For those of you training your double unders, here are a few tips to help you along in the process. Double unders are by far my best movement in Crossfit, so I thought it might be helpful to explain how it makes sense in my head and perhaps offer a few things I have found worked for me when learning the movement. 

This is part 1 of a 3-part series on double unders. Enjoy!

Rhythm — it more or less sounds like a fast horse trot, a two-beat pitter-patter between the rope and your feet. The first two beats are the jump and the first pass of the rope. The next two beats are the second pass of the rope and the land. Initially, it is common to want to jump first and then whip the rope twice once you’re in the air. Instead, you should be jumping as the rope is on its way down — jumping right before the first pass of the rope and landing right after the second pass of the rope. I find it helpful to focus on the sound of the rhythm because it’s when the double-beat starts to get shorter and shorter that you might find yourself more prone to catching your leg on the whip or landing on the rope in the catch.

Jump — it should be straight like a pencil (i.e. no bend in the leg). Think as if you are jumping into hollow position every time — you should be able to see your toes if you are looking straight down. Often times it feels more comfortable to jump with bringing our legs back, as if we were doing a bar-over-burpee. Instead, think about exploding with just your feet and keep everything straight in a line. 

Whip — you’ll notice there always seems to be some adjustment here and there with hand placement, depending on the length of the rope and your level of fatigue. In general, though, try keeping the handles closer to your body and bit forward. The further out your hands are, the more of your entire arm is required whip the rope around. Think of the whip as less of an arm circle and more like whipping some eggs. It’s mostly wrist movement and the arm is merely placed in space for leverage. 

To be continued.