Double unders take your average jump roping routine to a whole new level. If you’ve never tried them, you’re in for a real humbling experience the first time you do.
I remember thinking that these can’t be that hard, it’s just getting the rope around faster and jumping a little higher. How wrong I was! I was so tired within the very first minute that I had to stop and gather my senses.
There are a couple main factors of the double under technique that make it a particularly challenging movement.
I can easily perform hundreds of single unders at any given time. When I’m doing those I’m somewhat relaxed. The added intensity of having to double my speed and jump higher make me tighten up. I can feel it in my jaws after every practice round. I’m certain that I forget to breathe as well.
As I said already, I can handle singles easy enough. I can even do cross overs and some other movements. Nothing too fancy, but I’m no klutz. Getting the rhythm of the proper spin speed to match the proper jump height has proved to be a huge challenge.
Practice – Practice – Practice
As they say “practice makes perfect”. I’ve been wanting to include the double under in my workout routines for around 1 year now. But since I can’t do ’em, I certainly can’t include ’em. I worked on the skill a little bit here and there, but wasn’t consistent with my efforts. I would get frustrated and move on to something that made me feel better instead of improving my weakness.
So a couple weeks ago I decided to confront my double under demons. My decision was to practice my double under skill for at least 30 minutes every day.
I studied a couple solid instructional vids on youtube. I’ll try to go back and add them here – no promises though. Then it was just about me grabbing the bull by the horns and starting the work.
My first few days had me looking like that 6 year old red-head my grandma used to whip with a hickory switch. My legs had red lines all over them from the misses. I even hit my face a few times. I’m still not sure how that happened.
But I pressed on. Like a dog on a bone, I’m not giving up till I’m satisfied. I honestly didn’t see much progress in the first week. But it seemed as if things really started to make sense to me in week two. I began to realize that I had not been spinning the rope fast enough, nor was I keeping my arms in tight enough.
I soon began putting things together. I would do something like 4 or 5 singles and then 1 double and back to singles without missing. After that I noticed that I was starting to relax more during the movement.
I’m Getting it Now
It’s been a little over 2 weeks and I’m seeing the fruits of my labor. I’m now able to string together as many as 10 doubles. Most of the time it’s more like 3, 4, or 5. But every couple days I’ll hit a hot streak and knock off 8,9, or 10.
It’s an awesome feeling to see the practice paying off and to know that it wasn’t for nothing.
What About You?
Ever tried double unders? Is there some other skill or high coordination movement that’s beating you down?
Please share in the comments.