Developing lateral agility, foot speed and coordination are important for weekend warriors, recreational athletes and competitive athletes alike. Jumping rope is an excellent way to improve all of these things along with general athleticism. In addition, it is a very effective tool for improving overall conditioning and endurance for people of all ages and abilities. The slalom exercise is generally considered a beginner jumping skill, but it can be used with intermediate and advanced clients as well.
Begin with traditional double leg jumps (single unders) and establish a comfortable rhythm. Next, jump to the left and then back to the right. Repeat this sequence focusing on light, rhythmic motion while maintaining a cadence and distance that allows for good form.

Focus on keeping the head up, shoulders relaxed and the arms/hands in the same position throughout the movement. Perform this for 30-60 seconds. Rest one minute and repeat for 3-4 sets.

This exercise promotes lateral agility and quickness, while increasing endurance. The ability to change direction and cut side-to-side in sport is essential. The CrossRope Jump Rope is an excellent tool to maximize jumping performance. The quick handles and nylon rope provides a smooth consistent jumping experience, not to mention the 4 oz rope can be used on indoor and outdoor surfaces.

Increasing time, decreasing rest time between intervals and eventually progressing to a lighter speed rope (more repetitions) are all ways to progress the slalom exercise.

Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor for EXOS API at Raleigh Orthopaedic. Brian conducts live continuing education webinars and presents nationally at professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more information on his products and services, visit