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Elite Crossfitters Share Their Top Tips for Mastering Double-Unders (Here’s All 33 of Them)

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

This comprehensive guide is packed with 33 expert tips, drills, and motivational insights to transform you from a double under novice to a proficient pro.

As you learn about choosing the right rope, using the correct form, and trying advanced techniques, you’ll discover how to master smooth, consecutive double unders that have been challenging for you.

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What makes the perfect rope length? How can you avoid common pitfalls and fast-track your progress? And what are the advanced strategies that will set you apart in competitions? The answers to these questions and more await you.

So, grab your rope, and let’s jump right in!

Jump to:

Rope Selection and Length: The Foundation of Your Double Under Success

When it comes to mastering the double under, the first step is selecting the right jump rope. Just as a chef wouldn’t use a butter knife to chop vegetables, you shouldn’t use just any old rope for your double unders.

1. Find Your Perfect Match:

The jump rope that you choose should feel like an extension of your body. It should be comfortable, easy to control, and, most importantly, the right length. When you stand on the rope with both feet together, the handles should extend to your armpits. This is the sweet spot that allows for optimal control and efficiency in your jumps.

As Nuna from Invictus Fitness puts it, “The rope should sit at your sternum when standing on it with feet together. Handles should extend to your armpits.”

2. Beginners, Start Here:

If you’re new to the world of double unders, start with a heavier jump rope that has a plastic coating. The weight of the rope provides more sensory feedback, helping you to develop a rhythm and get the feel for the movement.

As Nuna from Invictus Fitness suggests, “Beginners should use heavier ropes with plastic coating for more sensory feedback.”

This extra weight will help you feel the rope’s movement and better understand the timing required for successful double unders.

3. Level Up with Lighter Cables:

As you progress and become more comfortable with the movement, you can switch to a lighter wire cable. The lighter cable will move faster, challenging your coordination and timing, ultimately helping you to improve your double under performance.

“As you improve rope speed, switch to lighter wire cables,” advises Nuna.

We made a great video on the best double under ropes, from beginners to advanced:

4. Rope Length:

The length of the rope is crucial. It should be just right – not too long, not too short. A rope that’s too long will be difficult to control and will require more effort to turn. On the other hand, a rope that’s too short will be unforgiving and will likely result in more mistakes.

Find the length that’s just right for you, and you’ll be well on your way to double under success.

Here’s how:

5. Handle It:

Lastly, pay attention to the handles. They should be comfortable to hold and not too bulky. The handles are your connection to the rope, so it’s important that they feel good in your hands.

As Nuna from Invictus Fitness says, “The handles should be comfortable and provide a good grip.”

Proper Form and Mechanics: The Key to Efficiency and Success

Mastering the double under requires more than just a good jump rope and a strong will; it requires impeccable form and mechanics. Let’s break down the essential components of proper form and mechanics for double unders.

6. Wrist Action is Crucial:

The power for the spin should come from your wrists, not your arms.

As Cole Sager explains, “Using your wrists rather than your arms to spin the rope is more efficient and will save you energy in the long run.”

This subtle shift in movement allows for a faster, more controlled spin, essential for nailing those double unders.

7. Stay Upright and Light on Your Feet:

Your chest should be upright, and your feet should be soft on the balls, ready to spring up at a moment’s notice. This position ensures you are ready to jump high enough to clear the rope without expending unnecessary energy..

8. Elbow and Hand Positioning:

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Your elbows should be back, and your hands should be in your peripheral vision. This positioning helps maintain a consistent jump rope length, ensuring each jump is the same. “Keeping your elbows back and hands in your peripheral vision helps maintain a consistent rope length, which is crucial for successful double unders,” advises Kristi Eramo.

9. Posture and Streamlining:

Maintaining good posture and a streamlined body while jumping is essential. This means keeping your body straight, your core engaged, and your movements controlled. “A streamlined body and good posture are the foundation of efficient double unders,” says Coach Emily from CrossFit 212.

10. Avoid Unnecessary Movements:

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Piking, donkey kicks, and other unnecessary movements should be avoided. These movements waste energy and disrupt the rhythm of your jumps. “Avoid piking, donkey kicks, and other unnecessary movements. They disrupt the rhythm and waste energy,” warns Cole Sager.

