Knowing the Ropes

We do a lot of jumping rope at CrossFit Southie. Double Unders are a staple metabolic conditioning movement of CrossFit, and a staple movement of frustrating the crap out of people. Here are a few tips for start to finish bettering your jump rope ability.
To figure out the right size for the rope to use, just grab one and stand on the middle of it and pull the handles up by your sides. You want the handle end to get to about the bottom of your armpits. There’s no exact measurement so you might want to see what is comfortable by giving it a whirl.
We have different kinds of ropes hanging up: beginner and speed. The beginner ropes are the thicker ones, the multi colored ones, and the ones with thicker red or green handles. These are better for, well, beginners. They are better for getting the feel for the rhythm of jumping rope so if you haven’t done so since grade school you might want to grab one of these. Speed ropes are the ones with the thinner wire line and the black/blue handles. The speed ropes are better for, well, speed. They spin faster because of different designed handles and are great for double unders because they are less taxing on your shoulders. If you have gotten singles down you might want to grab one of these bad boys to work on double unders.
Jump once, spin twice. If you are new to Crossfit these take some time to get going. Best way to work on them is do a mix of singles and double. Start with 5 singles and then do a double then immediately after that double do 5 singles. Just try to keep this pace going. Once you get comfortable try cutting the singles down each session until you are doing 1 single and 1 double. Then eventually you make the jump to all doubles.
There are a number of ways to scale double unders in a workout other than doing singles. You can use the above method and count just the double unders, perhaps cutting the number down. If you are beyond the single/double method you can also just cut the reps down. Ask your coach for their advice. A workout like Flight Simulator (5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50 and back down) of double unders can be cut in half or more. Many options for how to get better at them in wods.
Like I said above and as always, ask your coaches for advice workout to workout on how to scale. Sometimes it just takes making that jump and sucking it up to sucking in a workout but doing it with the dubs.

mini-flight simulator

4 Rounds
12 Ring Dips
50 Double Unders

Level 2 (25 DU)
Level 1 (10 attempts)


  • Matt Hopkins

    10/06/2014 @ 11:45 pm

    The important thing with sizing is getting a rope that you can easily resize. As you improve you’ll find that you’ll probably want to size down the rope, as most people who start doing double unders have the rope WAY too long. I see it all the time. Make sure and pick a rope that’s easy to resize. Here’s a few of the best:

  • jason barrow

    04/19/2012 @ 2:04 am

    Deadlift: 310×3
    WOD: 11:42 (Ring Dips scaled down using red band)

    Another pretty good night for hand recovery after Eva.

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