The “Double Under” may be the most frustrating movement to most Crossfitters. It seems like it should be so simple. The majority of people have little difficulty stringing some single unders together. So why does everything fall apart when a second rotation is added?
That’s what we are going to take a look at in the “DOUBLE UNDER MASTERY” series!
The goal is simple: to help you develop high quality, consistent double unders by learning the proper technique, outlining useful drills and progressions, as well as some challenges to help encourage continued development of double under skills.
Part 1: A Rock Solid Foundation
The old saying goes,”You have to walk before you can run.” That holds true for learning the double under. You MUST have the technique for a single under dialed in before you spend too much time on doubles. Any issues with your single under technique will only be magnified when you start to transition to the double under.
Bounding, Not Jumping
The name “jump rope” may be a bit misleading because it gives the impression that you are supposed to use a “jumping” motion to get over the rope. The correct name for the technique is “bounding.”
Bounding looks more like bouncing on the balls of the feet, versus the motion required to jump onto a box. Some points of performance when practicing your bounding mechanics are:
- Stay on the balls of your feet
- Keep a slight bend in the knees to help absorb impact
- Maintain a tall posture
- Upper body should be relaxed with shoulders down and back
DRILL: Spend some time without a rope just bounding in place. If you can keep a consistent bounding rhythm without a rope for 30 seconds, begin incorporating the rope with single unders. Work towards 30-45 seconds of unbroken singles with quality bounding.
Controlling Your Rope Speed
When skipping rope, the key to controlling the speed and rhythm of the rope is all in the wrists. Far too often there is extra movement in the elbows and shoulders, which actually makes the rope MORE difficult to control.
One of the best things you can do to analyze your arm/wrist movement is to use visual feedback. Record yourself doing single unders on your phone and then watch the video back. Can you see extra movement in the elbows or shoulders?
One way to really get the feeling of controlling the rope with your wrists is to use a side swing:
- Place both handles in one hand and place that hand out to your side
- Begin swinging the rope around at a single under pace
- You can even use your opposite hand to hold your forearm in place so you can feel what it’s like to only rotate at the wrist.
(BONUS: be sure to watch the video at the top to see some additional tips on hand placement during the single/double under)
DRILL: SINGLE UNDER ACCELERATIONS – Focusing on quality bounding and rotating at the wrist, perform single unders at a comfortable pace. Start to increase the speed of your singles until you can’t keep up and miss a single. Repeat as many times as desired to become more comfortable with controlling rope speed.
Using the above video and tips, work on really dialing in the technique of your single unders. Most people just view the double under as a conditioning movement, but it is truly a skill. So just like any other skill, the best way to master it is to understand and practice progressions, such as the single under.
LET US SEE YOUR SINGLE UNDERS!
I would love to see any videos of everyone practicing the above drills. Share them in the comments or on Social Media and I will try to respond to as many as I can with any tips or recommendations I can, or just words of encouragement!
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