Mastering the Basics: Building a Strong Foundation for Double Unders

Before you can conquer the world of double unders, it’s crucial to have a solid foundation in the basics. Let’s delve into the fundamental skills you need to master before progressing to double unders.

11. Consistency is Key: 200 Single Unders in a Row

Before even attempting double unders, make sure you can perform 200 single unders in a row without any mistakes, all while maintaining good form. This consistency will build your confidence and stamina.

12. Bounding: The Perfect Warm-Up

Bounding, or hopping up and down on your forefoot, is an excellent warm-up exercise that helps you get used to the rhythm and timing needed for double unders. “Bounding is a great way to warm up your legs and get into the rhythm before attempting double unders” says Coach Hendrik Senf.

13. Master Single Unders First

It might seem tempting to jump straight into double unders, but mastering single unders first is crucial. Single unders help you develop the necessary coordination, timing, and rhythm needed for double under.

“Mastering single unders is the first step to nailing double unders. It helps you develop the coordination and rhythm needed for the more complex movement,” advises Coach Senf.

Practice Techniques and Drills: Sharpening Your Skills for Double Unders

When it comes to mastering double unders, practice makes perfect. But not just any practice—focused and strategic practice is key. Let’s explore some expert-recommended techniques and drills that will help you sharpen your skills and become proficient at double unders.

14. Rope-Free Practice: Thigh Slaps and Penguin Jumps

Start by practicing without a rope. As you jump, slap your thighs twice to mimic the rhythm of the rope passing under your feet. This drill helps you develop the timing and rhythm needed for double under.

“Practicing without a rope allows you to focus on your timing and rhythm without the distraction of the rope,” says Sarah from Elite SRS.

15. Speed Training Balls: Correcting Weaknesses and Improving Coordination

Speed training balls are a great tool to help you correct weaknesses and improve coordination. Use them to simulate the spinning motion of the rope and develop the wrist strength and coordination needed for double under.

“Speed training balls are an excellent tool to help you develop the wrist strength and coordination needed for double unders,” explains Sarah.

16. Bar Taps and Penguin Taps: Developing Rhythmic Jumping

Bar taps and penguin taps are two drills that help you develop rhythmic jumping. For bar taps, jump and tap a bar or other elevated surface with your hands. For penguin taps, jump and tap your hips with your hands.

“Bar taps and penguin taps are great drills to help you develop a rhythmic jumping pattern, which is essential for double unders,” says Coach Costa.

17. Listening for the Whistle: Ensuring the Rope is Spinning Fast Enough

When you’re practicing double unders, listen for the whistle of the rope. This sound indicates that you are spinning the rope fast enough to complete the double under.

“The whistle of the rope is a good indicator that you’re spinning it fast enough. If you don’t hear it, you need to pick up the pace,” says Kristi Eramo.

Progressions and Challenges: Building Up to Double Under Mastery

Mastering double unders is a journey that requires patience, practice, and progression. Let’s explore some expert-recommended progressions and challenges that will help you build up to double under mastery.

18. The 3:1 Ratio: Single Jumps to Double Under

A great way to start your double under journey is by incorporating a 3:1 ratio of single jumps to double under.

“Start with three single jumps followed by one double under, aiming for 50 repetitions. This will help you build the rhythm and timing needed for consecutive double unders,” advises Paradiso Crossfit.

19. Gradual Increase: Consecutive Double Unders

Once you’re comfortable with the 3:1 ratio, gradually increase the number of consecutive double under.

“Start with two consecutive double unders, then three, and so on. The goal is to build up to 50 consecutive double unders with good form and control,” explainsParadiso Crossfit.

20. Mix It Up: Combinations of Single-Under and Double-Under

Challenge yourself by mixing up single-unders and double-unders in various combinations.

“Try doing five single-unders followed by five double-unders, then four single-unders followed by four double-unders, and so on. This will not only challenge your endurance but also improve your ability to transition between single-unders and double-unders,”.

21. Stay in Control: Jumping in One Spot

A common mistake when learning double unders is moving around too much. “Practice staying still in one spot while jumping. This will help you develop better control and efficiency in your jumps,” advises says Sarah from Elite SRS.

