By Duane Waits
The Double Under jump rope exercise is extremely beneficial in building overall muscle strength and conditioning in your legs, core, and upper body. Your entire body must get involved in order to execute the movement successfully.
1. Choose a Rope
This is the most important element in this exercise. Ropes come in many different colors, lengths, weights, materials, and levels of thickness. I recommend a thinner or slightly weighted rope to facilitate a quicker moving rope. This skill is about speed and control. The rope needs to be at a length that is comfortable for you.
The jump rope handles should go past your waist about 3 - 6 inches when you stand on the rope with both feet about shoulder width apart. You will be able to compensate for the length by moving your arms closer or further away from your body when you start jumping. You can also tie a few knots in the rope or wrap the rope around your hands if it is not a rope you own.
2. Learn to control the Jump Rope
This is key because you have to learn to jump the rope and not let the rope jump you. Develop a fast-moving rope with single unders, and with practice you will develop the ability to speed the rope up and slow it down. If you can get control of the rope, controlling your jump becomes easy. Naturally, regardless of your level of coordination you should feel your timing becoming better and better to where it becomes muscle memory.
3. Attempt your first Double Under
Once you have adequate control of the rope, where you can actively control the speed of the rope without stopping, then you are ready to attempt your first double under. Take 3 - 5 single jumps first then with a quick strong wiping motion of your wrist, speed the rope up and jump about 2 - 3 inches higher to have enough clearance as the rope goes under your feet 2 times. Your jump should be as relaxed as possible. If you find yourself expending a large amount of energy to successfully execute one double under, then some more fine tuning needs to take place. Efficiency in movement is the key to your success.
4. Develop a Rhythm
Once you can execute one double under successfully it is time to start stringing 5 - 10 - 15 jumps together in a row. Start developing your natural jump rope rhythm. For example, use a rhythm of 3 single jumps to ever 1 double under. Doing so will allow you to reset mentally as you prepare for the next attempt. Experiment with a few different jumping patterns and as you continue to practice, as you get better start taking away the single jumps until you are only doing the double unders.
5. Adjust and Refine to develop consistency
Based on your coordination level developing the double under jump rope skill will vary. The key is to continue to make small adjustments as you continue to practice. Just like learning to ride a bike or drive a car you must develop a feel for the double under jump rope skill. A comfortable, controlled and relaxed jump is what you are searching for. Once your skill level improves experiment with different speeds by slowing the rope down and speeding the rope up. Remember the better you can control the rope the easier it is to jump the rope. Practice until it becomes muscle memory. When you can make 20 in a row look easy you have made it to the top of the double under mountain.
Troubleshooting: 4 common problems addressed
1. I have trouble controlling the rope.
Try using more wrist and less arms. Try adjusting your grip on the handles (i.e. move hands closer to the rope). Try extending your arms out further from your body. Try a rope made out of a different material. Experiment with different rope lengths.
2. The rope keeps hitting the front of my toes when I try to jump.
Try raising your knees higher when you jump until you get better control of the rope speed. Try raising your toes up as you jump.
3. When I attempt a double under I land hard and start falling backward.
Try jumping higher using mostly ankles and your calf muscles. Lean slightly forward as you jump to counter act your tendency to fall backward.
4. I can only get about 3 - 5 in a row before I mess up, what is my problem?
You must relax and increase your concentration level. We are not perfect beings so you must pay close attention and continually making small (micro) adjustments to keep your rhythm steady. Your mind and body must be in sync in order to roll off 50 - 75 double unders in a row.
About the Author:
Duane Waits is a 12 Year Military Veteran, CrossFit Level 1 Instructor and owner of CrossFit Revealed in Austin, Texas. He has throughly enjoyed his CrossFit journey and has touched many lives with his coaching and instruction.
Duane's CrossFit Journey began in February 2010 and lead to his certification in July 2010. He received the honor of leading the Camp Mabry Austin, Texas Warrior CrossFit program; where he developed his highly effective Double Under Training program.
Drawing on his former Jump Rope Team skills and training; Duane self-published “The Secret To Double Under Success Revealed” which is currently selling on Amazon.com worldwide.
His virtual/online training program is changing the game. CrossFit Athletes now have a real solution on how to overcome the difficulties and frustrations that Double Unders can present.
#1 Virtual / Online Double Under Training Program In The World
From Duane Q. Waits Owner of CrossFit Revealed in Austin, Texas and Creator of:
“The Secret To Double Under Success Revealed”
“How To Improve Your Double Under Efficiency In 5 Basic Steps”
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