5 Things You Need To Know About Rope Flow For Beginners
Hello everyone! My name is Slush, creator of Slushropes, and I’m a huge advocate of the rope flow practice! If you clicked on this blog, chances are you’re curious about rope flow or want to learn more!
Rope flow is one of the most exciting movement practices I’ve discovered as it not only touches on fitness, but also into flow arts!
Rope flow was systemized for mobility, AKA made to help our ability to move our body better.
In my personal journey, I’ve also discovered that rope flow also helps with our mental health! The mental health aspect for me is why I continue to practice it every single day.
Whether your intentions are to be a better athlete or simply have a hobby that’s GREAT for your brain, rope flow gives us both!
Now let’s get into it!
Here are the 5 Things You Need To Know About Rope Flow For Beginners!
#1 What is rope flow? (And is it the same as jumping rope?)
It’s safe to say that most people in the world have an idea of what a jump rope looks like. Even if you’ve never jumped rope before, I bet that you at least have an idea or an image of what you’d do if you were to pick up a pair of jump ropes on the floor.
So for 3 seconds, I want you to imagine yourself using a jump rope.
What image or action comes to mind?
Did you see yourself jumping over the rope? I bet you did, and if not that’s all good!
This is probably the best place to start when learning what rope flow is - and maybe what it isn’t. When I talk about rope flow, especially when introducing it to people who may have never seen it before, I use jump rope as a point of reference! Not only is it because it’s more familiar, but it’s also because that’s how I ended up in the rope flow community in the first place - through jump ropes!
As a rule of thumb, there are some core principles of rope flow that separates it from jump rope.
The first one being is that we don’t jump the rope. This is probably the first thing that most people will notice when comparing rope flow to jump rope.
Personally for me, I don’t see myself as a purist meaning that from time to time I will jump the rope. But for the sake of expanding on what rope flow is we’ll agree that in rope flow, we don’t jump the rope.
The second thing you need to know about rope flow is how native the side to side sweep actions are, something that isn’t as prominent when jumping rope. If you’re wondering what the side to side sweep actions look like, let’s do a quick exercise.
Look to your left, then look to your right. Now repeat that!
Think of this as looking at your east and west.
These directions are going to be very important later on but that’s for another video!
One of the best examples for this is a pattern called “Dragon Roll”!
In jump rope, the most basic YET important skill we learn is the open swing. This is essentially you jumping over the rope, with the rope moving forward or in front of you.
In rope flow, being that we don’t jump the rope, we turn to the Dragon Roll which is essentially the equivalent of an open swing in jump rope. Equivalent meaning, it’s the go-to or default pattern to do. Without learning the dragon roll, it becomes limiting when it comes to expanding our rope flow vocabulary. The dragon roll is going to be the most fundamental skill you need to learn in order to work yourself up to more complex patterns and movements.
Honestly, even if we were to learn only one pattern from rope flow, the Dragon Roll is the most powerful movement we can download in our system.
By the way, in case you’re looking to learn how to do the Dragon Roll I have an entire playlist called Slushrope’s Rad Rudiments that’s completely free on my YouTube Channel! My playlist is perfect for anyone who wants to go straight into learning, without the extra chit chat, and looking for slow mo demonstrations!
The last thing you need to know about rope flow is how it was systemized by David Weck, creator of the famous Bosu Ball, in the early 2000s. From my research and understanding, rope flow was systemized to help athletes perform at their most optimal state. How so? By incorporating mobility in one’s training.
In case the word mobility is new to you, you’re not alone! In fact, mobility training is something that’s fairly newer in the fitness industry. I don’t want to assume that everyone watching this video is a fitness expert or a coach, so the way I like to explain mobility is simply the ability to move our body better.
From a training perspective, mobility training isn’t enough but when combined with other types of training such as stability and strength training, one can really improve their overall athleticism!
This practice has been around for decades but didn’t really reach worldwide popularity until the pandemic. With gyms being closed down, equipments being out of stock, most people turned to jump ropes and flow ropes since they were the most accessible at that time!
#2 Benefits Of Rope Flow
There are SO many benefits that come with rope flow.
The very first thing that comes to mind is the fact that it’s LOW IMPACT! Yes, you heard me! Low impact! High impact physical activities are exercises that involve jumping, bouncing or any movements that put stress on the joints and bones. These activities are typically considered high impact because they require the body to generate significant force and have a greater potential to cause injury than low-impact activities.
Some examples of high impact physical activities include:
- Running or jogging
- Jumping jacks
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Step aerobics
- Skipping rope
- Hiking or trekking on uneven terrain
- Basketball, volleyball or other court sports
- Dance classes that involve jumping or high-impact movements
- Martial arts or kickboxing.
Because we don’t jump the rope, we eliminate the amount of stress our ankles and knees take!
The second notable benefit is increased range of motion.
When we combine flexibility and mobility, we have range of motion.
Range of motion exercises are designed to increase the flexibility of our joints, muscles, and ligaments, which can help improve our physical performance and reduce our risk of injury. By performing ROM exercises regularly, we can improve our joint mobility and increase our overall flexibility! All of this only help us move BETTER! MORE FREELY! MORE COMFORTABLY!
Examples of ROM exercises include stretching, yoga, and pilates. These exercises can help increase your range of motion in specific joints, such as your hips, shoulders, and spine. By improving your range of motion, you can also improve your posture, balance, and overall physical function.
Since we’re talking about ROM, I do want to say that it’s SO important that we listen to our body and know our limits. What’s comfortable for me might not be for you, and vice versa! Even though rope flow is low impact, please be aware of your own range and capacity! Take things at your own pace. If you find that you’re feeling pain when performing or practicing certain movements, immediately stop or dial it down.
