Remember doing jump rope for heart back at primary school?
Well for most Crossfitters these days learning how to perform Double-Unders for the first time is an excruciating task especially for beginners and even long-time members that still cannot seem to ‘just get it’.
You ever get that frustrating feeling?
Because we’ve got some awesome tips to help you on your journey to becoming a Boxer-like rope master!
Remember: A double-under is just a power jump with the rope passing under your feet twice.
Firstly, if you have been taught by your Coach at your CrossFit Box then this will just add more knowledge to your repertoire.
So how do you become amazing at double-unders?
You skip all the rookie mistakes that’s how.
So here are some mistakes most people make when doing double-unders:
5 Double-Under Mistakes (& how to fix them)
Mistake #1 – Using your whole arm to move the rope
If you are swinging your arms around like a giant windmill then you are going to fatigue very quickly. Since this is a conditioning movement, you will want to be as efficient as you can which will help you last longer.
The fix: It’s all in the wrist. First start with single unders rotating from the wrist. Once you have got that move onto developing a quicker flick of the wrist for consistent swing timing. If you watch any pro speed rope jumper you’ll notice the only thing that changes when doing double or even triple unders is how high they jump. So trying to overcompensate for a slow wrist movement by jumping high won’t work for beginners. Work on getting a fast flick down before experimenting with jump height.
Mistake #2 – Not listening to the cadence
Much of the double-under is about rhythm. When you watch a pro at double-unders you’ll notice they have a certain rhythm to their jump and double-under whip it all seems pretty effortless. There’s a particular cadence to a double-under which is you have to adjust tempo and rhythm to.
The Fix: Keep a consistent rhythm and listen for the cadence. Having a consistent rhythm and listening out for the cadence of the rope speed will help your timing. Single unders have a certain cadence – whip, whip, whip, whip…etc and double-unders have certain whip-whip, jump, whip-whip jump…etc
Mistake #3 – Skipping the progression
Working through the progression is the milestone you have to go through to get to linking double-unders. It’s easy to skip the basics and get right to trying to string double-unders together however with movement like this requires long hours of practice and progression. There’s no other way around it.
The Fix: Master the basics. Master the single skips first. Then try adding a power jump (jump a little higher for more airtime) on every third single skip – jump, jump, power jump. Get a consistent rhythm that you can control the tempo of. Then add in a double-under after every 2-3 skips. Single, single double-under….repeat. Obviously, always follow the progression your coach teaches you.
Mistake #4 – Letting your arms float away from your body
While under fatigue you may subconsciously start to move your arms away from body. This makes the ropes arc around your body shorter which means less room for you to jump over.
The Fix: Keep your elbows close to your rib cage. Your arms should remain relatively motionless while naturally extending from the elbows, since your wrists should be doing the majority of the work. Now that you are aware of this keep it in mind when practicing and keep the elbows tucked in close!
Mistake #5 – Changing your rope every time
As a beginner, changing your rope every time is what keeps you from developing into a double-under ninja. Ropes come in different lengths, thickness and weight and you will have to adjust your tempo to the rope each time. This also makes it very difficult to adjust on the fly.
The Fix: Invest in your own speed rope. You can get ropes cut to fit your exact body size and choose a thickness and weight you are comfortable with. Too light is very hard to master while too heavy can tire you out very quickly. Try to find something in between and the recommended length should be up to your armpits when you step halfway on the rope. Using the same rope every time can only help you.
Here’s a great quick video explaining how to do double-unders
The dreaded double-under movement is very much about timing and rhythm. Now you know about these 5 mistakes with double-unders apply them to your training and keep practicing. Remember efficiency is key to stringing multiple double-unders together!
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More resources on improving your double-unders:
Gymnasticswod.com – http://gymnasticswod.com/content/jump-rope-progression-pt2
Tabatatimes.com – http://www.tabatatimes.com/double-unders/
Here is a quick jump rope ladder workout designed to help you increase your double-unders.
Do single skips with a jump,jump, power jump (higher jump) then,
Do 1-3 single skips then add a double-under. Try this for a quick warm up and then hit this workout ladder below!