilities.
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Useful Framing Ideas
If you’ve ever tried to skip a skipping rope, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s easy to trip up on the rope. But not anymore, try this exercise out…
Ever wished you could do something with perfection? Never make a mistake? Well, here you go, I have the perfect exercise for you, and I guarantee you won’t trip up…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this playful warm-up exercise:
How quickly did you feel a little exhausted?
Which was the most enjoyable imaginary exercise? Why?
Can you think of more ways to rotate a skipping rope over your body?