5 Tips to Improve Double Unders  + Giveaway Courtesey XShadyside Pittsburgh Gym

Jumping rope sounds like child’s play, but it’s a fierce workout that requires cardio-vascular endurance, coordination and razor focus. But, if turning the rope in a single rotation isn’t challenging enough, give your game new “ups” with double unders.5 Tips to Improve Double Unders - ideas to help your  jump rope skills take off for Crossfit and other workouts.

Read on to find tips that will help you up your Double Under game . . . and also enter my giveaway (sponsored by a Pittsburgh Gym I’ve partnered with) for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get new gear (like maybe a fancy jump rope). Continue reading

Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad + Jump Rope Workout

lightened chicken salad

I love chicken salad. Cool, creamy and packed with lean protein, chicken salad is a go-to meal on my family’s overscheduled evenings. With multiple obligations that have us crisscrossing each other’s paths, I make dinner less stressful and more healthful (avoiding fast food) by whipping up a big batch earlier in the day, plate it up on lettuce and leave waiting in the fridge for self-serve meals as people arrive home.

Unlike deli chicken salads, my recipe for Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad is much friendlier on your figure. No-fat Greek yogurt replaces most of the mayonnaise used in traditional chicken salad; just a bit of reduced-fat mayo is added in for the familiar flavor. Dried cranberries add a hint of natural sweetness and toasted pecans give a satisfying crunch!  Serve on lettuce (my favorite way) or sandwich between bread, dollop atop crackers or roll up in a wrap.

Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad Recipe

  • 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced (including tops)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-tat mayonnaise
  • 6 ounces 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  1. Add first 9 ingredients to a large bowl, and stir with a fork to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight before serving. This gives the flavors time to mingle.
  3. Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce.

Serves 6.


Jump rope workout

Now that you’re fueled up with a healthy salad topped with Skinny Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, you’ll have plenty of energy later in the day to knock out my “Just Jump & Plank” WOD I created for Core Power. All you need is a bit of space and a jump rope and you’ll be getting a great cardio workout along with some core-strengthening action. Have fun!



Wednesday WOD – Turn Hump Day into Jump Day!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - jumping and pumping WOD

I have a fun workout for you today! Get those legs jumping and your arms pumping with this four element extravaganza. You’ll need a jump rope, medicine ball (any weight), gymnastic rings and a sturdy platform for jumping. A combination of cardio mixed with plyometrics and body weight training, you’ll find this WOD to be fun yet harder than it sounds. Thanks to Valerie Hunt at CrossFit and Fearless for helping show off some of the moves. Try to complete three to five rounds! Let me know how it goes in the comments.

Two Minutes of Jump Rope: I jump with two feet together, getting only as high off the ground as I need to in order to clear the rope. It’s about efficiency. If you’d rather skip rope or go for some harder-core “double unders,” by all means, please do!

dog jumping rope (1)

Don’t let a little lap dog show you up!

Five Kipping Ring Dips: Support yourself on the rings and dip downward with your chest, bending your arms at the elbows. To gain momentum upward, tuck your knees up and then quickly extend them as you push with your triceps back to the upward start position.  I’m sure you’ll do better than I did, I got the giggles.

Ten Medicine-Ball to Box-Jump:  Stand about 18-inches behind a box  with a height you are comfortable using.  To the back of you place a Dynamax medicine ball in the spot where your rear would naturally land if you were to sit down.  To complete one rep, jump forward onto the box extending with hips fully. Next, jump backward to your starting line and sit down onto the ball (be careful to make sure you’ve landed in the right place and it’s actually there)! Watch Valerie demonstrate in the video. If this is too challenging, stick with regular box jumps and focus on landing back on the start line when jumping off. Once you’ve mastered this, you can add in the medicine ball.

Fifteeen Chest-to-Floor Push Ups:  Go all the way down on these pushups and touch your chest and belly to the floor before extending back upward.  Keep your core tight, it helps!

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