I’ve been doing CrossFit for about a year and consistently (3-4x a week) for 6 months. And it has annoyed the heck out of me that I haven’t been able to do double unders. Occasionally I’d have a day where I could get them but it was never consistent. Mostly I just walked away with LOTS of lashes on my arms and legs.
Part of the problem is that the ropes at gyms were always too long for me (I’m a shorty – 5’1″) and not the best quality of ropes. I’d had it on my wish list to buy my own rope for months so when HumanX reached out and offered me a X4Speed Rope, I obviously jumped on it (heh heh heh).
It has steel bearings to help with a smooth, consistent swing and has really nice handles (which I wasn’t expecting to notice, but they did give me a better grip!) The length out of the package is 9 ft but it can (and should be depending on your height) shortened. When you step on the rope with one foot, the handles should come up to about your armpits.
My awesomely nice coach at Top Tier shortened the rope for me one morning at 6 AM (thanks Mike!) and on my FIRST TRY with the new rope, I hammered out 20 double unders, no problem. I was in total shock. And I was able to keep doing it over and over. I knew a new rope would make a difference, but I didn’t know it would make THAT much of a difference.
A few other tips I’ve gotten from coaches at the gym: Keep your hands pointing down with your arms straighter with less bend at the elbows. Focus on flicking your wrists and not moving your arms. Think about lifting your head up to the ceiling. I still struggle with all of these, but eventually once they click, they should help me be more efficient with dubs!
We’ve had 3 workouts since I got the rope with double unders, and it’s been so awesome to be able to do them instead of attempting and failing over and over (which takes a lot of time in a WOD!) or just switching to singles. Double unders give me a way better cardio workout too, but wow, I had no idea they would tear up my calves so much! I’ve been so sore! 🙂
Luckily HumanX also sent me a Muscle Recovery Kit with a deep tissue roller, muscle release ball and a pinpoint peanut so I can work out my tight calves after killin’ double unders 😉 (and everything else that gets sore from CrossFitting and running…which is basically everything!).