Knowing how to do double unders will significantly improve your workout by targeting numerous muscle groups simultaneously, which include the shoulders, legs, and core.
What Are Double Unders?
Why Should You Do Double Unders?
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.
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.
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 fitness has become so popular. With fitness 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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Whether you are performing fitness 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.
- 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/
My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.
I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.