Your toughest challenge in the gym.
Apparently, there aren’t many articles that teach a person how to do Double Unders. And I know exactly the reason why:
YOU JUST HAVE TO PRACTICE THEM OVER AND OVER AND ….
You get the point. Double unders have been dubbed by Shape magazine as one of the top 25 most decieving workouts. They are also one of the best ways to work on cardiovascular fitness, coordination, balance, muscle control, speed, breathing….again, you get the point. Decievingly tough? YES. A must for supreme fitness? YES.
That said, let’s figure out this speed trick.
Before I dive head first into things, some of you might be wondering what a “Double Under” is. Simply, the rope passes under the person’s feet twice per every single jump. Click here to get a couple good jump rope workout ideas.
While there isn’t much info out there to tell you HOW to do DBUs (as I’ll refer to them from here out), you’d be amazed at the amount of videos on YouTube.
Check out this page which contains 71,800 YouTube videos on how to do efficient DBUs. (Warning: I did not preview them all.) 😉
But for now, check out Erik’s favorite CrossFit Athlete from the 2012 Games in the final heat of the “Double Banger” workout in which she performs several rounds of DBUs against all the top athletes. And make sure you tune in to ESPN this month where Camille will be competing once again for the title of the FITTEST person in the WORLD. Damn.
As you can see, they look easy. But in reality, they are anything but. I don’t know why they’re so damn frustrating but I do know that if you practice enough, they will eventually “click,” and once you’ve got them, you’ve got them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when attempting DBUs:
- Always use a rope measured for your height. To find the right height, stand on the middle of the rope and pull the handles to your armpits. The tips of the handles should measure right up to your pits.
- Before you can even attempt a DBU, you’ve GOT to be effecient at FAST singles.
- Keep your feet together, your arms/elbows by your side. The further out you hold your arms, the quicker you’ll fatigue.
- Make sure your weight is in your toes–NOT your heels. (This is my biggest struggle right now.)
- Again, start with FAST singles.
- Get in a rhythm in which you “jump, jump, BIGGER jump.” And repeat.
- When you’re ready, turn that bigger jump into a double under attempt.
- Keep trying for that attempt. It may take weeks or it may take months, but you WILL get it!
- Once you get in the rhythm of “jump, jump, double under,” turn this into “jump, double under, jump, double under,…”
- Once you handle the jump/DBU rhythem, work until you can start connecting the DBUs.
- Remember to relax and jump with same position you would singles.
Make Sure You DO NOT:
- Lift your hands or hold your arms away from the body.
- Bring your knees up as in a tuck jump–you will get so tired, so fast.
- Kick your feet foward like a dolphin kick–this is not efficient and is a bad habit to break.
Apparently the “Gold Standard” for DBUs is two minutes of consecutive jumps. It’s one of my goals. Right now, my personal best is 90 DBUs in a row–which is probably around a minute of work. I also think my rope is a few inches too long. Erik–do we have wire cutters?
What Kind of Rope Should You Use?
Buy a rope that you can adjust or cut. I love speed ropes. Many new jumpers are intimidated, but once you get the hang of DBUs, a speed rope will ensure that your jumps are the FASTEST they can be. You can even find speed ropes here on the SHOP page of Strong Figure for pretty darn cheap.
My last warning:
Before you become efficient at DBUs, you’ll hurt yourself. Well, let me take that back. You’ll whip yourself silly. Chances are, if you’re here looking for help right now, you’ve probably already had a few run-ins with your rope. The good news is that the pain only lasts a couple seconds. The greater news is that you get to wear your tiger stripes with pride.
Feature Image by andrewmalone
Ericka @ The Sweet Life says
I FINALLY “got” DUs a few weeks ago. It clicked and I found the motion and now I feel like a pro. It is hard to explain though — great subject for a post!
Stephanie Wimer says
Thanks Ericka! Isn’t that the BEST feeling in the WORLD when those suckers just take off?! Awesome job!!
Tracey S. says
What an inspiration that video is!!