Jump to It: Double Unders 101

by Larry Pastor | August 28, 2012 12:01 am



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[3] 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:

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:

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

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:

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[4], 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!


Tags: Again Faster[5], Jon Gilson[6], James Hobart[7], GymnasticsWOD[8], Carl Paoli[9], Chris Spealler, CrossFit Park City[10], Kelly Starrett[11], CrossFit Journal[12]



  1. LARRY PASTOR: http://www.tabatatimes.com/larry-pastor
  2. [Image]: http://www.tabatatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/article_590_60.jpg
  3. James Hobart: http://games.crossfit.com/athlete/4945
  4. In a CrossFit Journal article with Kelly Starrett: http://journal.crossfit.com/2011/03/theposition1doubleunder.tpl
  5. Again Faster: https://www.againfaster.com/blog/2011/12/06/double-unders/
  6. Jon Gilson: https://www.facebook.com/againfaster
  7. James Hobart: https://twitter.com/jamesohobart
  8. GymnasticsWOD: http://gymnasticswod.com/content/jump-rope-progression-pt2
  9. Carl Paoli: https://twitter.com/carlpaoli
  10. CrossFit Park City: http://crossfitpc.com
  11. Kelly Starrett: http://www.mobilitywod.com/about/kellystarrett/
  12. CrossFit Journal: http://journal.crossfit.com/2011/03/theposition1doubleunder.tpl

Source URL: http://www.tabatatimes.com/double-unders/