Jump to It: Double Unders 101

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By LARRY PASTOR

Every CrossFitter has a goat (or two) – could double-unders be yours? The answer is “yes” if your heart jumps into your throat whenever “Annie” shows up on the whiteboard at your box. While some CrossFit movements require development of strength or flexibility, double-unders require nothing more than lots of coordination and good old-fashioned practice time. Let’s check in with some experts for helpful hints on technique that you can use now to go from no double-unders to some, or from some to unbroken sets.

“I do not have double-unders (yet)…”

The 10-minute lesson

Jon Gilson presents a comprehensive overview of jump-roping technique in this slightly longer instructional video. With James Hobart modeling the movement, this video is ideal for beginner athletes who are starting from scratch and learning the rhythm of singles first. Some points Gilson emphasizes include:

  • Hands in front of torso
  • Hands rotate from wrist
  • Good up and down bounce
  • Jump when rope is about to hit the ground
  • Practice linked singles, alternating single and double unders, and then linked double unders
  • Practice plyometric bounce with feet to develop the footwork/ jumping technique necessary for a double under

The 5-minute lesson

If you are a little shorter on time, check out Carl Paoli’s basic tips on how to get started with double-unders:

  • Practice power jumps with single unders with a flow to your jump (to develop the footwork/jumping technique & timing for a double under).
  • Maintain a hollow body position while jumping (don’t kick your heels back, etc.).
  • Remember: a double under is just a power jump with rope passing under the feet twice.
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