Double Unders Causing You Pain?....Literally

Double unders got you all twisted with whip marks all over your body? They are definitely one of those movements that you can't out-strength your way into mastering. They take time and patience and are a skill to learn.

They can be super frustrating because you can't just pick up a rope and will your way to getting them. You also can't just spend hours at a time working on them until you get them.

Your best plan of attack is a few minutes every day. Time and patience, my friends, time and patience.

So, I have some tips and tricks for you. I see a lot of the same mistakes as I Coach athletes on these.

1. The rope movement comes from the wrist, not the shoulders. Your shoulders will get too tired too quickly. You also won't be able to keep the rope pulling through fast enough if you aren't spinning through your wrists.

2. We all have a strong hand and a weak hand. Try a split rope (a jump rope cut in half.) This is a great tool to work on the rope rhythm and timing of the jump without the frustration of missing all the time. You will also be able to see that one hand has it all figured out, the other one doesn't have a clue. I try to keep my weak hand more neutral, and have my strong hand do the majority of the work in spinning the rope.

3. Keep your elbows tucked to your hips. The goal is for the rope to hit the floor each time it passes under your feet. We get excited and our arms come up and then the rope gets shorter and we are more likely to miss because we aren't jumping high enough. One way to do that is to pick a spot a few feet in front of you on the floor and aim the rope to hit that each time.

4. Jump through your ankles, not your knees. Double unders happen super fast, the rope is spinning and you have to be able to jump fast enough to get over that rope. But you also have to prepare for the next double under, so you have to be able to rebound fast enough as well so you can keep going and string them together. Keep your knees straight and jump through your ankles. It's less energy expenditure and faster jumps.

5. Stay on your toes. Again, you have to jump fast and rebound fast for that next rep. Keep on your toes. If you left your heels touch the ground and your weight shift, you then have to re-shift your weight - and that takes more time than that double under will allow.

The first goal is to get a few reps, even if they are double-single-double-single. The next goal is to string a few together. Don't take too much time with that added single in between - it will only reinforce that muscle memory and make stringing them together more difficult. Then, you want to work on making the double unders consistent. Then you can work on making them more efficient.

Also remember that double unders when you are fresh are often easier. Once you get tired, things often fall apart. So be sure to be practicing them when tired. Once fatigued, you will see where the technique starts to break down.

Try these tips and tricks and see how your double unders go! 

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