How To Learn Double Unders

Those pesky double unders can be damned elusive. But I've never met someone I couldn't teach to do them. Some pick it up faster. Some slower. But over a thousand people over the last decade have been able to learn at my gym and you can too!

After experimenting with numerous teaching methods, this is the most effective progression for doing double unders that I've discovered.

I cover the basic drills for how to learn double unders in this quick video:



This double under progression works so well because it breaks the movement down into smaller chunks that are easier for your brain to process. There are three simple components to doing great double unders:

  1. the rope turning
  2. the skipping bounce
  3. proper timing

By practicing them separately, each part of the double under will become an intuitive feeling that you'll eventually be able to do automatically. Then. when you go and put those three pieces together, everything will flow easier without your brain getting in the way.



Here are a few extra things to keep in mind to ensure the best results:

  1. Practice when you're fresh. Skill-develop and technique learning happen best in a non-fatigue based setting. If you only practice double unders as part of a CrossFit workout or HIIT circuit, you're short changing yourself. Become proficient at double unders first. Then incorporate them into workouts.
  2. Here are the major mile stones that I recommend aiming for as you learn to do double unders:
    1. Be able to consistently do 1-double under. Out of 10 attempts, you should be able to do one double under at least 8 times before moving on. 
    2. Be able to do 10 double unders, with as many single skips in between as needed, without stopping.
    3. Perform two consecutive double unders 8 times out of 10.
    4. Work toward stringing together consecutive double unders. Try to hit 5, then 10, then 15, 20, and all the way up to 50+.
  3. Try to stay as relaxed as possible when doing double unders. You want your skipping to be as easy and sustainable as possible. This will allow you to maintain your rhythm and avoid fatigue longer. There may be times when you try to double unders as quickly as possible, but that's an advanced skill. Most of our skipping is done for sustained periods which requires staying relaxed.
  4. Start each training session with the basic skipping bounce, rope turning and timing drills before trying 'real' double unders. Isolating each aspect and practicing it until it feels natural will reinforce correct technique and massively speed up your rate of progress.
  5. A light skipping rope is faster and less fatiguing on the forearms, but I don't recommend them if you're just learning double unders. The lighter the rope, the harder it is for the skipper to feel where the rope is in space. This can make it significantly more difficult to get your timing down. 
  6. Make sure your rope is the right length. Like anything you want to take into account your personal preference (some like slightly longer or shorter ropes), but in general if you step on the rope with one foot, it should come up to around chest level. This is very general. For a more precise way to measure it depending on the type of jumping you do, check out this link.
  7. Learning how to do double unders takes time. So practice consistently. Start with 5-10min sessions, and go from there. If you start with too much too soon, you'll barely be able to walk the next day because your calfs will be so stiff.