Doubling Down on Double Unders


April 18, 2013 by saltdogsducttape

I am bad at double unders. In fact it’s one of the things that I consider to be holding me back. In WODs that have double unders I end up doing three times as many single unders instead. In an AMRAP with 15 double unders, doing 45 single unders instead can really slow you down.

When I take the time to work on double unders it looks like I spent an hour playing footsie with a weed wacker. I walk away with bright red stripes across the front of my ankles. A friend of mine who is an AMAZING jump roper (in the pink shirt) said, “double unders are all about timing.” That seemed very unhelpful until I started reading and watching some videos. (I know, I’m the kind of person who researches double under tips, that’s what you learn in law school.)

“How to Improve Your Double Unders” is a pretty short read that helped a lot. After watching the videos and spending a few minutes every day I’ve gotten much more consistent at double unders. I’m able to get “single-double-single-single-double-etc.” which is a big improvement.

Here’s a quick list of my take aways and what I’ve been doing.

  • SLOW DOWN. The jump for double unders is not the same as single unders, it’s the same basic position but it has a higher apex. It does not have to be at the same rapid pace.
  • Work on midline stability and keep a hollow body position.
  • Practice a “power jump” while doing single unders. Get used to that rhythm and then throw in some doubles.
  • When you start doing doubles with your power jump the only thing that should change is your wrist speed, not your jump.
  • Time your jump to just before the rope hits the ground in front of you. If you jump when the rope is above you it has to travel 2.5 rotations instead of 2.
  • Look at a fixed point. “Traveling” while you jump will throw off the timing and it’s less efficient. Some people focus on a distant point, I focus on a low point, the important part is that you keep your head up.
  • Think of it as active rest, find a balance of being agressive without straining yourself.

After the WOD I take time to stretch, and then spend 5-10 minutes working on double unders. It’s a skill like any other that just takes time. Since I started spending time on them I’ve gotten a lot better. Not quite this good:

Good luck everyone!


3 thoughts on “Doubling Down on Double Unders

  1. Great tips! I’ve always struggled with double unders too. I juuust started to get a few linked the last time we did a WOD that had them (it was 3 rounds of 3 activities for time, one of which was 100 double unders! Yeah, I got some practice…let’s just say I did a LOT more than 300 jump ropes that day!).

    One of the drawbacks to doing CrossFit on your own in your garage (and right now, only 2x a week) and just doing a backlog of posted WODs is that it’s not very consistent, so my skill progression is pretty slow. Then again, since it is in my garage, I guess I have the freedom to practice whatever I want, right? I’m going to have to squeeze in some practice time afterwards like you do, I think — though my problem will be picking just one thing to work on at a time! 🙂

    Feel like turning your analytical CrossFit research eye to cleans next? Those are my current demon. 😀

    • Cleans are on the list! I had the same problem of “I have so many things to work on, where do I start.” I just wrote them down and started at the top. There is some overlap. After every WOD I do a quick core strength routine, then work on double unders for 5-10 minutes. I’ll move down the list when I cross something off.

      I wish I could WOD in my garage! I’ve been riding my bike to the box in the dark, in 20*!

      • That’s a good idea; I had a list somewhere but it basically felt like “everything” should be on there, and I got overwhelmed, school got busy, and I set it aside. I’m going to pull that back out today. 🙂

        That’s a lot of dedication to keep riding your bike! Go you!!

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