How To Do Double Unders: Ultimate Guide

Whether you consider yourself a fitness expert or you are new to the world of CrossFit, double unders is one of the hardest exercises to perform. Many people struggle with jump rope exercise as a whole, and knowing how to do double unders is a popular question.

Knowing how to do double unders will significantly improve your workout by targeting numerous muscle groups simultaneously, which include the shoulders, legs, and core.

To help you improve your workouts, the article aims to show you how to get better at double unders and some tips for mastering double unders:

Athlete Jumping with Rope

What Are Double Unders?

“Dubs” as they are also called refer to a more advanced way of performing the jump rope exercise. If you use the traditional jump rope, the aim is to have the rope pass underneath the feet once before your feet touch the ground.

However, the double under aims to have the rope pass underneath your feet twice with each jump. Essentially, the jumping would remain steady at the same tempo as it would be when you are skipping, but the speed at which the rope moves is increased. The exercise heavily relies on the shoulders and wrists to speed up the movement of the rope.

Why Should You Do Double Unders?

Double unders provide a host of different benefits to the person performing the exercise. The exercise is often incorporated when you have limited space and limited equipment to work with. To perform the double under, you will only need a bit of floor space, and a jump rope. Here are a few reasons why the double under is useful:

Improves Cardiovascular Fitness

The double under is a quick and intense exercise, which aims to get your heart rate going. Due to the constant motion of movement, you won’t have time to rest unless you take a break. This would enhance the activity of the muscles in use, which helps to make them stronger and improve fitness.

Double Unders

Weight Loss

Much like improving your fitness, double unders can help you lose weight. While the exact calories will depend on your current weight and the time you perform the exercise, the average 150-pound person could burn up to 15o calories in 20-minutes. Bear in mind that these calories are consumed only by doing the double under exercise.

Improved Agility

No matter which sport you compete in, the idea of being flexible on your feet and agile will be beneficial. One of the benefits of doing double unders is that you will improve the agility and coordination of your body. For instance, your hands and feet will work together to ensure the rope passes two times before each jump.

A 2015 study among elementary school children proved that children who could perform better at double unders would also be better at the 20m sprint. This is an indication of how double unders can improve athletic performance.

Good “Bang For Your Buck” If You Are Pressed For Time

One of the biggest issues in the modern era is finding time to complete longer workouts. It is one of the main reasons why CrossFit has become so popular. With CrossFit, you can squeeze in full-body exercises within a small period. Fortunately, double unders also make this possible and you won’t need hours to achieve some results.

How To Do Double Unders: Step-By-Step Guide

If you have made the decision that you want to include double unders in your workout routine, the next step would be to perform them. Like many other workouts in the gym, there is a right and a wrong way. To help you better understand how to get better at double unders, we will help you in the process of learning double under:

1. The Basic Jump

No matter which exercises you aim to learn, it is best to start with the basics of the exercise. The most important part of learning double unders and skipping is to perform the jump correctly. 

The first step when teaching double unders for beginners will be to disregard the rope and become familiar with jumping comfortably on the balls of your feet. Whilst jumping, you should focus on pulling the knees up and gently touching the ground with the ball of your feet before launching yourself back up again.

You must master the basic jumping technique to move on to the next step and add the rope. The rope can confuse many beginners. They often forget about either jumping or moving the rope with the shoulders and wrists.

2. Basic Skipping (Single-Under)

If you can feel comfortable with jumping and you are avoiding all the possible errors, using the rope will be the next challenge. Instead of directly going for the double under, you want to make sure that you can skip the rope once with some consistency. Here are a few additional tips that could help you master the exercise.

  • Elbows and hands should be at a 45-degree angle to your body.
  • Your hands should be visible from the peripheral vision
  • You should master the jump by kissing the floor by now instead of landing
  • Shoulders should be back and you should push out your chest while your arms remain relaxed
  • You should find a rhythm with your wrist for flicking the skipping rope through after each jump

The single-under might seem simple when we compare it to double-unders. However, many people lack the coordination or even fitness to perform the single-under. You must master the basics of the single under before you move on to the more complex nature of the double under.

3. Start Integrating Double Unders

Once you feel comfortable with the single under, it is time to take it to a different level. Instead of diving directly into the double under, you can combine the exercise with the single under. For example, you might want to do "single, single, double, single, single" as part of your first attempt. This means every other jump would be double.

Once again, it is all about rhythm and you should find a consistent routine that you feel the most comfortable with. If you prefer “single, double, single, double”, it is also fine, but you need to start incorporating these doubles until you feel comfortable with them. 

The aim is to comfortably do about 2 or 3 sets of 15 repetitions, which include a combination of doubles and singles. 

