Are you tired of explaining to your friends why you have those red whip marks on your arms? Then it’s time to master the double-under!
When you get to class and see other members doing double-unders, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement and try to get them yourself. However, to master the double-under, the first thing you’ll need to do is master the single-under. Make it a goal to be able to complete 100 single-unders unbroken, maintaining controlled breaths (or not being gassed after completion).
While double-unders feel like a different beast, your form shouldn’t change too much from your single-unders. First, you want to maintain a long, engaged body, which means you should not bring your knees to your chest or hunch over when you jump. The jump you use for a single-under should not look too different from your double-under jump.
You need to jump a little higher than for your single-unders. When I say jump higher, though, remember that we’re not trying to do a box jump. Increase your jump slightly, but maintain the same form mentioned earlier. In addition to jumping slightly higher, you’ll need to speed the rope up a bit. You do this by rotating your wrists, not arms. Keep your arms close to your body and your hands down and in front. A common fault is that people slowly raise their arms, causing the rope to clip their feet. Lastly, when you start jumping, stay calm. If you start connecting, maintain the same jump and rope speed. You can celebrate your dubs afterward, but when you’re jumping, stay focused.
Once you understand the form and mechanics, the last thing to do is practice. Come to the gym a few minutes early and stay a few minutes late and practice. Below are a few drills to help, so you can work on them no matter where you are.
- With no rope, jump in place and tap your legs once per jump to mimic the rope. Do this until you feel the rhythm to match your single-unders. Next, you’ll tap your legs twice. You should be in the air for both of the taps. Don’t speed your taps, but jump high enough that two steady taps can occur while in the air. Repeat the same steps with a rope, but instead of tapping your leg, you will say “tap” or “tap-tap.”
- Tabata Time! For the first six rounds, alternate between fast singles and slow singles with a higher jump. Then, go for double-unders in the final two rounds combining the fast singles with the higher jump. Repeat tabata as needed.
- For those that can perform double-unders in smaller sets: Grab a band and wrap it around your body and arms. This will keep your arms close to your body. Perform 50 single-unders to get comfortable with the positioning, and then attempt your double-unders.