5 Tips to Improve Double Unders  + Giveaway Courtesey XShadyside Pittsburgh Gym

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Jumping rope sounds like child’s play, but it’s a fierce workout that requires cardio-vascular endurance, coordination and razor focus. But, if turning the rope in a single rotation isn’t challenging enough, give your game new “ups” with double unders.5 Tips to Improve Double Unders - ideas to help your  jump rope skills take off for Crossfit and other workouts.

Read on to find tips that will help you up your Double Under game . . . and also enter my giveaway (sponsored by a Pittsburgh Gym I’ve partnered with) for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get new gear (like maybe a fancy jump rope).

Double unders, a more advanced move where the rope makes two rotations under your feet with every jump, aren’t anything new. They are the signature warm-up in boxing, showy playground trick, and popular workout at gyms everywhere including a Pittsburgh Gym that’s hosting my giveaway (entry at bottom of post). Double unders seem to keep speeding up in popularity, thanks in large part to the functional fitness movement. “For Time” workouts like CrossFit’s “Annie” (50/40/30/20/10 rounds double-unders & sit-ups) can be torture if you can’t work a rope.

5 Tips to Improve Double Unders - ideas to help your  jump rope skills take off for Crossfit and other workouts.

Find a Good Rope: Stop using a “regular” jump rope and upgrade to a “speed” jump rope that is designed for maximizing rotations.  The handles should be light with a good grip and allow the rope to spin quickly and smoothly. Look a rope made with cable coated in nylon and easily resizable to fit your stature.

Get a Good Fit: Your double under rope should be sized just to fit YOU – that’s why I don’t even like to use the community speed ropes at the gym. To find the best fit, step in the middle of the cable and pull the handles upward and straight towards your armpits. The top of the handle should reach your pit. My dad always said “Measure twice and cut once,” but in this case I suggest also doing a  “too long” trial first cut. Cut your wire longer than you think you’ll need it, but adjust to the armpit recommendation, leaving a couple inches of the wire dangling like a short tail on one end. If you feel comfortable with the resized rope after a few workouts, then snip the remenant off.

Practice Ropeless: Ditch your rope, and just focus on the jump. Your jump should be plyometric and powerful, lifting off from the midfoot and landing softly, with little ground time between rotations. Knees are not pulled high or kicked back, they remain surprisingly straight with just a slight bend at the knee for shock absorption. This of “hollow body” position if you are familiar with that concept.

Get Handy: Your arms can quickly tire doing double unders, that’s why a rope with light handles is important. Also, make sure your hands are kept tight into your body, not held out wide at sides (unless you are using a community rope and are trying to make it “shorter”. Check to make sure elbows are mostly tucked in and at a 45-degree angle, positioned about waist height, slightly in front. The goal is to spin the rope with tiny movements from your wrist, not the shoulders.

Find Focus: Your ability to string double unders together, whether 10 to 100, improves with your ability ignore the “going ons” in your environment. Distractions like people milling about, noticing random object in your periphery, or just your own mental distraction can break a double under streak.  To improve focus, find a focal point about 20 feet straight ahead at eye level, and don’t break your gaze until ready to quit.

If you are looking for some video tutorials on double unders, Tabata Times has a great post.

Jump Rope WOD - Travel or Hotel WorkoutLooking for a jump rope workout? My Just Jump WOD incorporates a variety of jump rope skills finished off by double unders and a plank hold cash out.


So, now onto the giveaway! Enter to win a $25 gift card to Dicks Sporting Goods courtesy of Xshadyside Pittsburgh Gym. If you win, this would be the perfect time to upgrade to a speed jump rope, as I mentioned in the tips. But, of course, you can spend it however you like!

dicks sporting goods giveaway

To enter, just follow instructions in the Rafflecopter app below.

This post and giveaway sponsored by XShadyside Pittsburgh Gym. However, all opinions, tips, comments and enthusaisn are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

106 thoughts on “5 Tips to Improve Double Unders  + Giveaway Courtesey XShadyside Pittsburgh Gym

  1. I love these tips! I finally got double unders last year. I don’t work on them as much as I should though!

  2. I don’t jump rope. I’m a little intimidated by it and don’t want to try at my gym. If I had a rope at home I would absolutely try it though.

  3. I haven’t jumped rope in ages. I injured my knees, so while I can still run,, jumping is a little too painful.

  4. I haven’t jumped rope in ages! The only time I do it is when I’m in a boot camp style class and I haven’t done those in forever due to running and being injured. These are all great tips though, I have never been able to do double unders.

  5. I haven’t even thought about jumping rope, but thank you for the inspiration. I can’t wait to get started.

  6. I like jump roping but I haven’t done it in a while! I think the hardest part for me is the endurance because of my asthma, I can’t do any exercise for too long without feeling like there’s a brick on my chest!

  7. I should do them more often, but when I was doing crossfit, I was going on the jump rope all the time! So many rope lashes from trying to get DUs!

