Jump to It: Double Unders 101

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Carl P. offers a few more tips and tricks, too:  

  • Fold the jump rope in half and practice the wrist rotation needed for double unders one hand; repeat with the other hand.
  • Progress to performing the same drill with one jump rope in each hand.
  • While turning a folded rope in each hand, practice jumps and power jumps to coordinate the two movements.
  • Comfortable? Put it all together and go back to practicing with one rope.

And one more for good measure…

Chris Spealler shows you how to improve your double-under efficiency. (He’s a double-under pro; have you seen him do “Annie”?) If you already feel comfortable with performing single unders, it is time to progress to double under attempts, followed by improving unbroken sets. A few pointers to guide your journey:

  • Check your rope length: stepping on the rope, the handles should be armpit height
  • Hold hands close in tight and out in front (wide hands makes the rope shorter)
  • Rotate (or “spin”) the rope from the wrist (NOT the shoulders)
  • Find focal point in front
  • Try to jump up and down in roughly the same spot (traveling leads to tripping)
  • Avoid excess movement, like piking – keep it smooth

These are hard! Tell me again why double-unders are important, please.

Three reasons to develop your double-unders:

    1. accuracy
    2. coordination
    3. balance
So why do double unders? If I can spin the rope twice under my feet, how does this make me fitter? If you remember the 10 physical skills which CrossFit develops, they include accuracy, coordination, and balance — double unders develop all three of these essential skills. In fact, Carl Paoli explains how they are a gymnastic skill, given that one must maintain a tight, neutral hollow position while performing them.In a CrossFit Journal article with Kelly Starrett, he refers to the hollow body position as being “the position” and double unders as a good starting point for developing the midline stability required of it. As any CrossFitter knows, midline stability is central to nearly every single movement performed in a WOD. In other words, developing a strong midline leads to better overall fitness. Double-unders are also practice in opening up the hips explosively, needed for cleans, push press, and Olympic lifting in general.

One thing is certain: not practicing double unders will not lead to improvement — so face your goat head-on and become a better athlete in the process!




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