Category Archives: Fitness Equipment

Yes, we have a rope jumping instructional DVD!

Yes, we have a rope jumping instructional DVD!

Nearly four years in the making at a cost of countless millions, Rope Jumping for Maximum Fitness is finally a reality. Okay, we’re kidding about the countless millions, but there’s no doubt that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the project.

Lovingly directed and shot by Cynthia Malaran, the 74-minute DVD was shot on location at Location One, an art gallery in Soho and stars two time Punk Rope Games champ, Howard Wu, Beastanetics all-star, Heather Wagner, and Tim and Shana. Alfred and Tonka appear courtesy of their agents.

The DVD focuses on rope jumping basics and provides detailed instructions on how to perform more than 20 steps, which improve timing, coordination, agility, speed, endurance, power, strength, and more. Also covered are how to fix common mistakes, proper warm-up and cooldown protocols, and some simple exercises, which help ward off injury.

56 minutes of the video are devoted to instruction and 18 minutes to an actual workout, which is fueled by the sonic boom of New York-based bands Alice Texas, ps xo, The Likely Hoods, and The Shalitas.

The physical DVD is available for $15.00 (and includes the Jump Rope Made Easy PDF Manual) or as a digital download for $6.00.

You can check out the DVD trailer by clicking here.

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Thumbs Up or Down for the Five Fingers?

Thumbs Up or Down for the Five Fingers?

About a year ago I tried on my first pair of Five Fingers (the KSO model). After all, I had to experience firsthand what all the hype was about.

Stupidly, I asked the salesman if I should wear my regular socks. He looked at me as if I had three heads and then I realized my error. You can’t wear traditional socks with the Five Fingers as each toe has a home to rest in. After that gaffe, I proceeded, with caution, to put on the shoes. I had a tough time getting my toes to cooperate, but eventually, they found the right openings and all was right in the world. Next, I bounced around, jogged in place, did a few tuck jumps, and concluded that I would take a pass. I just wasn’t all that impressed.

But several months later it seemed like everybody and their mother, including my partner Shana, was wearing the Five Fingers so I gave them another shot and broke down and bought a pair. I figured what’s the worst that could happen?

The “worst” turned out to be pretty bad. I wore them about a dozen times for rope jumping, but was careful not to wear them for too long at a stretch as I knew my feet had to adapt to them slowly. I also wore them a number of other times for the boot camp class that I teach. So I wasn’t particularly worried when I wore them to do a rope jumping instructional DVD, but I should have been. After a few minutes of hard jumping, I felt a distinct pain on the top of my left foot. This was something I had never experienced before. The ONLY thing different from the thousands of other times that I’ve jumped was that I was wearing the Five Fingers. The pain eventually went away, but it took several weeks.

Well maybe it was me as I hate to blame a pair of shoes, but a few weeks ago the exact same thing happened to Shana, who had wearing the Five Fingers regularly for months. She’s still in pain, although it’s gradually subsiding.

I don’t yet have a scientific explanation, but I suspect that having the toes separated is not necessarily a good thing for all athletes. Imagine that you’re a boxer and you’re given a new glove to try out, which has separate slots for each finger. With your first punch, you’d likely do some serious damage, to your hand, not your opponent.

I still like minimal shoes, but for now I’ll stick with wrestling shoes and racing flats. Maybe one day I’ll give the Five Fingers another shot, but for now I’m content to keep my toes together as one happy family.

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