As a rule of thumb, Rope flow should never provoke pain or discomfort in our bodies. The next benefit of rope flow is increased balance and coordination.
I can’t emphasize this enough but the rope keeps us honest. By practicing this modality, we can easily pin point in real time certain imbalances or leaks we may have in our body.
Whatever we practice on one side, we practice on the other. As someone who’s been practicing for years, I can tell you that I’ve had to work on my non dominant side harder just to get it close to even. It takes a very long time to get both sides even so while you’re fresh in your journey, always incorporate both sides! It’s easier to learn than unlearn.
I can probably go on and on talking about the benefits of rope flow but for the sake of this blog, I am going to share with you my personal favorite benefit: and that is experiencing flow state.
Flow state is the mental state we enter when (1) we are fully immersed, (2) focused, and (3) involved. When all of these factors are present, we find ourselves in flow state. Flow state is quite a paradox in itself, meaning two things coexisting at once. When we’re in flow state, time feels irrelevant. Time seems to stop. Or maybe even, long periods of time can feel like minutes.
#3 Know Your Why (Apply Rope Flow As it Resonates) Just like with everything in life, knowing and recognizing WHY you want to embark on your rope flow journey is pivotal to your next future steps! Your why keeps you going!
As someone who’s been in the community for years, I’ve seen rope flow evolve from its roots to this ever growing sub styles exploding all over the world.
So let me ask you this: WHY do you want to learn rope flow?
The answer for everyone will be different, and that’s exactly the point!
When I first started my journey, it was out of desperation! I was desperate to find something that involved the ropes as I was healing from a foot injury from jump rope. Through that, I found so much joy and release.
So for me, my WHY is simple. It’s super fun and it calms me. I use rope flow as a form of meditation as it allows me to cope with stress and release any bad energy stuck in my body. In other words, Rope flow is my therapy.
As you enter the rope flow community, you will meet SO many types of people (online) with different “WHY’s”. And want to encourage you to apply rope flow in your lifestyle as it resonates! A If you are working on becoming a better and more explosive athlete, apply rope flow for its physical mobility benefits! If you’re like me and you simply want to express and flow, apply it for its soul mobility benefits! It’s so important that you tailor it around YOU. Think of your needs and think of what you’d find the most beneficial because at the end of the day, it’s for you and not for anyone else!
#4 How To Get Getting Started (Flow Ropes and Flow Rope Alternatives)
I first started Slushropes as an instagram page to log all of my jump rope activities! I never intended for this to become a full time business so what I’m about to say can conventionally be seen as bad for business. But my desire to honor our community is more important than anything else. I genuinely believe that rope flow can help people heal, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I am a huge believer of the practice FIRST, before anything else.
I want to first recognize that everyone’s access looks different. Depending what part of the world you’re in, things may be easier or more difficult to reach. So with that said, here are some recommendations based on YOUR NEEDS! You can learn rope flow with just your hands! This cost $0.00 and requires you to buy nothing! This is what we call shadow rope flow. If you want to get started RIGHT NOW, you totally can wherever you are in the world!
or my favorite, a beaded jump rope! This can cost you very little money and since jump ropes are more popular chances are there is one at your local department or sporting goods store!
If you’re someone who has a lot of time and enjoy DIY experiences, go to a local hardware store, find a rope, and add a knot on each end to create your own handle! This can save you a lot of money especially if you aren’t sure if you’re going to stick to it.
If you want to get straight into learning and save time, I recommend that you check out my site (www.slushropes.com) for some of the best flow ropes in the game! I’ve gone thry t
As a rule of thumb, there isn’t truly a standarized metric that determines “the right rope” to start out with.
I’ve mentioned this in previous videos before but the right rope is the rope you feel most comfortable in. If there’s one thing I’d say about finding the right rope, it’s choosing what NOT to get for your first rope. A type of rope I wouldn’t recommend when starting out your journey is a heavy rope, or a Primal Rope. Regardless of your fitness strength, using a heavy rope as your first learning rope can lead to developing poor form and habits. Besides, in rope flow your main objective FIRST is to internalize and download patterns in your sleep. Think about that for a second. It’s not the weight of the rope that will lead you to develop your flow but rather the amount of reps you put in. The more reps, the more familiar it becomes to our brains. With that said, what do you think would be more effective? A rope that allows you to do more reps? Or a rope that requires more strength per rep?
As we’ve discussed, it is much easier to learn than to unlearn. There are many various types of flow ropes available and they vary from color, to weight, to sizes, and combinations in between so I totally understand how overwhelming it could be. If you’re looking for a standard flow rope that’s tried and true, both by beginners and professionals, I would recommend the Snow Milk Mamba or Slush Mamba off of my site! They are perfect for any style and any skill level, this one will surely not disappoint! #5 Feeling Is Knowing (Listen To Your Body)
Last but not the least, in rope flow: Feeling Is Knowing. In conventional fitness, we hear things such as mind to muscle connection. In unconventional fitness such as rope flow, FEELING IS KNOWING. I recognize that most people watching this video may have zero to very little rope flow experience and if I could go back in time, I would tell myself to trust and lean more on what feels right over what I think it should look like. The fine tuning happens throughout time!
Feelings and emotions are so hard to measure and I totally understand why “feeling” this or that might sound almost non sensical however, there are gravitational laws that rope flow abides by and this is found in the x, y,, and z axis. This might seem like a mathematical or geometrical theory but it’s true. There are lines in which the rope will naturally flow from and gravitate to. This is something we can dive deeper into for a separate video but for now just remember that Feeling Is Knowing. Thank you guys SO much for reading this blog! If you enjoyed this, please make sure to subscribe and check out my site to get our own Slurps! www.slushropes.com