One of the keys to functional fitness is working on areas of weakness to improve your overall fitness.
There are a lot of tough movements in the sport, but for many beginners the toughest is double unders.
A Double under is achieved when a jump rope rotates under your legs twice when your jump.
The movement is found in a heap of WOD’s like Annie and Double-Under Helen and it’s hard to go a week of CrossFit training without it being thrown into a workout.
In terms of cardio workouts, double unders are one of the best. The exercise keeps your heart rate at a constant high level, and has a low impact on your body.
Here’s a few tips on how to improve your double unders:
Use your wrists to generate speed, not your arms. Spinning the rope with your arms will use a heap of energy and actually creates an inconsistent rotation. Remember to tuck your elbows in and use your wrists.
Know when to jump. A common problem for beginners is jumping too early. Try to start your jump when the rope is about to hit the ground, not when it is over your head.
Keep your legs straight. Beginners often tend to bend their knees when they jump thinking it will make more room for the rope to pass through twice. All this will do is waste more of your energy and increase the chance of the rope catching your legs. Remember to keep your body straight, your chest up, and legs vertical!
Be patient. Double unders are a tough exercise and not everyone can just walk into a box and pull out 50 reps unbroken. Start with single unders, then try to get a few double unders as you go.
Get a good rope. Equipment has a big impact on performance in any sport. Golfers don’t win majors using second hand clubs, and tennis players don’t win Opens with bad racquets.
There are a number of top quality jump ropes for all types of functional fitness athletes. A full guide can be found here.
In the meantime here’s a great video on how to improve your double-unders: