Ever tried triple unders?
First, sorry for the ridiculously scary picture of the cats and doll jumping rope. It just seems to fit the “demeanor” of the triple under.
Awhile back I wrote “A Ridiculously Awesome, yet brief, Guide to Double Unders“, and NEVER thought I would be writing, “Triple Unders: Your Brief Crazy Awesome Guide “.
C’mon…are you kidding me!? TRIPLE unders!?
Triple unders aren’t “new”; jump rope gurus have been doing them for a long time, but they aren’t normally followed by high-rep thrusters or back squats in the jump rope community. That is not the case for those of us into functional fitness. This video [WATCH] has a smug jerk (not really) making triple unders look like they are the easiest way to use a jump rope…
If you didn’t catch that, yes, the rope passes under his feet 3 full times!
First, they aren’t easy! Second, some of you have probably been working on double-unders since my post two years ago and still don’t have them fully PERFECTED. But I know some of you do!
So if single-unders are too slow and double-unders have lost their luster lets go over how to do this torturously frustrating exercise (ok, it’s not that bad). Practicing triple unders is a good way to perfect your double under form, build mental toughness (fighting through failure) and get a really good workout.
Triple Unders: What You Need to Know
You NEED a speed rope. I stated this in the double-under post as, more or less, optional, but with triple unders it is a must. If you don’t need a speed rope to accomplish consecutive triple unders, you’ve got serious skills.
For the rest of us…Let’s go with a speed rope. Even within the world of speed ropes there are faster and slower ropes and I have had the opportunity to use them all. The best kind, for triple-unders, is the speed rope that has no rubber or plastic coating. It is pretty much just a wire attached to bearings and handles. I don’t have a brand to recommend (I got mine from Rogue Fitness), but they are easily found out there. My only word of caution is that these types of ropes HURT. Normal speed ropes will work just fine, but there are even quicker ropes that exist and will make spinning faster a little bit easier, which brings me to my next point.
Alright, there are only two options when going from a double-under to a triple-under:
- Option #1: you can spin the rope faster…(duh), and…
- Option #2: you can jump higher…(duh). Both of those things are easier said than done.
Obviously, the best option is secret option #3, jump a little bit higher and spin the rope a little bit faster. I have played around with triple unders a lot and can string together quite a few and I CAN accomplish them by ONLY jumping higher, but the jump is so high it becomes exhausting very quickly. To only spin the rope faster really depends on the rope you have, as discussed above, and I can CAN accomplish triple-unders by ONLY spinning faster, but I need the non-coated super quick rope to do so.
However, by jumping just a little bit higher and spinning a little bit faster I can nail them with a normal speed rope.
So how do you accomplish this?
To accomplish triple unders you have to be extremely efficient. In fact, triple under practice is like putting your double-under form and efficiency under the microscope, because any tiny flaw, or sloppy form, you may get away with in a double-under will not be gotten away with in a triple under.
Everything is exposed. So you have to tighten everything up.
The Triple Under Checklist
Good position(s) and….SPIN
- First, how is your hand/elbow position? It’s this simple – wrist below elbow, elbows pinned in. Don’t over think it, but if you need more explanation watch this video [WATCH].
Jump…the right way
- Next, how is your jump? If you are jumping how you would nail a high box jump (bringing your knees to your face), you are doing it wrong. If you are jumping and sweeping your legs back, or bringing your heels closer to your butt, you are doing it wrong.
- You need to be doing the pogo stick jump, straight up and straight down. This really is no different from your double under jump, but your brain will think so. You have programmed your body to do single and double unders, so triple unders aren’t in your muscle memory…yet. To start, bound upward without a rope, and do a quick three count in your head and visualize the rope spinning three times under your feet.
- So, jump (in your head 1-2-3), land, bound upward (1-2-3), all while VISUALIZING the rope going under your feet three times. Visualization works! Complete anywhere from 50-100 of these jumps before even attempting a triple-under and make sure you get wrist spinning involved in your practice. You are getting your brain prepared for the movement, in a moment we will talk about executing.
Don’t freak out (MOST IMPORTANT)
- Alright, you have corrected your hand position and you are now spinning the rope more efficiently and effectively. You have corrected your jump and have just enough clearance to get the rope under you feet three times and rebounded for another rep (or three).
Attempting: The Triple Under Truth
If you don’t throw your rope at least once in the process of learning triple unders, you are a better person than me :).
Despite all the tips above, when you first try a triple under you will most likely forget it all and it goes something like this…
You get ready, you jump as high as you can, you bend your legs up and you spin your arms like giant windmills….Basically, you forgot everything you were just working on…
- You secretly do not believe you can effortlessly accomplish a triple-under, so despite your efficiency practice, you are now operating on fear or doubt and trying to do what seems “logical” (very high jump and crazy spin).
It’s not going to work.
Triple-unders, take just a little more exertion than a double-under, but it is not a “max-effort” attempt at anything. They have to be quick and efficient just like the double-under. So if you jump as high as you can and spin the rope as fast as you can and you get one triple under, but there is no way you could bound into another jump…it’s pointless. Well, unless, “Complete 1 Triple-Under” is on your bucket list, then you are good to go.
But is it ok to do that…ONCE. Let me explain…
- Do one triple under any way you possibly can.
This is NOT how I recommend you practice, but you do need to get one triple under. So, I don’t care how you jump, how you spin or what you do…Just get the rope to pass under your feet three times anyhow. Once you have proven to yourself it is possible, you can start working on efficiency and form as stated in the tips above.
Alright, now go crush some triple unders today!
If you nail a triple under today…first, post a comment to let me know about it, and, second, if there are others around, act like you have been there before :), alright, alright or celebrate like crazy!
Still having problems after all that? Check out Carl Paoli’s video here [WATCH]. He adds a few more in-depth tips about where to spin the rope and where to keep you head, etc. Great video, but I feel if you focus on too much too soon while doing these things…you are shooting yourself in the foot (with a rope).