Alot of our athletes are just learning how to do double unders, or maybe still struggling with them. Here are some tips from RX Jump Ropes.
How to Double Under
Helpful Double Under Tip #1
Turning the rope:
Use your small muscles to turn the rope. The most efficient rope turns are generated with a light elbow snap to quick wrist circle. Similar to cracking a whip. The ideal arm positioning is with elbows in close to your ribs and forearms angled out and slightly forward. The motion should be quick and relaxed with a light grip.
As fatigue sets in it is common for the elbows to begin to straighten and the bigger muscles come into play. Shoulder turns are less efficient but still adequate enough to keep the rope turning.
Use the best muscles for the job. Bigger is not always better.
Helpful Double Under Tip #2
Visualize your rope as a hamster wheel as it circles around you. Your hands should be positioned at the center point of the wheel. This would place most people’s hands right at belt height with your elbows in close to your sides.
With the proper sized rope this should allow approximately 10 to 12 inches of clearance overhead. Lowering your hands below the belt line will reduce your overhead clearance and create too much slack at the bottom out point on the ground.
For the proper bottom out point 10 to 12 inches in front of your toes move your hands slightly forward of your front pockets. Positioning your hands directly at your sides will increase your chances of pulling the rope into your toes. Which is where most misses occur.
Helpful Double Under Tip #3
Your rope is not to short:
Here are a few samples of how you could be shortening the effective length of your rope by using inefficient technique and posture.
1. Scare Crow Arms- The figure on the left shows poor arm positioning where the elbows are out and away from your ribs and hands held higher than your horizontal axis. This will also lead to premature shoulder fatigue.
The Fix- Let your arms hang down relaxed at your sides. Bend your elbows and bring your hands up to about waist height near your horizontal axis. This is the optimal position to make tight wrist circles.
2. Stiff Wrists and Handles up- This is a very common fault where your wrists are kept firm and handles are kept predominantly upward or straight out to the sides at all times. This will reduce the clearance at the bottom-out point before the toes.
The Fix- Let your wrists act as the primary swivel always rotating around and most importantly pointing downward as the rope reaches the bottom-out point. Imagine the same snappy wrist action that you’d use to cast a fishing rod or crack a whip.
3. Anchor Point behind your behind- Your hands act as both the anchor and axis point to the rope. Where you position them dictates where the bottom-out point in front of your feet will be. Hands behind the centerline of your vertical axis will pull the bottom-out point into your toes.
The Fix- Try to keep your hands anchored closer to your frontal plane just outside your pockets. This will help ensure that the bottom out point remains consistent at about 12 inches in front of your toes, which will allow ample time to bound out of the way as the rope passes under your feet.