The 2022 CrossFit Open is soon to be upon us, and with it, a variety of tests of fitness and skill. Often among these is the infamous double under. Few movements invoke the same frustration and number of lashes as this dreaded maneuver. If you are struggling to learn the double under, fear not. With adequate time and direction, you too can master this skill.
It will help to first break up the double under into two different components: the cadence of the jump and the rhythm of the rope. When first learning double unders, athletes will commonly attempt to develop both aspects at once. This is one way to learn, but it often will result in further difficulty than is necessary. It is much less time consuming to first acquire the cadence of the jump, then focus on the rhythm of the rope. The key to doing so lies in an unexpected place; the single under.
Naturally, the single under requires a significantly shorter rebound than its doubled counterpart. Those proficient with the single under will have learned to shave this rebound down even shorter so as to reduce cycle time. However, to lay the groundwork for the double under, we simply need to focus our efforts in the opposite direction; rebounding higher and slowing down the rope.
Learning to rebound high is a rudimentary skill to the double under, and, although it may at first seem counterintuitive, slowing down the spin of the rope will develop control that will aid in learning the rhythm later on. If you have been struggling with the double under for a long time or have just begun to learn it, it is very well worth your while to master the slow single under. Stay on the balls of your feet and rebound high, keeping your legs straight on the way up. Slow down the rope to match your tempo. This will engrain the cadence needed to master the double under. Give it an honest shot and you will be surprised by the results!