Matt Chan Eik Gylfadóttir

Who Here Cannot Do Double Unders? (and How to Fix That)

How to finally get your double under technique sorted!

Double unders is a movement that I can´t seem to get to work for me.

The Struggle With Double Unders

Because I´m so stubborn I always try my best to do the double unders. Sometimes I want to cry and throw the jump rope away, and do. Then before I can start again I must do a little meditation. Calm myself and find a spot that I can put all my focus on.

Often I only get one double under before I hit myself like a whip lash and that hurts all over. Especially when I keep hitting the same spot, which is usually my elbow. And all over my left hand. My right hand is usually lash free, but not always.

When you realize .. it’s DECEMBER??❤️???☃️????

A post shared by Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir (@katrintanja) on

That is the hardest part, to take on these lashes, and to explain them to other people.

I have gotten questions about my striped arm, people might think I had some self- destructive tendencies.

I also hit myself on the front of my legs and on the toes. That does not hurt as much and not as visible for other people. The worst lash I got from my jump rope was last week when I hit the rope just under my knee, where I had a wound from falling off my bike a week before, so it started bleeding again. That was one of the few times I decided to go for single unders instead. So my wound wouldn’t get hit more.

Other times I hit myself in the back that is way worse, so that is good that is doesn’t happen that often. I do now understand why people used whip lashes as torture in the olden days, this hurts so much that I can´t breathe for some time after, I just go into shock and want to lie down.

I don’t know why those hurt more, maybe because there´s more power going into those swings with the rope. After a couple of those hits I tend to give up jump roping for that day. These kind of hits leave bruises.


The crossfit community is ready to help those who need, and I really need help with my D.U. everyone keep giving me advice on how to improve. Like to keep my legs straight, don’t go too fast, practice without the jump rope, just jump higher and swing the rope slower. I have also watched videos on how to get better, but my body doesn’t seem to be able to coordinate these movements of jumping higher and turn the jump rope faster.

The normal single under is also troubling for me, but not as gruesomely. I just lose the rhythm there.

I won´t say that I haven’t gotten better, cause that would not be true. My record is 10 D.U. in a row. But that happens rarely.

The double under is like a normal jump rope but you rotate the rope twice under your legs in one jump.

  1. The jump must be high enough and efficient, not using too much energy to drain yourself too quickly. Double unders and single unders mostly use your calve muscles.
  2. Jump always on the tip of your toes, don´t land on the whole foot, that makes it harder to jump up again.
  3. The wrists must do all the rope turning, not the shoulders. That is a common mistake, if you engage your shoulders too much they will lift the rope higher, resulting in the band hitting your legs, because the circle it makes doesn’t reach all the way down after the shoulders have lifted them higher.
  4. Keep your forearm a little bit in front of your body, don’t align your arms to your hips. Don’t reach forward.
  5. Use your own jump rope, that has the perfect length for your height, you are used to and know the weight of. New jumping ropes are not ideal for every time.
  6. It is better to use heavier ropes to start with. With them you can better feel the movement of the rope.
  7. Listen to the rope. When the rope hits the ground, it makes a noise. Find the rhythm and jump according to it. If you cannot hear the rope hit the ground, you must lower your shoulders.
  8. Keep the rhythm in jumping and breathing, like when you run.

There are days when I can do rounds of 7,8 or even 10 in a row and finish the number I´m supposed to do in a okay time. But the next day or next week I only get singles. Then it´s better for me to go for time, like do D.U. for 2 minutes, not a number like 50, cause that will take me 7 minutes with breaks to cry and throw the jump rope away and question my will to live.

It is also so frustrating to have your workout partners finish these high numbered D.U. unbroken and laugh at you for not being able to do one, and overtake you by so much time in only this exercise.

I have practiced a lot and done the Benchmark workout called Annie a couple of times. Annie is 50-40-30-20-10 Double unders and sit ups. I have never timed myself cause it would be too embarrassing to see 25 minutes on the clock. While most people finish under 5 minutes.

Different Jump Ropes

The jump rope itself is of course important as well, the thickness of it, the handlebars, if it is coated or not, it is all important. I have still not decided which is best for me. The old time jump ropes that were actual weaved ropes or leather ropes are definitely not ideal.

To be able to swing it fast enough to get it twice around yourself while you jump once. The speed ropes seem to be doing good, but not for me, they just hurt even more. The thinner the rope is the faster it goes and therefor hits you harder.

It is good to have you own jump rope that you adjust to your height to make it easier to jump over.

The Time To Give Up, Never!

I once did a short amrap workout with some power cleans and deadlifts and my precious D.U. and the jumping was thought to get some cardio in between. I was having a pretty bad D.U. day and I think the number of D.U. was 20 each time, but I only did about 4 each time before I just stopped doing them and just did the weightlifting part, cause I was not getting any cardio out of this, only tears and frustration. So the last 3 minutes of the amrap I didn’t touch the jump rope.

Body-Positioning Tips for Improving Your Double Unders from Dan Bailey