Let’s Talk Double Unders

So… double unders. This is strange speak for non-Crossfitters. Basically it’s jumping rope where the rope passes under your feet twice for each jump. This can be a daunting task for many a crossfitter. It takes lots of practice and can be one of the most frustrating things you try to learn. It’s just not as simple as jumping higher or moving the rope faster. You have to find that sweet spot where you can move the rope quickly and jump enough but not too much or you’ll do maybe 5 and die of cardio exhaustion. In any case they are challenging to get. Once you can do them though, they are pretty fun!

Now…. for the mom (and sometimes non-mom) issue with double unders that we all know about but maybe don’t often speak of….. uncontrollably peeing yourself while you do them. IT SUCKS! There’s nothing more annoying or distracting than doing a string of 30 double unders and halfway through you realize your releasing fluid you can’t even control. Sure sure we can work on this by doing kegels but lets be real. You’re probably doing a few right now because I mentioned it but then you’ll forget and not do them again until you read about it the next time. I’ve come to accept that there’s really no solution to not having this happen (short of medical conversations), it’s just a balance of going to the bathroom before your workout, then again before you actually do the double unders and then knowing it’s still going to happen anyway. I once tried not drinking much during the day when I knew I was going to have them in a WOD in the afternoon but it didn’t help and then I was dehydrated. That was dumb. I’ve used pads to help absorb and make it less distracting but sure enough you’ll end up with a WOD that has squats in it also and then it’s all up in your business for 15 minutes. The only solution I’ve really found is to suck it up and keep moving, bring extra pants or shorts, take a shower when you get home and kiss your kids because it’s all their fault anyway. J/K….. I love my kids….. and I can also blame my husband…

I don’t have many tips for improving double unders for the general population that your coaches I’m sure haven’t already told you. BUT I do have one that comes from my knowledge as a musician and I think is one of the reasons that I was able to become successful doing them. Tempo. Many people think they can just speed up the rope but then the timing doesn’t work with their jump and they get tripped up. As a musician, we often use something called a Metronome. This is a device we use to help keep a steady beat. What is nice is that you can find your steady beat for jumping rope and doing single unders and go from there. First, find out what your tempo is for single unders. The next step is to double that tempo. For musicians this would mean finding the 8th note to the quarter note tempo. What you have to understand is that your jump is the beat on the metronome and the rope, which you are moving from your wrists and arms, is the doubled tempo. Practice moving your hands at the doubled speed. Then work to put them together. If you think the double time as you jump you’ll get the double unders! This isn’t a fool proof plan for someone who is not rhythmically inclined (or anyone) and it’s going to be tough but this is one way I found to help me with getting my double unders that’s outside of the way I’ve seen many coaches teach them. I guess it’s a side effect to my being a musician. If you’re struggling with double unders give this a try! Find your steady beat and double it!

I can’t go without mentioning that you ABSOLUTELY, 100% need your own jump rope to be successful! You have to find one that has the right weight and length for you and your style. Using the community ones at the gym will never help you get them! There are many out here available but the one I currently have and love came from WODFitters. Check it out and get yourself a rope!!!

If you’re still not convinced you need your own rope, read this!

If you want to see why else you may suck at double unders and how to improve upon them check out this Blog post from DoubleUnderWonder!

Good luck and keep practicing!



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