Become a Ninja at Double Unders
Written by Nuno Costa
If you are like most CrossFit athletes, you probably struggled in the beginning to master the technique of jumping rope and, more specifically, mastering double unders. Believe it or not, there are no magic trips – it just takes practice. You need to put in the time in order to become better.
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.
Once you have a rope that works for you there are a couple of technique pointers that are going to help, which are demonstrated in the video at the top of this post.
- Make sure the movement comes from the wrists. A lot of times I see people trying to move the rope with the shoulders and not only is that inefficient, but it’s going to fatigue you a lot sooner.
- When you are jumping, think about keeping your heels in alignment with your hips. As you will see in the video, I reference jumping on a pogo stick; it’s a similar jump for double unders. What we want to avoid is kicking our feet out in front, which is often referenced as a ‘dolphin kick’.
Start by implementing these first two cues and practice everyday you come into the gym. Make these a part of your warm up and/or cool down and you will see that if you commit to doing so you will become better in no time. We will have a follow up post and video with more cues on how to become more efficient as you get better with double unders in the coming weeks.