Double-unders are a great cardio exercise that are hard to master and most people that fail to complete more than a couple unbroken. If this is the case, you could be making mistakes on hand, arm, and wrist movements.
That should not keep you from trying to excel at double-unders. After all, there are numerous reasons to keep jumping that rope on a regular basis:
- Increase workout intensity
- Improves conditioning
- Burn more fat in less time
- Increase agility and overall endurance
The benefits of switching from single-unders to double-unders are motivating as well. As obvious as it seems, double-unders are two times more effective at burning calories in the same amount of time as a single-under.
So while skipping rope sounds promising, why aren’t you doing it more often? Is it because you keep whipping yourself with the cables? Perhaps your form is not optimal. Hint: it has nothing to do with your feet positioning or your jumps.
BOXROX has selected a few common mistakes when doing double-unders and how to properly fix them.
1. Hand position
The first thing to look out for is the positioning of the hands. If the hands are too high, the rope will eventually hit your legs, as it increases the distance between the rope and the ground.
CrossFit athlete Dan Bailey explains that the optimum place to keep the hands while doing double-unders is the same height as the waistline:
“Wrist is below the elbow. Hands just a little bit in front of your body.”
2. Arm position
Much like the hands, the position of the arms is responsible for most of the issues and difficulties when doing double-unders.
In short, keep your elbows tucked in and close to your body at all times. “If your arms go wide, the rope gets shorter and that’s gonna trip it up,” says Chris Spealler, a veteran CrossFit athlete from CrossFit Park City.
Former CrossFit athlete and now YouTuber Craig Richey shared a valuable tip to maintain your arms and elbows tucked-in to perfect the double-under. “Just put a band around the upper arm, around the humerus.”
This way you keep shoulders, elbows and arms relaxed in order to focus on the important part of your body that will be responsible for the movement of the rope: the wrists.
3. It’s All About the Wrists
You know where your hands and arms should be positioned, staying tucked-in at all times. It’s up to the wrists to make the rope pass under your legs twice while you jump.
Budy Lee, U.S. Olympic wrestler and jump rope training educator, says that once you do a first jump, the rope will continue on its trajectory. “There is no need to do much effort, so I’m just making small circles with the wrists.”
If you stick by these three principles – focus on hand position, keep your elbows tucked in, and pay attention on the wrist movements – we guarantee you will get better and better with double-unders.