Former Champion Boxer Reveals 6 Core Jump Rope Exercises

Those Victoria’s Secret angels and Sports Illustrated models you’re always ogling… you can thank Michael Olajide, Jr. for sculpting many of their bodies. But while the former champion boxer and co-founder of Aerospace in New York City is a go-to for countless top models, he’s also a go-to for celebrities like Will Smith, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Hugh Jackman. In fact, odds are if you don’t spot him at Aerospace, he’s on set training one of said A-listers. Given that the foundation of Olajide’s workout is the jump rope and that he’s often heard saying, “Real men jump rope,” we asked the former top-ranked middleweight boxing champion to demonstrate six of his signature moves and give us some general tips to help master this on-the-go fitness tool. Check-out the above video and follow along with Olajide’s directions below.

The basic aerojump

It is the launching pad for all Aerojump jump rope maneuvers and you must master this before going into any other jump rope maneuver. Mastery means 3 minutes of the non stop basic-jump. How to: one turn/one jump. The wrist is the engine that’s what controls the speed of the rope, your feet must leave the ground quick enough that the rope doesn’t hit them. Time the rope so just as the rope is coming down to your feet you take a small hop over the rope. Not too high. Stay on the ball of your feet. Heel never touches the ground. Feet slightly bend on impact. Try to get 4 jumps in a row. Build up gradually from there.

The downhill racer


Source: Aerospace

Jump at the same pace as the basic jump, but this time let your lower body moves from left to right simulating a skier skiing downhill. Again stay on the ball of the feet. Keep your abs tight for control. Make the side side move slight at first and as you get more comfortable you can get wider.

The aerocrossover

This move takes more timing from the upper body. It challenges your mind and works your pecs. As you are leaving the ground your arms simultaneously cross your body and then come back to their start position, same height as the waist and wider than the body, as you land. Try not to hesitate with this move. It appears harder than it is. Again, slow it down until you understand the timing and SEE the rope, then jump the rope.



The aerojump double turn

The Double Turn is an Aerojump maneuver that feels more like you are sprinting than jumping rope. Patience and repetition are what’s needed to jump twice as high and turn twice as fast. Stay on the ball of your feet and try to control your landing. Start with the basic jump jump for a count of 7. On 8, jump high and speed up the rope as you are leaving the ground. The rope must make 2 complete rotations around your body and then you land.

The aerorun

Keep your hands waist level. Start off with the basic jump. Lift your right knee up in the air for a count of 4 then come back to the basic jump for a count of 4. Repeat the move but this time raise your left knee for a 4 count. Once that feels familiar, begin to alternate legs immediately. Remember, one turn, one jump. The Aerorun is like jogging on the spot but the knees come up high- above the waist level. Because of the bigger effort to lift the legs, this move will tax you more. So be ready to suck wind!



The aero sideopen (semi squat)

This move blasts your cardio system yet simultaneously sculpts your upper and lower body with a muscle endurance move.  As you drop into a semi squat both hands go to the right. As you come up from the squat your left hand comes over to your left and opens up the rope giving you a loop to jump over. Remember to stay on the ball of your feet. Abs engaged. Start really slow with this maneuver and gradually pick up your speed so it becomes one continuous high speed maneuver

As a general rule of thumb, to determine the appropriate length of your rope, Olajide recommends stepping on the middle with both of your feet together. Then, he says, pull both handles up; if the handles go higher than your armpits, you need to adjust the rope and make it shorter. The trainer himself makes two ropes: the Aerorainmaker and the AeroBlizzard, which are both fully adjustable for any height up to 6-foot-4. Ball bearing handles allow for a smooth turn and they’re made with a poly-nylon cord so they maintain their natural arc no matter how fast or slow you jump. The Aeroblizzard comes with weights in the handles that up the workload causing you to burn more calories, while allowing you to maintain speed because of the aforementioned poly-nylon cord.

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