Thursday, November 4, 2010

Double Down... and Double Under

     It's Day 23, I don't know how long I've been here. I can't feel my legs... Oh, sorry... wrong post. I am actually alive and well, ready to bring you more blogs. And nothing will stop me from doing that... not even broken legs!

Buddy Lee says: "work on your double unders"

     Yes, today we're going to discuss the wonderful/evil jump rope. And I am here to help you understand and achieve that highly sought after Double Under (cause I'm just such a nice guy).

     The essence of a great double under is, first, a good single under (makes sense right). So, what we first need is a good bounce in the feet. You will need to stay in the front of the foot and you're just going to bounce up and down. Nice and light, doesn't even need to be very high. Second, the rotation of the rope will be performed by the wrist instead of the arms. Because, if you have a very wide rotation using your entire arm there will be more slack in the rope, and a great chance of catching on the feet. Lastly, you will need your arms close to your body, and in front of your torso. This is a fairly common mistake to bring the rope parallel to us, when the wrists actually need to be just a little bit in front.

Double Unders from CrossfitNRG on Vimeo.

     So there we go, a quick overview of the single under. If we have a good amount of these, and feel comfortable, lets give the double under a try now. You will notice, in the video above, that the person is doing everything we just talked about:

  • Nice short jump on the balls of the feet
  • Rotation performed by the wrist
  • Hands close and in front of the torso

     The only difference, this time, is the rope is passing under his feet twice with one jump (hense the double under). Now we can't just get this by watching a video. What most commonly gets people is the timing of the jump. So let's try this: while standing (don't jump) bring the rope, quickly, from behind you to in front of you... basically jump rope without jumping. What you will hear is the sound of the rope hitting the ground before it hits your feet. The sound of the rope hitting the ground is your cue on when to jump. Once you jump, speed up the wrists and try to get the rope under you twice. When learning this movement, this will be your first step... actually getting the rope around you twice.

     The second common mistake is the jump. The jump is just a light jump on the front of the feet. We commonly see the "donkey kick" where your legs come behind you and almost kick your own ass! It's possible to do this, but it is very taxing, and you waste a lot of energy. Second, is the exaggerated "pike jump". This is when our legs and head is in front of the torso and the hips are behind you (kinda like this: <). Again, you are wasting your energy on this, and also your abs are tightened. Try this, when your jumping, jump straight and keeping your chest up and high.

Wouldn't suggest this

     Next, once we can get one single double under, try doing one double under and then, without stopping, start doing single unders. This will help your timing after the double under is performed. Work on doing less and less single unders between double unders. Soon it should look like this: DU, SU, SU, DU, SU, SU, DU, SU, etc. And then: DU, SU, DU, SU, DU, etc. And finally: DU, DU, DU, etc.

     I hope this helps those on there quest for continuous double unders. What it's really going to take... is practice. So take 10 minutes out of your day, and work with a jump rope. And, MOST importantly, enjoy!

3,2,1 GO!

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