It turns out jump rope; the game you played on the school playground with your best friend all those years ago, is an incredibly good workout. Proven to increase bone density, general coordination and balance, the benefits go beyond the obvious cardio and muscle building characteristics that most workouts only have on offer.

"If you've done it lately, you know how much it can get your heart pumping," says Tim Church, a professor in biomedical research at Louisiana State University, speaking to TIME. Skipping engages your whole body, making it work in synchronisation to successfully find a rhythm. "The precise timing it requires between the feet and hands helps connect the upper and lower body with the brain," says Chruch. When practised regularly, this form of training can increase coordination and balance in everyday life.

Skipping is also said to increase bone density. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, young women who jumped as high as they could ten times, three times a week were found to have increased bone density in their legs and the lower half of their spines.

While it's obvious that skipping makes a great cardio workout - it is one of the quickest ways to get your heart racing and your blood circulating. It also engages many of the muscles in your upper-body. When skipping, your shoulders, back and upper arms are working hard to control the rope, resulting in toned arms and a stronger mid-section.

The best thing about skipping is that the intensity can be as high or low as you want it to be, says Church. Speed can be increased and the amount of skips per round can be varied. Church suggests that a little bit of skipping each day goes a long way, recommending to add approximately 5 minutes into your usual workout routine.

Celebrities have been on the skipping bandwagon for a while now, with Adriana Lima, Kourtney Kardashian, Justin Bieber and Kate Hudson all incorporating the fun exercise into their workouts. 

Why you need to add skipping to your workout regime ASAP