While you’re drilling your double unders, it’s important to think about your jumping and your landing mechanics. Focusing on these two aspects will help you become more efficient with your double unders and can help you avoid overuse injuries.
If you’ve gotten any kind of coaching on your double unders, you may have been told to “jump higher.” That cue is very important, but there’s a right and a wrong way to “jump higher.” When we talk about jumping higher, what we are really saying is that you need to elevate or raise your head higher. This is much different than simply tucking your knees up higher to clear more space above the ground. To help you elevate your head, try imagining there’s a button about 6 - 8 inches above your head. With every double under attempt, you should try to hit the imaginary button with your head. If you do that you’re going to give yourself a chance to complete your double under because you're actually jumping higher and gaining more time in the air.
Once you begin jumping higher, you'll need to control the speed of the rope. Before you land, you’re aiming to get those two revolutions finished. But the higher you jump, the slower you truly need to turn the rope. You need to finish both revolutions, of course, but if you flick the rope around too fast, it will almost do a triple under (not a bad thing, just not the goal). As you get comfortable with your doubles you may start to jump lower which will result in faster revolutions and more efficient double unders! This takes time, so be patient, and start by jumping up high.
There are a few things you DO NOT want to do when you’re jumping.
Piking (feet come forward and hips flex in the air)
These methods not only eat up valuable energy, but they can lead to mistakes and a loss of balance. Ideally, you want your shoulders, hips and ankles to be in alignment as you jump.
The most important aspect of landing is to absorb the impact. As you land, your knees should slightly bend to allow you to absorb some force. It’s also very important to be sure you’re landing on the balls of your feet. A great test is to listen to your landings. If they’re loud, then chances are, you’re not landing on the balls of your feet. Try making your landings as soft and quiet as possible. Remember, focusing on these landing mechanics can help prevent shin splints and other overuse injuries.
Check out the links below for some great double under ropes we recommend:
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To learn more on how to unlock your double unders check out our other articles...