Double Unders (DUs) might go down in history as the most frustrating movement ever made mainstream.
Very few people find it easy.
For most it is a grind to learn the skill. Months of whippings, frayed wires and a sore throat from frustration.
There are many components you need to master to make DUs as effortless as walking.
So whether you have just got your first DU or you are seeking 200+ these are the elements to master:
This grip allows you to pinch the rope in the most effective way to best ‘feel’ the movement of the wire.
This grip also allows you to be loose and tight.
Maximum speed minimum energy.
Relaxed and fast.
Mastering this grip will give you the most accurate ‘feel’ of the rope.
Allowing you to make mid flight adjustments. An important skill under fatigue.
2. Bent elbow and wrist
This is how you can master your mechanics.
Too often I hear my clients complain how skipping burns out their shoulders. Add in pull ups or handstands and you quickly burn through your shoulders.
So how can we prevent this… and most importantly what causes this?
Now I can’t see you skipping....
But if your arm is straight or almost straight the rotation and effort will come from the shoulder. Not good.
Bending at the elbow and at the wrist will distribute the work to the bicep, forearms and fingers allowing your shoulders to relax during the movement increasing your efficiency.
3. Bad posture
Contrary to what you may think I believe a relaxed head forward shoulders forward posture is the most efficient way to skip.
You may have been told to pin your shoulders back, jump tall and stay tight and hollow.
Those positions for 99% of people are unnatural and burn energy.
When you're jumping you should be in a relaxed position. The tightness will come from a well developed spring in your achilles and calf (we’ll get to that).
Being relaxed allows you to breathe better turning DUs into a recovery movement.
4. Rope length
I want you to imagine yourself skipping.
As the rope passes under your feet does it hit the ground?
How hard does it hit the ground?
How much sound does it make?
Answering these questions can reveal a key in your rope speed efficiency.
Firstly there are many rope types and weights.
I assume by this point you have found one which works well for you.
If you have not. Go buy a rope.
The more advanced you become at skipping the shorter you need to make your rope length. A shorter rope means less contact with the floor and a faster turnover.
This equates to less effort to spin the rope and faster reps.
So if you can do DUs well but can’t seem to make your rope turn any faster consider taking an inch off the length and see what happens.
5. The correct jump
The biggest mistake of all when it comes to DUs is not having the strength to jump correctly.
Having a weak jump is like having a weak back for deadlifts. You need a strong enduring jump to do DUs.
How do you know if you can jump well?
The quickest way I know is the difference between your single skip jump and your double under jump.
There should be almost NO DIFFERENCE.
The best example I have ever seen is by Chris Spealler - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7XjUbUpeHE
So when you’re ready to pass the rope under your feet twice you don’t need to make 6 times the space. Spin the rope faster don’t jump higher.
The best way to work on your jumping is to do more slow single skips focusing on being springy and jumping straight.
Build this solid base first.
Be light when you jump.