“So, you want a double under ayy? I’ve seen many an athlete try and get them, but not many return!” The imaginary old steward that guards the skill that is the jump rope double under that talks with a transatlantic accent.
All joking aside, athletes in CrossFit gyms across the world look at the giant tool box of skills to learn and usually try to get one movement as their first “Rx” movement as it looks the easiest. I mean, if you’re looking at movement like the muscle-up, the double under seems quite attainable.
So, to start their journey to a double under, get used to single unders. They get really good at them and decide to finally make that next logical leap, going for a double under!
The athlete goes for their first double under. They start with a few single unders, then they go for their first double by jumping higher and spinning the rope as fast as they can then….*WHACK* “@#$!”
If you’ve attempted a double under and are currently stuck in the learning curve that comes with this movement, you know that feeling all too well. It frustrates you and makes you wanna chuck your rope clear across the room. But, you don’t.
But, you want to be smart and try to trim down the amount of whips you take from your jump rope. So, you do what every athlete does and…
Head to the Internet For A Quick Fix!
The internet is arguably the greatest invention in human history. It is an archive of all of our species’ knowledge, that can be accessed from a brick in our pocket and searched in a matter of seconds. One of the things you can search through this invention is “How to get a double under?”
And boom, you get a list of different CrossFit gyms that have posted their tips on how to progress and achieve this skill! Whether you watch Paradiso CrossFit’s guide or Dan Bailey’s tips for Double Unders, you’re gonna hear a bunch of great information!
“Start by doing one single under then one double under and alternate!”
“Keep your hands down, look forward, and keep the movement in your forearms!”
“Remember to hop rather than pick up your feet!”
All fantastic cues that have helped thousands of athletes!
So, what do ya do? You go and try your new cues during your next double under WOD and…*WHACK*. You did it again.
You go home frustrated that the cues didn’t work. You start scrolling facebook and then you see…
Come Try Our Double Under Clinic!
You fill out the form, see that it’s $75 and they guarantee you’ll learn how to get a double under!
The day starts and you’re immediately blown away by the coach leading the seminar’s knowledge of jumping rope. They do a demonstration and start breaking out TRIPLE UNDERS?!?!?
You hit your break out sessions after the demo and you go to get that double under in a room with 29 other people doing the same thing. You hear some random celebrations here in there like “YES” and “FINALLY” but, you keep on trying to get the double under. The coach comes by multiple times and gives you cues, but the best you get is one double under and then a new line of raised skin on your leg.
You head home defeated again wondering if you’ll ever get a double under.
To be honest, nothing! You did what everyone does, even me!
Double unders seem like such a simple movement but, when we try to really get it, we just get whipped and frustrated.
The thing is, that we did one thing wrong when we did those two actions. We look for that “Eureka!” moment. That epiphany that we have with every other movement we learn and you feel that instant gratification.
What many of us don’t understand when we start going for a double under is that this is not a movement where overwhelming knowledge brings achievement, rather overwhelming determination does.
Yes, those cues that you learn from all the tools at your disposal are wonderful, when applied to the correct athlete at the correct moment. For most athletes, however, it is a style of learning that we are also very familiar with.
Trial and Error!
We will explore this more Friday but essentially the double under is more like learning to play the drums rather than trying to learn a pull-up. With a pull-up you get stronger have a very linear path of progression.
With double unders you are trying to learn coordination and rhythm. And just like you don’t play Tom Sawyer in the first month of learning drums, consistent double unders won’t happen in the first month of trying them. You have to make mistakes, learn, and take dedicated time outside of the fun parts of your training to find out how your brain can execute this skill with your body.
Friday, we will also talk about some of the best drills athletes at Vegvisir have used to finally get their double under and how they applied the knowledge they learned from videos they watched and coaches they talked to, to get them!
Next time, we will talk about what makes a good jump rope and the best way for you to get one if you’re looking for a double under machine!