Learning the Art of Double Unders
We do a lot of jumping rope at CrossFit Kilter. Double Unders are a staple metabolic conditioning movement of CrossFit, and a staple movement of frustrating the crap out of people. Here are a few tips for start to finish bettering your jump rope ability. SIZING: To figure out the right size for the rope to use, just grab one and stand on the middle of it and pull the handles up by your sides. You want the handle end to get to about the bottom of your armpits. There’s no exact measurement so you might want to see what is comfortable by giving it a whirl.
SPEED ROPES: The speed ropes are better for, well, speed. They spin faster because of different designed handles and are great for double unders because they are less taxing on your shoulders. If you have gotten singles down you might want to work on double unders. We recommend buying your own rope and practicing when you have free time. A great place to buy speed ropes is https://www.againfaster.com/en/shop/products/again-faster-ultra-speed-ropes/ they are $13. Nothing like going outside on the patio or driveway and banging out some double unders in the spring sun (if we ever get that) and have your neighbors stare at you thinking you are training like Rocky Balboa or something.
GETTING DOUBLE UNDERS: Jump once, spin twice. If you are new to Crossfit these take some time to get going. Best way to work on them is do a mix of singles and double. Start with 5 singles and then do a double then immediately after that double do 5 singles. Just try to keep this pace going. Once you get comfortable try cutting the singles down each session until you are doing 1 single and 1 double. Then eventually you make the jump to all doubles.
QUICK POINTERS FOR DOUBLE UNDERS: Use your wrists - One of the most important things to focus on when performing double unders, is to use your wrists and not your arms. Using your whole arms to rotate the rope will just waste energy and create an inconsistent rotation. The best form is achieved when your elbows are tucked in and your wrists are doing all the rotating.
Keep your body straight - Many beginners tend to bend their knees when they jump, hoping to make more room for the rope to pass through. All this will do is waste energy and make you fatigue faster. Keeping your body as straight as possible is the best way to preserve energy and maintain good form.
Be patient - Results will come with time and practice, but don’t expect to become an expert overnight. You must remember to be patient and progress forward one step at a time.
Scaling: There are a number of ways to scale double unders in a workout other than doing singles. You can use the above method and count just the double unders, perhaps cutting the number down. If you are beyond the single/double method you can also just cut the reps down. Ask us for our advice. A workout like Flight Simulator (5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50 and back down) of double unders can be cut in half or more.
Check out the attached video of Chris Spealler explaining proper technique to learn how to perform efficient double unders.