3 Ways to Master Double Unders
One of the most common exercises in CrossFit can also be the most frustrating to master – Double Unders. If you’re yet to become a ninja with the skipping rope and you end up with whip marks all over your body every time “dubs” are programmed in the WOD then the following tips are going to help.
Believe it or not, there are no magic tricks – it just takes practice. You need to put in the time to become better.
Tip #1 – Go shopping
I think the most important thing is making sure you have a rope that fits you; often times, newer CrossFit athletes don’t want to spend a ton of money on fitness equipment, and that’s understandable. What I want you to look for in a jump rope is that the handle comes up to your armpit when you put it under your foot and extend it completely. This will ensure that you have plenty of room when the rope passes through overhead. Having a short rope can be frustrating and having a long rope will often hit the back of your legs, which will feel like getting whipped and hey – that’s no fun.
Tip #2 – It’s all in the wrist
For the newer CrossFitter it can seem counterproductive to try to relax and stay loose in order to get the skipping rope to whip around faster! However, you want to make sure the movement comes from the wrist. I commonly see people trying to move the rope with stiff arms and a vice-like grip on the handles. This leads to no reps and burnt out shoulders very quickly. Try doing this instead:
- Relax your grip,
- Bend your elbows and keep them just in front of your ribs.
- Flick your rope from your wrists – they should be rotating quickly.
Tip #3 – Kill the dolphin kick
When you are jumping, think about keeping your heels in alignment with your hips. If your feet are too wide there will be less room for the rope to pass under the body. Then, the jumping action needs to be a relaxed bounce as if you were on a trampoline or pogo stick. We want to avoid is kicking our feet out in front, which is often referenced as a ‘dolphin kick’.
Start by implementing these tips and practice every day you come into the gym. Make these a part of your warm up and/or cool down and you will see improvement very quickly. We will have a follow up video with more cues on how to become more efficient as you get better with Double Unders later this week!
CrossFit | Strength & Conditioning | Personal Training
2017 03 07