Monday, March 12, 2018

8 Tips to Help You Master Double Unders

Content in this post is courtesy of ELITESRS Fitness, check out the original post here for more in depth analysis, and video content!

#1. Proper Speed Rope Sizing
Sizing jump ropes is specific to the type of jump rope you are using and the ability level of the jumper. If you are working on double unders, you will want a shorter rope. Beginners typically require a longer length rope. As you become more proficient you will want a shorter rope that will require less effort to spin it around your body, but requires more technique and timing.

It is typical to walk into a CrossFit gym and see people doing double unders with ropes that are 12" to 36 " over their heads, which is much too long! These athletes are sacrificing speed, and are working harder than they need to.

To get the rope length "just right" for double unders, we recommend rope lengths as determined by the clearance of the rope over your head when jumping.
The optimum length for double unders is 6" to 10" over your head.

This can be determined by jumping in front of a mirror, or having someone watch while you jump. Simply size the rope down until it is in that range. Make sure that your hands are in a proper position by your sides, & slightly in front of your hips (as opposed to spread out wide).

#2:  Get 100 single jumps down first

If you are not good at jumping rope to begin with, double unders will be a huge challenge. It's that simple. Start with the basic skill: a single jump. Once you can do 100 single jumps in a row unbroken, you're ready to move on to double unders.
#3. It's all in the wrists

I can't stress this enough. Spin the rope with your wrists, not your arms. If you're using your arms, two bad things will happen: (1) you'll wear out too quickly (2) you simply can't spin the rope quickly or efficiently enough. This is the most common mistake I see. Practice making circles with just your wrists (and without using your arms) to get a feel for the proper movement.

#4. Practice your timing without the rope

Timing is critically important with double unders, and it can be hard to get your timing down when you're just learning because you'll make mistakes so often, breaking your rhythm. Spend some time practicing without a rope, slapping your thighs twice for every jump. This will help you learn the rhythm without needing to stop when you miss.
#5.  Keep your hands in front of your hips

Keeping your hands in one place while you jump (vs having them move up and down, or forward and backward) helps with consistency, rhythm and timing. The best hand placement is about 8" - 14" in front of your hips, with your hands fairly close to your sides (not flailing way out). This can be a challenge at first, especially if it feels uncomfortable, but with practice you'll find this is the most efficient placement.

Note: This will really be a struggle if your rope is too long. Longer ropes require you to move your arms further out from your body to spin it quickly. Proper size and proper form go hand-in-hand.
#6.  Avoid the dreaded "donkey kick"

Kicking your feet back, or "donkey kicking," is a pretty common mistake. It's a function of trying to jump high enough to get the rope through twice. It also forces people to use longer ropes. Improving your form and efficiency by following steps 1 through 6 will help you avoid donkey kicking.

#7.  Avoid "piking"

Athletes that pike (legs come out straight in front) tend to hold their arms out straight, resulting in the need for a longer rope to accommodate the longer, straighter arms.

#8.  Get feedback from a friend

It's not always easy to "be aware" of our form when we're trying to whip through some doubles. Grab a friend and have them watch you jump, looking at your hand position, tempo and form. Are you moving one arm out as you go along? Is your jump height inconsistent? Are you moving all over the place when you jump? Good feedback can help shore up lots of little mistakes.

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