Has anyone had any luck with skipping rope as a means of stimulating calf growth, either as the sole means of training calves or in conjunction with more traditional resistance training?
Is hopping up and down on one leg or both legs without rope a viable alternative to skipping rope? I recall it being the last stage of a 6 or 7 exercise Ian King calf giant set program. I tried a few sets of 1 minute single leg hops yesterday and my calves are sore as hell today.[/quote]
I’ve done a ton of both jumping rope and with a routine of jumping up and crossing the legs back and forth and up and down, mixing it all in. I’ll tell you it’s verry good for coordination and being light on your feet if you’re into martial arts or boxing. It’s also fantastic aerobically, about 3x as effective as jogging. And it’s a great overall warm-up. It’s also a great way to get rid of gas before you find yourself locked up in a car on a date.
Both those exercises carry over very well into running on difficult surfaces, like deep sand, which really kills the calves even of people who run like crazy, but just aren’t used to sand.
It will make your calves somewhat bigger, but it’s mostly endurance work. Therefore, though these exercises are absolutely superb, they’re not superb for what it looks like you want.
That said, I’ve done quite a bit of jumping rope on one leg, and that is definitely a great calf-burner. Still, I think you’ll rapidly get to the point where you’re strong enough that you can do so many jumps that the majority of the training tilts toward endurance, not strength or mass. If not, I would have had huge body builder calves long, long ago. And I don’t.
For strength or mass, you’re going to need to move more weight, and probably a lot fewer times.