Common Mistakes to Avoid: Navigating the Double Under Minefield

Double unders can be a tricky skill to master, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to double under success.

22. Arm vs. Wrist: The Right Way to Spin the Rope

One of the most common mistakes is using your arms to spin the rope. “The power should come from your wrists, not your arms. Using your arms will tire you out faster and make it harder to maintain a consistent rhythm,” warns Paradiso Crossfit.

23. The Goldilocks Jump: Not Too High, Not Too Fast

Jumping too high or too fast is another common pitfall. “You want to find that sweet spot where you’re jumping just high enough for the rope to pass under your feet twice. Jumping too high or too fast will waste energy and throw off your rhythm,” explains Coach Mike from CrossFit South.

24. Rhythm and Blues: Maintaining a Consistent Beat

Alternating between single and double unders can create poor rhythm and make it harder to string together consecutive double under.

“Focus on maintaining a consistent rhythm. Practice double unders on their own instead of alternating with single unders,” advises Kristi.

25. Hands Down: Keeping Your Arms in Check

Bringing your hands or arms up can shorten the rope and make it harder to clear the jump.

“Keep your hands in your peripheral vision and your elbows back. This will help you maintain the right rope length and make it easier to clear the jump,”.

Consistency and Patience: The Slow and Steady Road to Double Under Mastery

Mastering double unders is a journey, not a sprint. Consistency and patience are key to unlocking the full potential of this challenging skill.

26. Practice Makes Perfect: The Importance of Regular Training

“Practice regularly and be patient with your progress. It’s not about how fast you get there, but about putting in the time and effort to improve,” advises Coach Taylor from CrossFit 101. Set aside dedicated time each week to practice your double unders, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Remember, even the pros had to start somewhere!

27. Stick with What Works: The Benefits of Using the Same Rope

Using the same rope every time can make a world of difference. “When you use the same rope, you become familiar with the mechanics of the movement and can focus on improving your technique,” explains Kristi.

Find a rope that feels comfortable and suits your needs, and stick with it. Your future self will thank you!

28. Enjoy the Journey: Embracing the Process and Progressing at Your Own Pace

Lastly, have fun and progress at your own pace. Double unders are challenging, but they’re also a lot of fun. Don’t be too hard on yourself and enjoy the journey. Celebrate the small victories and use them as motivation to keep pushing forward. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are double under skills!

Advanced Tips for Competitions or Personal Bests: Elevate Your Double Under Game to the Next Level

When you’re ready to take your double unders to the competition floor or simply want to smash your personal best, these advanced tips will help you fine-tune your technique and maximize your efficiency.

29. The Need for Speed: Opting for a Bare Cable

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For those looking to add speed and efficiency to their double unders, consider using a bare cable. A bare cable cuts through the air faster than a coated one, allowing you to spin the rope with less effort and increase your speed.

This small change can make a significant difference in your performance, especially during competitions where every second counts.

30. Stay Grounded: The Importance of Staying Still

One common mistake athletes make during double unders is moving around too much. Practice staying absolutely still in one spot while jumping. This not only conserves energy but also helps you maintain a consistent rhythm.

Find a focal point on the ground and focus on landing in the same spot with each jump.

31. Accountability: The Power of a Watchful Eye

have someone watch you and warn you if you’re using your arms too much. Sometimes we’re not aware of our form, and having an extra set of eyes can be invaluable.

Ask a friend or coach to observe your technique and provide feedback. This external perspective can help you identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your form for optimal performance.

Encouragement and Motivation: Fueling Your Journey to Double Under Mastery

Embarking on the journey to mastering double unders can be both challenging and rewarding. Here are some words of encouragement and motivation to keep you going.

32. Patience and Persistence: The Road to Success

Keep practicing and be patient. Mastery doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to remember that double unders are a skill that takes time and consistent practice to develop. Set realistic goals and celebrate the small victories along the way.

33. Seek Support: The Power of Community

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or modifications during workouts”. The CrossFit community is known for its supportive and inclusive environment. Lean on your fellow athletes and coaches for support and guidance. They’ve likely faced similar challenges and can provide valuable insights and encouragement.

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