Article below is written by 3x European Regionals athlete (individual and team) and Powerlifting World Record Holder Lucy Majury. Enjoy!
You either love them or you hate them a bit like marmite. Double Unders (DU) are probably one of the most frustrating CrossFit movements there is. There are some that will find them really easy and others who will really struggle – I really struggled. Beside my top 5 tips below I would suggest little and often is a very good way to practice as they are high impact and can really put strain on your legs and calves when you are first learning. Also this will help eliminate you getting too frustrated.
1. RELAXED SHOULDERS
The biggest point for me is to remember to always relax your shoulders. DU take a lot of energy and effort anyway without having a very tense body especially arms and shoulders making you fatigue even quicker. Having a relaxed upper body will also allow you to spin the rope more easily and complete more reps unbroken when you have mastered the skill. This is always good when you are taking part in something like Triple Three at Regionals. What a delight that was.
2. FIND A FOCUS POINT
When I am doing DU I always find a point of focus to help me focus and stay consistent. My point of focus is directly in front of me on the wall or rig. You need to have a fixed point so you are not bobbing your head around all over the place. Having a point of focus allows the body to focus on being in one place and allows you to jump straight up and down.
3. CONSISTENT JUMPS
When trying to learn DU it is important to keep that consistent jump pace that you use for single skips. The only difference in a DU to a single is the speed that the rope passes under your feet which comes from the speed in which your wrists are moving, controlling the rope. Feet remain the same
4. ELBOWS LOCKED
Try as much as possible to keep your elbows locked in tight and as close to the body as possible. The further the elbows come away from the body the shorter your rope becomes, making your DU harder. When measuring your rope to find the correct length for you your skipping rope handles should be in line with your chest.
5. JUMP STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN
Everyone has their own style of jump when they are proficient at DU, but when you are starting out try to jump up and down as straight as possible eliminating any back and forward motion with the head or feet. The more your body moves back and forth the more you have to try and avoid catching your rope on your own body. Not ideal when you already have enough to think about.
Bonus Tip: TRY USING A WEIGHTED ROPE
The extra weight of the rope and the handles help you feel where the rope is at all times, this helps with improving coordination and timing.
Be sure to send us your DU practice videos and even triple unders if you have them. Check out our Heavy Trainer Rope, a great training tool for DU novices and Elite athletes.