  8. I used to jump rope routinely, however, my knees no longer agree it’s a great way to exercise. Darn knees, behave!! LOL!!

  9. I used to be pretty good at jumping rope when I was younger. I haven’t done it for awhile now. I think focus is my biggest obstacle currently.

  10. Jump rope is such a great exercise! The hardest part for me would have to be the endurance. I am still trying to build it up.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  11. I have only recently started using jump ropes in my workout. And boy does it give me a workout. my problem is with endurance. I don’t know how I could jump rope for hours when I was a kid.

  12. Goodness at the abs! Lol. I don’t jump rope as often as I should. I used to try and jump rope a few days a week. The hardest part for me is definitely the endurance!

  13. I haven’t jumped rope since I was in middle school.. I would imagine the hand eye coordination would be the hardest part.

  14. I haven’t jump roped for several years. I think the coordination aspect would be hardest for me.

  15. I don’t regularly jump rope but I do think it’s an awesome workout. I’m truly not very coordinated with is my excuse for not doing it but should probably be a reason I do. In general, I feel like I’m constantly working on my endurance since I compete in triathlons. It’s tough training in three sports and constantly trying to improve in each one!

  16. Oh I have not done it for awhile, but its something I want to start! Looks so enjoyable and such a great workout! I would need to work on skill!

  17. I love using my speed rope but I am REALLY bad at double unders…I know I just need to practice more. Maybe I will make that my summer goal 😛

    • They are not my forte either . . . but if I really try to focus on my form and the focal point (and also not get stressed out) I can string 5 to 10 together . . .one time even 20! I got so excited that day I screamed, and then broke the mojo – hahaha

  18. I haven’t jumped rope since I was a young girl! But perhaps it’s time to incorporate it into my workout routine!

  19. I jump rope 2 to 3 times a week at my local gym! They have the awesome long handled, plastic ones. It is one of my favorite things to do, and takes me back to my childhood days haha! Thank you <3

  20. I love to jump rope but as I got older I stopped Jumping rope until four weeks ago, I went and bought one and have been jumping rope three times a week now

  21. I have not jumped rope in a few years, since I taught at a school that did Jump For Heart. Fun times.

  22. I haven’t jump roped in so long but I would love to again ! I normally bike ride or use the total gym indoors. I want to try yoga and zumba.

  23. For me I could go 10-15 minutes I work out a lot so for me I’d say my weakness would be focus

  24. I have just started jumping rope again. I have a bad knee, so I am taking it slow and easy to build up

  25. No I don’t jump rope, but I think I should start. This would be a great addition to my workout!

  26. I jump rope a few times a week. The toughest part for me is being able to develop a speed that is most beneficial.

  27. I haven’t jumped rope in a long time and endurance would be the hardest part of jumping rope for me.

  28. I jumped rope not to long ago with my kids and learned that i am really out of shape!!

  29. I dont jump rope often bc I dont own one but Ive been wanting to get one so I have another option for my HIIT workouts. Endurance is def the toughest part for me

  30. I imaginary jump rope because I don’t have room to jump inside! Skill would definitely be my challenge, but I do love the cardio from jumping!

  31. I don’t jump rope but I need to add it to my “after baby” workout routine.

  32. I I have jumped rope before and the biggest challenge for me was the endurance
    Thank You

  33. It has been a couple of years since I have jump roped. I think the hardest part would just be to get over my fears of not being coordinated enough, and jump.

  34. I love to jump rope but mostly only in the summer and my endurance could use some work lol

  35. I have not jumped rope in a few years. The hardest part to me is keeping up my endurance!.

  36. I would love to jump rope, but find it hard on the knees. Working on squats currently and hoping to work my way up to jumping rope.

  37. I jump rope 3 times a week. The hardest part of this for me right now is endurance. I had a popliteal anerysm and had my leg cut open from my groin to 2 inches above my ankle. 2 weeks after, I ended up with a staph infection and had to undergo another surgery on the same area to remove the infection and left tunnels open through my leg for about 2 months that nurses and my husband had to unpack and repack everyday. I have been working that leg back up for a year now but somethings are harder than others to endure but I am not giving up.

  38. I don’t jump rope anymore. I hopped and skipped with my granddaughter the other day though. She keeps me in shape.

  39. I don’t jump rope. It would be too hard on my hips and knees. The endurance would be the hardest part.

  40. I jump rope when my kids are doing it, I run out of motivation and energy really quickly though. I need to work on that.

  41. I actually hadnt jump roped in years! Now I have three girls who want to jump all the time! I participate by “holding one side of the rope” HAHA!

  42. I haven’t jumped rope in forever! This gives me an idea to borrow my daughters! 🙂

  43. I don’t jump rope anymore. I’ve tried recently but I’m not in the best shape for it.

  44. I try to jump rope at least once a week. I can’t keep up like I used to, but I try as much as I can.

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