In this post, we’re going to go over a few common issues that people have when they’re struggling to get double unders. All of the things that we will mention, will help you master double unders. Our tips will help you get them a little bit easier, more consistently, and more effectively.
The first thing to pay attention to is timing. People jump the cables all different places around them as they are starting to jump rope. We work off of a timing, and the timing we recommend is the cable straight out in front of your face. Generally, if you have a light-colored background, whether that be the whiteboard in your gym, a door, a door casing, something that’s light in color, as the cable come by you should actually be able to see the cable. When you see the cable, that’s when you should accelerate and jump. Generally, you can know if your timing is off if it’s hitting you in the shins, if it’s hitting you in the back of the arm, or the back of the leg. Those can be some symptoms of that your timing is off, so pay attention to those.
Using the correct cable weight is very important. We have a black cable custom jump rope. It weighs five grams per foot. It has good weight to it, so it has a good feel. You can feel where the cable is coming around. It has good momentum, so if you do hit the side of your foot or a crack in the rubber flooring, it’s more likely to continue to come around for you, so it’s got that little bit of forgiveness to it.
We have lighter cables as well, which you can try as you progress. Our blue cable custom jump rope is three grams per foot, so as you become proficient, that cable’s going to benefit you. And then we’ve got a two-grams-per-foot rope, which is our red cable, which you should use when you are much more experienced.
Hand movement is another issue that a lot of people have. We recommend holding your hands in a neutral position that’s most comfortable. We’re not very forceful of keeping your hands tight and in and down, because as soon as you start to fatigue or jump, generally you’re going to go to a neutral relaxed position, so that’s where we like to start. From that position, a lot of people as they start to do a double under, their hands fall back behind the waist and hips, so we want our hands always to be in front throughout the entire double under movement. A common symptom that kind of lets you know that may be happening, is as you’re jumping, the cable hits you in the back of the head. Generally, when your hands fall back, it lets a lot of slack in the cable, so it loses all the momentum and just kind of comes over and falls out of the air, hitting you in the back of the head, and landing on your shoulders.
A lot of people jump really fast. They try to do a low-jumping single in quick and then accelerate the cable even faster. We’ve seen that it’s very difficult to accelerate something going fast to go even faster. So we recommend a slow tempo – a very slow jump, but at a higher jump that you would want to do for the double under. This helps build that consistency across the board between the single and the double. Doing this, a lot of people have had a lot of success.
When jumping, a lot of people want to pike. That’s where they pull their feet forward, so they’re pulling with their hip flexors to get that height. Another thing that people do is they want to pick up their feet behind them to think that they’re getting that clearance. The problem with both of those is it’s very taxing, so other elements in your workout can be affected by that. We recommend a very neutral straight jump, keeping your body as vertical as possible while trying to keep all that other movement to a minimum.
In the video below, we demonstrate how we like to see our double unders done for people that are working on it, trying to perfect it, or trying to learn it for the first time.