When the world went into lockdown in 2020 and gyms closed, many people turned to skipping to keep fit (and sane).

The low-tech and low-cost jump rope quickly became a popular exercise tool, with jump ropers taking to social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to learn new skills and share their moves.

As a result, skipping rope sales soared. Two global manufacturers reported exponential sales in 2020 – Elevate Rope reported that revenue increased by 240% while Crossrope increased sales four fold over the previous year.

Athlete stats:

  1. Age: 26
  2. Lives: Cape Town
  3. Career: Grade 5 Teacher
  4. IG: ciara_jumps

Jump for fitness

And the trend took hold in South Africa, too. Evox-sponsored Ciara Glaum dedicated her instagram page to skipping in August 2020 (check out @ciara_jumps) after she developed her basic skipping skills and mastered a few footwork routines.

I had a rope at home and I could do basic skipping but I was intrigued by all the different tricks you could do with a rope,” explains Ciara.

After getting more moves right, Ciara started posting about the benefits and now shares tutorials with her over 6,000-strong following.

I wanted to show people how much fun you can have while doing it, which is why I even share some of the bloopers in my Messy Monday posts.”

Ciara’s Messy Monday videos show all the outtakes and messy moments that happen when filming.

It’s more than just something funny to watch. I share this content to raise awareness that even at my level of jumping, I still make mistakes, get whipped all the time and trip on the rope. It makes me more relatable to rope jumpers on all levels.”

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Getting more people jumping

And this is important because Ciara wants to get more people jumping rope due to all the benefits this form of exercise offers.

My main goal is to create more awareness about skipping and build a larger skipping community in South Africa where jumpers of all different levels can connect with, learn from and jump with one another. I love to inspire others to achieve more than what they realise they are capable of.”

She is also focusing a lot of her time on group and individual classes in person and online, which she finds extremely rewarding.

Skipping is such an effective form of exercise. It improves your co-ordination, burns more calories than running, decreases belly fat, boosts mental health, increases your stamina, and it is a full body workout you can do anywhere to lose weight, strengthens bones, and so much more. It is also a lower impact exercise than running,” continues Ciara.

More significantly, it is incredibly fun and inexpensive. If you enjoy a simple workout, you’re looking to tone up, lose some weight or even if you simply love vibing out to tracks while burning some calories, then jump rope is perfect for you!”

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Skipping her way to success

Ciara has experienced these benefits in her own life. “Since I started skipping, I’ve noticed quite a change in my body definition and my mindset. Because it is such a high-intensity full body workout, I have toned up and lost weight without making massive changes to my eating plan.”

And skipping has also taught her the value of balance after she suffered from a stress fracture in her foot.

My stress fracture was caused from an excessive amount of explosive jumping. I was coaching jump rope for about an hour after school, coupled with afternoon walks and then jumping again in the evenings. In the end, it wasn’t the amount of activities I was doing but rather the lack of rest and recovery after the day was complete.”

To recover, Ciara stopped jumping for five weeks, which was very long for her. “I recently started again and I am very happy to be back doing what I love. The experience taught me that, even when you’re passionate about something or you feel like you can balance it all, you need to prioritise rest. If you don’t take a break, your body will force you to take a break.”

In addition, Ciara says that the persistence and perseverance required to learn new skills has made her a more patient person.

And skipping allows me to enjoy another passion of mine. Music is a big part of my life and I can listen and enjoy it while working out.”

And her growing following means she often gets people who approach her to talk about skipping.

It has introduced me to a lot of new people and new opportunities.”

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A skipping kinda lifestyle

Ciara jumps rope three times a week for an hour and skips for two hours in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays.

I also do weight training at the gym from Tuesday to Friday following a push-pull split. I love working out in the mornings before school. I also go for a 3-5km walk in the afternoon or early evening almost every day along the Sea Point promenade for low-intensity training. Mondays are my rest days.”

In terms of her diet, Ciara relies on a healthy food delivery service to get healthy and tasty meals for the week as she has little time to cook due to her busy and active lifestyle.

I eat those meals from Monday to Friday. I am more flexible with my eating on the weekends.”

Ciara supports her diet with Evox supplements. She has the Evox Pre-Surge Extreme pre-workout before gym in the mornings for some energy.

When I get back home, I have an Evox 100% Whey Protein Advanced shake. If I jump after school or on the weekends, I take Evox Amino Energy BCAA & EAA before my session and have an Evox Energy Bar afterwards (my favourite is the yogi-oats flavour).”

Ciara’s Evox supplement stack:

Social media savvy

Ciara also invests time to create the interesting and engaging content that has helped grow her profile as a fitfluencer and an ambassador for skipping.

She draws inspiration from Natalia Rodriguez, a rope jumper whose energy and passion is really evident in her videos.

Her style of jumping is so addictive to watch and I would love to jump like her. How I feel when watching her videos is how I would like others to feel when watching mine.”

Having created a popular social media profile, Ciara says the best way to inspire others and organically grow your community is by posting authentic content.

This makes your journey more relatable and the community that you build tends to be more authentic, too.”

Ciara recommends uploading whatever video or picture you want, and finding a unique niche to use when posting and generating content on your Instagram page.

However you choose to pursue and support your passion, Ciara says the best investment she ever made into improving her health or physique is doing things that align with her values.

It’s very easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. When that happens, we forget to follow our values that directly translate to our happiness. What I value most is doing my regular walks, jumping my heart out and spending time with my friends and family.”

And understanding what gives you purpose in life is the key to happiness and taking control of your life and your circumstances.

We make our own choices and it is important to know that we have the choice to change our current circumstances. Change is never easy, but it becomes easier when we have a clear idea about what we want in life. It is never too late to try something new.”

Quick facts:

  • Favourite healthy dish: Wraps! You can make a breakfast wrap and it’s also a great dinner when hosting friends and family. Summer or winter, wraps are my go-to!
  • Favourite training moves: It took me a while to learn releases (mic release and the mamba release) so those definitely top my list, but I love shuffling when jumping. I just put any song on and shuffle to the beat.
  • Top diet tip: Eat food that is both good for you and that you want to eat. You shouldn’t hate what you eat in an attempt to lose weight or tone up. You’ll only end up creating a bad relationship with food, which stops you from eating healthily and having a consistent lifestyle. Everything in moderation.