I know what you’re thinking, “Pretty bold title, better be good”.
No worries, the title actually doesn’t quite do the information justice. If you are pretty good with a jump rope, skip (no pun intended) down to the bottom of the post where I have some workouts that are guaranteed to challenge anyone. If you want to learn what double unders are, how to do them properly, what kind of rope to buy, some quick tips, and some awesome workouts keep reading.
But before you do…You may want to check out my book The Garage Gym Athlete for more great tips and tricks like this!!
What are these things you call double unders?
The Official definition: According to Skipping Rope in Wikipedia, double unders are performed when, the participant needs to jump up higher than usual while swinging the rope twice under his feet. Simple enough, right? One jump rope passes twice, DOUBLE, below the feet, UNDER you…. Ok I think that dead horse is beaten.
My definition: a conditioning exercise that may or may not have been used in POW camps during Vietnam to punish infractions.
Double unders have gotten really popular recently due to how often they are thrown into CrossFit workouts. My only problem with this…A CrossFitter sees a jump rope and they look at it solely as a device built for double unders. A jump rope is an insane conditioning tool. Maybe you didn’t know this but Rocky “freaking” Balboa used a jump rope for conditioning.
AND Muhammad “freaking” Ali
The jump rope and the double under go far beyond just adding it to a CrossFit workout. A jump rope should be seen as an amazing conditioning tool, and you should be proud to own one…. Don’t own one? Well, this wouldn’t be an amazing guide if I didn’t gve you some options. The way I see it you have two options.
The “I want to get started, but I am not serious” option
The “GAME CHANGER I want to be a badass speed rope” option
How do I select and size a jump rope for double unders?
- Step on the rope with feet centered
- The handles should come up to the base of your armpit
Doube under tips
- The #1 problem I see when people start double unders is that they try to make their arms look like giant windmills. Swinging your entire arm is inefficient and you look plain dumb. This may take some practice, and using a speed rope will help, but it is all in the wrists.
- Start out jumping higher than you need to. Don’t make it a habit, but get a good feel for what it takes to swing the rope twice under you. You will find it is not as difficult as you think.
- Now listen to some Chris Spealler magic….
TWO WORKOUTS GUARANTEED TO KICK YOUR ASS AND IMPROVE YOUR DOUBLE UNDERS BY 200%
You now know what double unders are, some fictitious and real athletes who use a jump rope for conditioning, where to get a good rope, how to size it properly, and you have gotten a few tips on how to do them…No let’s do them!
My opinion is the only real way to learn anything is to get out there and do it. Do it over and over until you get it right. These two workout are guaranteed to FORCE you to get quicker and more efficient at double unders. Not only that, they are both great conditioning workouts and will get you in great shape.
- 1,000 double unders for time
- 1st attempt – 19:19
- 2nd attempt – 17:34
- 3rd attempt – 12:55 (The day I purchased a speed rope)
Nothing works like trial by fire, so get out there!!!
I created this workout a few weeks ago and it has been great. I do it everyday at the end of my workouts for a “cash-out”.
- Double under/single under intervals for 10 minutes
- On the first minute you do single unders at an easy pace
- The second minute you do double unders
- You alternate single unders and double unders every minute giving you 5 rounds of single unders and 5 rounds of double unders.
- THE CATCH: You have to set a “goal” number for each double under minute. It can be 20, 30, 40…whatever you will be comfortable with.