How To Do Double Unders
So, you’ve been skipping for a while and have managed to master the basic skip. Now you’re ready to take your skipping game to the next level. You’d love to do double unders but aren’t sure whether you’ve got the coordination or the fitness level to do it. Great - you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll run you through everything you need to know to become a double under pro.
What are Double Unders?
Double unders are an advanced skipping move that not only looks impressive, it also sounds really cool and most importantly it gets your heart rate soaring. With a standard skip, the rope travels one time under your feet. A double under has the rope travel twice under your feet on each jump. This results in a distinctive double whooshing sound that gets heads turning and earns instant respect.
Benefits of Double Unders
Double unders do more than pump up your gym cred. Basically, the double under takes all of the benefits of the standard single under skip and magnifies them. It’s a little bit like the difference between jogging and sprinting.
Double unders will tax your heart and lungs more than the single under version. As a result, your cardiovascular fitness level will increase, your heart will pump blood around your body stronger and your blood pressure level will normalize.
Double unders also intensify the fat burning potential of your workout. Doing double unders will see you burning an extra 2-3 calories every minute that you are working out. Beyond that, it is a great way to perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
HIIT workouts burn a ton of calories while you are doing them. Then, when the workout is over, it elevates your metabolic rate so that you are burning more calories for the next 24-36 hours. That is a result of what is known as the enhanced post exercise oxygen consumption (epoc) effect.
Double unders also intensify the amount of muscular work being done by the muscles of the lower body, especially the calves, hamstrings and glutes. There is also a strengthening effect on the shoulders. Core stability is also involved in this advanced skipping move.
Double unders will also increase your athletic speed, balance and agility. You will be much lighter on your feet and this will transfer to the sports field.
How to Perform the Double Under
The first step is to practice the jump without a rope. The key to success on the double under is not the speed of the skip but the height of the jump. Stand on the balls of your feet with your knees soft and your torso upright. Jump up and down, landing softly on the balls of your feet.
Your goal on the jump is to get as high as possible. To do this you should bend your knees and pike your legs. Another tip is to invest in a bounding target trainer. This is a device which positions a soft platform above your head. You can adjust the height of the platform. Your goal on each jump is for your head to make contact with the platform.
Having got into a good jumping rhythm that sees you consistently getting a decent distance off the ground, you can begin mastering the single under with a higher than normal jump. Be sure to hold the rope at your sides, with your elbows positioned 45-degrees to your body. Keep your chest up and your shoulders back. The wrist movement should be a flicking action; the movement does not come from the shoulders.
Now you are ready to start introducing doubles. Perform two singles and then go for a double. In your mind, give yourself the following cues …
Jump, Jump, Explode!
The double under jump should, at this stage, be focused on increasing the wrist speed; you have already got your jump higher!
Once you have got proficient at doing double unders on every 3rd skip, simply begin cutting out single unders until you are doing doubles continuously. Start by cutting out one single, so that you are alternating between singles and doubles. Then, when you get confident at alternates, cut out that single so that you are only doing doubles.
Double Under Tips
Performing double unders is an advanced skipping skill that can seem quite daunting. This can make a person quite tense when they approach the task. The key to success, however, is to relax. So, get your mind right before you begin.
You will stumble, falter and muck up your skip a lot when you try to master any new skipping skill. The key to getting better, though, is to keep going. Practise doing double unders every day for at least five minutes.
Once you have finished a set of double unders or single-double under combos, be sure to reset the rope before you begin your next set. The rope should be positioned on the floor behind you in a U shape.
Get the Right Length
If you do not get the right length of rope, you will never succeed at mastering double unders. To get the right length, stand with the rope doubled under a foot and pull it up. If it comes to your sternum (lower chest) then you’ve got the right length.
By patiently following the steps outlined above, you can become a double under pro. Then, once you’ve acquired that skill, use it to blast out quick high intensity workouts to blast fat and take your fitness to the next level.