Fitness is best measured by (surprise!) tests of fitness. Sounds obvious, but it’s shocking how many people try to gauge their fitness level solely by the weight they see on the scale or the amount of inches they lose. Using fitness to gauge fitness is just one reason why I love high intensity training.
Today after our workout my training partners and I practiced some of our skills, including double unders. Double under skipping (where you jump once while the rope completes two full spins) is definitely a tough skill to master – but once you do, it’s an incredible cardio exercise.
Double unders are tough! Here are 6 tips for mastering them:
6) Make sure your skipping rope is the right length. Double check that it’s not too long (it’ll be flimsy and harder to spin quickly), and make sure it’s not too short (the result here is obvious). A good way to gauge the proper length: stand on the rope with both feet and hold the rope up towards your armpits. The handles (where they connect with the rope) should start right around there.
5) If you’re using a heavy plastic skipping rope, try upping the ante by using a cable skipping rope. They spin so must faster (and with a lot less effort). When you mess up and they hit your legs or arms they hurt like *%#@… Use this as motivation to not mess up.
4) Don’t change the way you jump. Whether you’re doing singles or double unders, your jump should look pretty much the same – you’ll jump slightly higher than usual but your feet should never kick up or back and your knees shouldn’t drive up any higher than they would with a single. What really has to change for a double under is the rate at which the rope is spinning, and this is driven primarily using your wrists…
3) Keep your hands at hip level and drive the rope around using your wrists. This is key. Using your forearms or upper arms will help but your arms will fatigue so driving the rope around quickly and continuously really depends on your wrist.
2) Start by doing one double, one single, one double, one single, etc. Giving yourself at least one or two single jumps in between each double will help you as you start to learn the cadence and the feel of double unders.
1) Watch demonstrational videos before you head to the gym. Or train with someone who has double unders down pat so you can watch (and listen to) their rhythm and then try to copy it. There really is a cadence to them and once you get the feel for it, double unders will start to come more naturally.