How many of you have ever felt that pang of disappointment during the CrossFit Open when you can RX every workout except for those pesky double unders? It’s incredibly frustrating, isn’t it? Well, fret not, because we’re here to help you conquer and master those elusive double unders!
What Exactly Are Double Unders?
Before we dive into the “how,” let’s clarify the “what.” Double unders are a jump rope technique where the rope passes under your feet twice for each jump. It’s like a regular jump rope, but with an extra twist—literally!
The Right Equipment Matters
Before attempting double unders, you need the right equipment. Start with a good-quality jump rope that’s appropriately sized for your height. Stand on the rope’s midpoint and ensure that the handles reach your armpits. A lighter, speed rope is preferable, as it will rotate faster, making double unders easier.
Mastering the Basics First
Double unders may look fancy, but they’re built on a foundation of solid single unders. Make sure you can jump rope comfortably with proper form. Keep your elbows close to your body, and turn the rope with your wrists, not your arms. Practice, practice, practice—it’s the key to getting comfortable with single unders.
- Do not rotate your forearms. Keep your forearms steady and your wrists loose. This ensures a smooth rope swing and will allow you to maintain constant tension on the rope.
- Uncontrolled jump. Jump with control and purpose. Avoid erratic movements to prevent tripping and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Do not tuck your legs. Keep your legs together and avoid bringing your knees too close to your chest. This maintains a steady rhythm for basic single skipping.
- Do not bend your knees. Keep your knees slightly bent, but avoid excessive bending. This ensures efficient jumping and reduces strain on your knees.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of double unders. To start, jump slightly higher than you would for single unders. As the rope passes under your feet, whip it around faster using your wrists. Timing is crucial; jump just as the rope is about to pass under your feet for the second time. This takes some coordination and patience, so don’t get discouraged if you mess up initially.
Unlocking the Power of your Wrists
Many beginners make the common mistake of relying on their entire arm to perform double unders. However, the key to success lies in getting your wrists to move faster, allowing for greater control and efficiency. So here’s a simple yet effective exercise to help you achieve just that.
1. Hold the rope with one hand.
2. Start with slow and steady single jumps, using your wrist to guide the rope.
3. Jump higher, then add a quick double wrist rotations
4. Don’t forget to practice on the other side.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Double-unders can be frustrating at first, but don’t give up! Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:
1. Overthinking: Don’t overanalyze every jump. Find a rhythm and stick to it.
2. Tensing up: Stay relaxed and keep your movements fluid.
3. Jumping too high: Excessive height makes it harder to control the rope. Aim for efficient, controlled jumps.
4. Inconsistent wrist movement: This is, by far, the most important tip to remember. Focus on maintaining a consistent, quick wrist flick.
To improve your double-under skills, incorporate these training drills into your routine:
1. Singles to Doubles: Start with single unders and smoothly transition into double unders.
2. Interval Training: Alternate between 30 seconds of double unders and 30 seconds of rest.
3. Slow-Motion Doubles: Practice slow, controlled double unders to perfect your form.
4. “Jumping Jacks with a Rope” This helps with rhythm and coordination.
Patience and Persistence
Learning double unders isn’t an overnight feat. Be patient and stay persistent. Progress might be slow, but it will come with practice. Celebrate small victories, like completing five consecutive double unders, and build from there.
There you have it—the world of double unders demystified! Remember, like any skill, it takes time to master double unders. So grab your jump rope, keep practicing, and enjoy the journey of becoming a double-under wizard. Before you know it, you’ll be effortlessly gliding through the air, impressing everyone with your newfound jump rope prowess. Happy jumping!