While many people associate jumping rope with children on a playground, the fact is that the history of jumping rope dates back to early human history. From the early days of jumping rope to today, the sport has evolved considerably and is now a competitive sport.
Known as skipping rope, skipping rope, jumping rope, and hopping, the activity dates back to ancient civilizations.
Egyptians jumped on lianas, Aborigines jumped on bamboo, and paintings from medieval times show images of children jumping hoops. Many people associate jumping rope with a girl’s game, but history indicates that jumping rope was originally a man’s game.
No one knows the exact history of jumping rope. There are several versions of the sport’s history. What is known, however, is that the practice originated long ago and eventually traveled around the world to become a popular pastime, a favorite form of exercise, and a competitive sport.
The first days
The jumping motion is natural. People jump for sport, fun and even survival, like jumping to avoid being bitten by a dangerous animal. Most researchers of jump rope history seem to agree that jumping rope dates back to around 1600 BC, when the Egyptians used climbing vines for jumping.
Some also date jumping rope to ancient China; however, Western versions probably originated in Egypt. What is known is that jumping rope, in one form or another, spread through Europe to the Netherlands and eventually to North America.
The early Dutch settlers were some of the first jump ropers in North America. Not surprisingly, one of the most popular jumping games is called ‘Double Dutch’. In this game, two people hold two ropes and spin them in opposite directions. The jumpers then jump into and over both ropes.
In the early 1940s and 1950s, many inner-city children used jumping rope as a form of play. It only required one string, and anyone could play. However, from the late 1950s to the 1970s, the history of jumping rope took a backseat to radio and television.
jump rope revitalized
In the 1970s, an increased interest in fitness and general health emerged. From programs that promote jumping rope to keep kids from other unhealthy activities, to organized jump rope events that made the history of jumping rope craze.
Since then, jumping rope has been recognized as a great way to exercise. It’s a fun activity, almost anyone can do it, and it requires very little equipment. Serious jumpers have developed a number of complex jumping movements and combinations.
All forms of jumping, from the solo jump to the multi-person Double Dutch jump, involve highly technical movements and amazing acrobatics.
Jump rope organizations and clubs can be found almost anywhere. Jump rope competitions are serious business, requiring a specific time and a high level of skill. With continued interest in jumping rope as an exercise option and as a sport, the history of jumping rope may be a thing of the past.
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