4. Removing The Single Unders

As part of your double under progression, you will eventually need to turn it up a notch by removing the single unders. Instead of removing all the singles from your workout routine, it is best to start slow and remove one single at a time. If you have been performing “single, single, double, single, single”, you should try to perform “single, double, single, double, single”. 

It will take you a few weeks of constantly trying and failing before you become proficient at double unders. Eventually, you could take out all the singles and focus on constantly doing these double unders.

Double Unders

How To Choose The Best Suitable Jump Rope For Double Unders

Once you feel comfortable with double unders, you need to make sure that you find the right skipping rope for the workout. There are a few important things to keep in mind before buying any jump rope for double unders:

Material

Ideally, you want to look for a PVC or surgical steel rope, which provides adequate air resistance while helping you to improve the speed of rotation. A thickness of around 4mm is preferable, but this will depend on what you feel comfortable with.

Handle

For the handle, you want something with a bit more durability, which fits comfortably in your hands. An ergonomic handle would be best to avoid it chafing against the inner parts of your hands.

Length

The length will vary from person to person, but your jump rope should not drag on the floor. Ideally, it should gently scrape the floor with each passing motion. You will need to experiment with lengths to find the best one for your needs.

Which Jump Rope Would We Recommend?

The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is specifically designed for double unders. Made from surgical steel and featuring an ergonomic handle, it would fit comfortably in your hands. It is not recommended for use on rough surfaces due to the thin 2.5mm steel rope design. However, it should last you numerous years when used on a smooth surface.

Another great benefit of this jump rope is that you can adjust the rope to match your desired length. Basic thumbscrews will allow you to take apart the rope and after measuring the correct length, you can simply cut the cable and reconnect it to the handles.

The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope would work for all forms of exercise and both men and women. 

WOD NATION SPEED ROPE

Best Drills To Learn Double Unders

If you are having a hard time with double unders, you are not alone. Many beginners often struggle to perform double unders. Fortunately, there are a few great exercises/drills that would help improve your agility and coordination to improve your skills at performing double unders:

Single Unders

If you are brand new to using a jump rope, you should start with single unders. One of the first drills you can do is to try hitting at least 10 consecutive single unders without stopping. This will teach you coordination and allow you to get used to the movement.

Double Under Power Jump

For double unders, your jumps will be a bit more explosive to ensure you get the adequate clearance needed for the rope to pass by twice. You can start by doing 2 single under jumps followed by a third more explosive jump for the double under. This should allow you to build rhythm and get used to the explosiveness of the double under jump.

Single Power Jumps

If you can perform the double under jump, you should try to do 10 consecutive power jumps while only performing a single under. The idea is to keep the focus on your jumping technique without the distraction of thinking about a faster rope speed. 

Power Jumps Without The Rope

Once you understand the power jump and know how much more you will need to jump, you need to practice these jumps. Our bodies work by muscle memory, which enables us to learn a new skill. Instead of using the rope, set it aside for a bit and try 10 consecutive double under jumps.

Integrating Double Unders Into Single Unders

We briefly touched on this while explaining how to do double unders, but you can also use this as part of your drills. Start by doing 2 singles, followed by one double. As you become more comfortable, you can slowly remove the singles.

FAQ

What Is The Point Of Double Unders?

Double unders will not only improve your coordination and fitness, but it helps promote agility. No matter which sport you compete in, double unders can improve a combination of fitness and agility to give you an edge. Additionally, it is a solid workout for losing weight.

How Do You Flick Your Wrist For A Double Under?

Each person has their strategy for moving the wrist while performing double unders. However, the best way to describe it is like playing the drum or the guitar. It is a quick movement of the wrist, while your hands remain in place.

Why Can’t I Do Double Under?

If you cannot do a double under, it might be due to a lack of explosiveness in your jumping, or a lack of coordination. The best way to get better at a double under would be to follow a double under training program like the drills we suggested.

Wrap-Up

Whether you are performing Crossfit double unders or you want to use the exercise to improve your fitness for other sports, the double under offers the best bang for your buck. You can burn plenty of calories, increase your heart rate and improve fitness within a small timeframe. We would love to see some of your comment tips for double unders.

References:

  • Calories Burned Doing Double Unders //  Live Healthy: https://livehealthy.chron.com/calories-burned-doing-double-unders-3808.html
  • Relationship Between Jump Rope Double Unders and Sprint Performance in Elementary Schoolchildren // PubMed:           https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24852257/


Tanya Shaiko

I'm Tanya, and I love lifting weights. 6 years ago, I picked up Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit. Weightlifting is a unique sport because it's just you against the bar. There are no teammates to help you out; it's all on you. 

I'm also passionate about helping other women achieve their fitness goals. That's why I started my blog and write some products reviews. I want to show other women that they can do anything they set their mind to!

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