by Benjamin Higgs

Nina Cherie Franklin | Healthy Living Coach and Wellness Expert

Nina Cherie Franklin | Healthy Living Coach and Wellness Expert

Breath, Skip and Grip: An Exercise Scientist’s Take on the Value of SkipGrips
Like many, as a kid I absolutely loved to skip rope. Back then, I didn’t even know about all the wonderful health and wellness benefits offered by this easy, yet highly effective, low-impact activity. As an adult I still do my fair share of rope skipping, but more so for exercise purposes. Needless to say, when asked, I was eager to try out SkipGrips, a simple and innovative piece of exercise equipment that incorporates rope skipping and hand gripping into a single activity.

Though I regularly engage in resistance training, up to this point I’d never used resistance while rope skipping. After regularly using SkipGrips for my own exercise purposes and vetting it against the science, I can honestly say that it’s a solid piece of equipment that’s not only easy to use, convenient and budget-friendly, but it can also work wonders for many areas of health and wellness – whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior or new to exercise.

The Novelty of SkipGrips
A novel piece of equipment, SkipGrips are intrinsically designed to boost cardiovascular health and improve muscular endurance and strength through a combination of skipping, gripping and, interestingly, breathing. While each has its own unique benefits, it’s the combination of the three that makes ‘skip gripping’ a one-of-a-kind exercise that’s of great value. To help you understand the potential benefits of SkipGrips, I’ll first break down the individual benefits of each exercise component.
Rope Skipping

Skipping rope every day for even a brief period of time is known to improve cardiovascular disease risk factors, physical coordination and calorie-burning potential in ways that support weight loss and long-term weight management. By itself, however, traditional rope skipping does little to improve muscular function. Muscular function is essentially a combination of strength, or the maximum amount of force that a muscle can exert against some form of resistance in a single effort, and endurance, which refers to the amount of time a muscle can exert against a resistance without getting exhausted. This is where hand gripping comes in.

Hand Gripping
Though the movement is limited to the hands, and, therefore, may seem as if its benefits are limited to this area, hand gripping is so much more than that. Hand gripping exerts a great deal of force on the muscles of the wrists and forearms. For a lot of people, these muscles are the weakest links when it comes to both muscular strength and endurance-related activities. This is especially true for common upper body exercises like pushups, pull ups and deadlifts. Therefore, building up strength in the wrists and forearms with hand gripping exercise, can inherently improve the ability to perform such exercises with less effort and for longer periods of time.

Deep Breathing
Finally, there’s deep breathing, which, even in the absence of exercise, naturally lowers heart rate, reduces blood pressure and relaxes the muscles in ways that support both cardiovascular and mental health. Combining breathing with physical exercise can greatly enhanced these benefits. It’s no mystery that working out can be both physically and mentally tough and tiring. However, breathing while working out can inherently help the body exert a lot more energy with less effort. This is a science-backed benefit that’s often overlooked.

Potential Effectiveness of SkipGrips
Considering all the benefits associated with skipping, gripping and breathing, in relation to sports and other forms of physical exercise, I think a clear rationale for using SkipGrips lies in their potential to improve cardiovascular health, muscular function and stamina (both physical and mental), thereby improving the overall energy cost associated with exercise. SkipGrips can be especially beneficial for sports like golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, boxing and even rock climbing, the latter two of which require a lot of cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
SkipGrips can also be an effective conditioning tool for seniors capable of skipping rope. Aging comes with inevitable losses in cardiovascular and muscular function along with declines in bone density. Through its unique movement combination, SkipGrips might very well protect against rapid age-related declines. As gripping exercise itself is known to help lessen common symptoms of arthritis including pain, fatigue and functional declines, SkipGrips could also be of benefit to seniors with arthritis-associated limitations.

Just Breathe, Skip and Grip
As an exercise scientist, healthy living coach and recreational athlete I’m all about making physical activity easy, affordable and approachable for all age groups and skill levels. SkipGrips meet each of these criteria, working the body and mind through deep breathing and a coordinated set of highly functional movements that are fun, engaging and highly effective. I’ve used them, I like them and I’d definitely recommend them. Just Breathe, skip and grip and you’ll feel the magic happen.


  1. Bahenský P, Bunc V, Malátová R, Marko D, Grosicki GJ, Schuster J. Impact of a Breathing Intervention on Engagement of Abdominal, Thoracic and Subclavian Musculature during Exercise, a Randomized Trial. J Clin Med. 2021 Aug, 10;10(16):3514.
  2. Kim J, Son W-M, Headid RJ III, Pekas EJ, Noble JM, Park S-Y. The effects of a 12-week jump rope exercise program on body composition, insulin sensitivity and academic self-efficacy in obese adolescent girls. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2020, Jan;33(1):129-137
  3. McGrath R, Vincent BM, Jurivich DA, Hackney KJ, Tomkinson GR, Dahl LJ, Clark BC. Handgrip Strength Asymmetry and Weakness Together Are Associated with Functional Disability in Aging Americans. Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021, Jan 18;76(2):291-296.