Lately, I’ve been seeing a ton of our clients determinedly doing their utmost to achieve their first Double Unders. Day after day of dedicated practice has yielded success for some, and continued frustrations for others. In light of this, I decided to post an encouraging how-to for those of you who are still struggling to master this elusive skill! Check out this great post by CrossFit Watertown that I stumbled across:
“Some things don’t come easy. That’s a hard thing to grasp some days, especially when you’re used to powering your way through life and just adding extra effort to make things happen.
But some things just can’t be powered through; like Double-Unders. You can’t just set your jaw and drive through your heels. The rope doesn’t care how big your quads are, or how determined your mind is, or who the heck you are in life.
The rope wants quick wrists, light feet, and – gasp – a relaxed state. WTH? You want me to RELAX? This is CROSSFIT! I’m geared up, pumped up, espresso’d up, and ready to rip through life with my bare hands, sharp teeth, and razor wit! I am roaring!
And so, you won’t have Double-Unders. Not until you learn to listen, relax, and make your body do what the coaches tell you to do. Until you make that commitment, you’ll be passed by every person in your gym who has two feet and learned to listen.
So, chill. Stand tall and relax. Quick wrists, light feet. It seems like the antithesis of an aggressive sport like CrossFit, but that’s the beauty of it all – we must learn the things we don’t want to learn. We must sometimes be who we think we can’t be. And then we learn so much more.”
My next suggestion for you Double-struggling Zoners is to have a look at this handy instructional video. Keep your eye on the consistent technique, timing, and specific movement of hands, legs, upper body, wrists, etc. Try to bear in mind that not everybody who is skilled at Double Unders jumps the same way: some are more relaxed, others have more movement in the torso, or legs. Perhaps they jump higher, or hardly jump at all. The trick is to find what feels the most natural for you, especially over a sustained period of time under duress. Hopefully this Double Under video will help re-inspire some of you to keep on trying until YOU get YOURS!
Buy-in: Dynamic movement, coaches’ choice, include some light skipping/jumping
Technical WOD: Jump and Swing
Part 1. Rebound box jump practice – 5 x 8 jumps
- Practice on a low box at first
- When dropping off the top of the box, work on preparing your body in the air to perform your next jump
- Land with knees slightly flexed but stiff
- Bring arms back on the way down and then swing them up and forward to initiate your next jump
- Work on spending less and less time on the ground with each rebound jump
Part 2: Russian Kettlebell Swings – 5 x 10
- These swings are only to shoulder height
- Keep shoulders back (not up!) through whole swing
- Think of arms as ropes -they don’t pull but connect your body to the weight
- Minimize knee bend, think about short and sharp hip action
Cash-out: Athlete’s choice of: 100 or 300 double unders for time