Skipping uses more power than running
It was an activity done for hours in the playground, but it seems adults are just too lazy to skip.
Scientists have discovered that skipping – a great cardio workout – actually expends more energy than running; however they suggest adults avoid it because it’s simply too much effort.
Researchers from the University of Jena in Germany found skipping uses up about 24 per cent more power than running at the same speed. And while skipping may be a great fat burner, it’s also not popular among adults as they may fear it makes them look childish.
They look at 10 men shipping on a 40ft runway, using reflective markers on their joints which fell when the body grew less stable. It was revealed that adults require more energy to skip because muscles like the gluteus maximus, which rotates the hip, do not have the long tendons found lower in the leg. The body is then forced to work harder rather than if the power generated came from the ankle.
“Alternative to walking and running, humans are able to skip. However, adult humans avoid it,” explained the study researchers. “This fact seems to be related to the higher energetic costs associated with skipping. Still, children, some birds, lemurs and lizards use skipping gaits during daily locomotion.”
The team identified a strategy to combat the increase of power needed, and conserving energy. Exercisers should aim to skip more efficiently by keeping the trailing leg, which lands first after jumping and propels the body, in a stiff posture. This allows longer strides using the same amount of energy. By keeping the leading leg in a slightly stiffer position, it acts as a brake, and also helps to cope with sudden drops.