Instead of Running Should You… Skip?
We’ll answer that question right away and say no, probably not, and for the same reason we don’t suggest a treadmill desk or riding around on a unicycle: we respect you too much.
But there’s a study that almost might make us change our minds.
Scientists recruited 30 subjects, men and women, and “taught” them how to skip; which just means that they made sure they were properly doing it and not just trying to imitate their children.
Then they measured the effects of skipping compared to running as well as the results it produced, according to this article:
The study authors found that running produces nearly two times the peak force on the patella or kneecap compared to skipping. The average peak force on the tibiofemoral joint (the knee hinge where the femur, tibia, and patella meet) is 30 percent greater in people who run compared to people who skip.
It also, supposedly, burns even more calories than running in the same amount of time.
So humility be damned, it’s time to start skipping, right?
Well, not quite yet. The article also mentions that you are definitely slower skipping than running, so if you’re considering replicating your favorite running route it’s gonna take you significantly longer. And while it may be better for some parts of your body, your ankles and calves may prefer a run.
Also, skipping on a treadmill is bad news.
So should you pursue a combination of skipping and running instead? The researchers say yes – that being healthy is more important than being cool. Now – before you decide to go skipping your town, we have some advice for our readers. Incorporate skipping into your interval training/running workouts. At Cardio High we set up mini obstacle courses using plyo boxes, aerobic steps, and a ballet barre (for ducking under). We encourage clients to mix in backwards shuffling, speed walking, carioca, and skipping. Outside of Cardio High we encourage clients to incorporate varied gait movement (backwards running, skipping etc.) on flat ground and in short bursts – ideally at a track (where skipping might be less foolish looking).
For more ideas on creative ways to move we suggest viewing some of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks: