It goes without saying that rhythm and timing are two vital components of double unders. In order to be successful, your rope and your body must work together and adjust to one another. Some people call this “being one with your rope.” In this article we’ll go through a few great ways to develop this rhythmic relationship between you and your rope.
The clock concept is a method we use to help with timing. For reference, think of your rope resting behind your heels as 6 o’clock. When your rope travels over your head and then reaches 2 o’clock, that is the best time to begin your jump. This will allow you to be in the air at the right time so the rope can get underneath your feet. Many times, new jumpers will wait until the rope is at 5 o’clock to begin their jump. By that time it’s too late! The rope will hit your toes and cause a mistake.
Another thing that can cause the rope to hit your toes is moving it too quickly between jumps. Especially when you do double unders, it is crucial to give yourself time to land and get back into the air before the rope reaches your feet again. This means that you need to slow the rope down after each double under as it travels over your head. The pause gives you time in between the landing and jumping for the next double under. Here are some more specific drills to help you with double under rhythm.
#1 - Penguin Drill
To do this drill you will not need a rope at all. You are going to jump up as if you’re doing a double under and while you’re in the air, slap your hips twice with your hands. Doing this drill will help you understand the timing that is needed and how high you’ll need to jump in order to get the rope under your feet twice in one jump.
#2 - High Single Bounces
This drill is used to help you gain an understanding of how to control your rope. You begin by doing normal basic bounces. Then continue doing basic bounces, but jump up and “elevate your head” so that you’re jumping higher than needed. This will force you to learn how to slow down the rope between jumps in order to land and get back in the air.
#3 - Cordless Jump Rope
Once you’ve laid the groundwork with the first two drills, it’s time to put it all together. A great way to practice this is to use a cordless jump rope. This allows you to go through the motions of jumping and turning the rope without having to worry about missing. Elite SRS has a great cordless rope that you can use to help with your double unders.
One last (and important!) concept to understand is “feedback.” Feedback is the sensory information you get from your rope. It helps your body feel where your rope is in space so you know how hard you need to turn it when you're jumping or performing double unders. In order to feel this feedback, starting off with a heavier rope is key! Once you learn to feel and use the feedback with a heavier rope, you can begin moving to thinner ropes for your double unders. As you move to thinner cords you will not be able to feel the rope as much, but don’t worry! The solid foundation you’ve built with the heavier ropes will carry over to help you control any rope.
We encourage you to continue working through these drills to unlock your double unders. Double unders can be challenging, but take your time, relax, and allow yourself to have fun in the process. It will click for you! We hope that these articles have helped you in your journey. HAVE FUN and happy jumping!!
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To learn more on how to unlock your double unders check out our other articles...