The double under (jumping rope where the rope makes two passes per jump instead of just one) was the most frustrating movement for me to learn when I started CrossFit. The whip marks, finishing way after everyone else in the workout, and the mental beat down after all those attempts… ugh. I tried different jump ropes thinking that there must be a “magic” rope. But what it all came down to was…
practice, practice, practice.
The only real way to learn something is to get out there and do it. And do it over and over until you get it right. Like most movements in CrossFit, it takes repetition to finally make it click!
Here are a few tips as you’re working on them:
- Keep your arms at your side. Use your wrists to make the rope spin, not your arms and shoulders. Avoid “windmilling” your arms, keep your elbows at your sides with your hands slightly in front of your body.
- Shake, shake. Think of your hands doing a quick handshake at your sides.
- Jump higher to start. As you’re learning, jump slightly higher than you would on singles. As you get better at doubles, you will probably be able to lower your jump so that you are faster and more efficient.
- Focus and breath. Pick a spot on the wall ahead of you and focus on breathing (easier said than done).
- Keep your body in a straight line. Many people tend to go into a pike position or kick their feet backward. This will throw off your timing. Focus on keeping your core engaged and jumping straight up and down.
- Relax. Relax your shoulders so that you don’t tense up and cause the rope to rise which will inevitably make you trip up.
- Swallow your pride. Double unders take a lot of coordination. Be ready to whip yourself, trip on your rope, lose your grip on the handle and send the rope flying… but it’s so satisfying to finally string them together! Keep at it.
There are many types of handles, rope weights, and rope widths. Don’t overcomplicate it - but if you have any questions, just ask your coaches!
Schedule a few personal training sessions with one of the coaches and have them film you jumping rope. With a few sessions of focused attention, you will greatly improve your skill of jumping rope.