Never Giving Up & Getting My Double-Unders (6 Years Later)

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Written By

Rhea Dali

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

 

I never ever thought I would get them.

 

Double-unders

 

For years—years—I kept trying…and trying…and trying with…no luck.

 

Jumping higher. Flicking my wrists fasters. Speeding up. Slowing down.

 

And, try as I might…my motor planning skills were not having it.

 

I eventually got to the point where I could actually complete a double-under jump EVERY OTHER jump (double-single-double-single), but still struggled for years (we are talking like six years of work) to put those dubs together.

 

#SoFrustrating.

 

Then…one day…it clicked.

 

 

For whatever reason, one day…after all those years and years of practice and toiling and frustration…I whipped that rope around my body—not once, but twice within one spin.

 

Voila!

 

SIX YEARS LATER (since starting CrossFit).

 

And from that day forward, my struggle with completing the skill of double-unders became a thing of the past (today, I am working on my triples).

 

The straw that ‘broke the camel’s back’?

 

Losing my jump rope.

 

I don’t know where I left it behind, but I somehow managed to lose my good ol jumprope at some point in time, and when I did…I was forced to do imaginary double unders (i.e. jump without a rope) for about a month.

 

Long story short, the imaginary double-unders forced me to re-wire my brain, and re-wire some built-in motor patterns (and bad habits) for the better.

 

 

Today, I love double-unders—I love it when they show up in my workout training plan for the day. It’s fun to feel like you’re flying in the air with that rope spinning around you for 50-100-200-300 reps. Whatever the rep prescription may be, double unders are now no longer a match for me.

 

For today’s Workout Wednesday, I have a special prize giveaway for one THRIVE reader for a FREE jump rope giveaway from one of my favorite jump rope companies—RX Smart Gear.The best part? You can choose from all sorts of colors of ropes and handles (green and pink is my current rope).

 

                                                                                                              My rope!

 

The rope will go to the reader who sends me a little write up on their experience with LEARNING SOMETHING NEW- Inside OR Outside the gym-that they never thought they would “get” or that was impactful in their life. 

 

It could be ANYTHING!

 

For instance:

  • Learning to TELL TIME in the 1st grade (I NEVER thought I would be able to ‘read’ a big clock!).
  • Learning how to do a back-handspring and overcoming a fear of self-doubt
  • Learning how to ‘make it’ on your own financially after college in your first job
  • Learning you were stronger than you thought to get through a challenging life struggle
  • Learning how to do double-unders, or handstands or pull-ups
  • ANYTHING!

 

Send your story to [email protected] and this awesome free jump rope could be yours! As well as a small write-up feature on your story of THRIVING in your own life.

 

 

The fun thing about learning a skill like double unders?

 

They challenged me to GROW…

 

Now, I have moved on to the next skill to add to my tool belt: strict handstand pushups, followed by handstand walking.

 

Never a dull moment.

 

What are you currently working on in your fitness…in your life…your health…your career?

 

I believe this gym is just a small metaphor for the BIG things we are capable of outside the gym…and the beauty of finding a small bit of joy and learning lessons in any and every struggle.

 

 

I often times refer to the gym as a BIG PLAYGROUND for adults…a place to play, grow, have fun, de-stress. It is also a space for discovering what you are truly capable of—new feats, strengths to gain, things to try—never a dull moment or lack of options for variety.

 

Far too often, people see the gym as a thing to ‘check off the list’, or something they ‘should do’ or ‘have to do’, but don’t really like to do it…OR have NO CLUE what to actually do.

 

No time like the present to begin to transform you outlook on the gym than a Workout Wednesday.

 

This week, your THRIVE project is to pick ONE THING in your physical fitness that you would like to work on or get better at or try out:

 

Be it:

  • A new trail or route for your daily walk or hike
  • A new class you’ve never tried before
  • Checking out rooftop yoga at Whole Foods on Mondays or Wednesdays like you’ve been meaning to do
  • Actually following a program (strength, endurance, skill, etc.)
  • Tracking and logging your weights and progress in the gym in a composition notebook
  • Or, perhaps even taking a stab at double-unders (need some tips? See below)

 

Variety is the spice of life—and the same thing applies to the gym!

 

Get off the same ol’ 30-minute treadmill, elliptical or trail run routine; stop lifting the same weights and doing the same rep schemes; mix up your workouts; actually work on goals in the gym—and you too may find that the gym becomes one big PLAYGROUND.

 

Keep on thriving…

 

Extra: THRIVE Tip
Getting Your Double Unders

 

 

Step 1: Before you get started jumping, the key to perfecting the double-under starts with the set up position

 

The Essential Double Under Setup

 

Shoulders & Chest

  • Relaxed and loose
  • Hollow position

 

Hands:

  • Firm grip with thumb and pointer finger
  • Drive the thumb down to initiate movement
  • 6-3-6 zone

 

Rope

  • Use a rope weight you can feel
  • 10-12” overhand
  • Your WOD’s vary so your rope should be able to too (adjustable length)—some days you are more tired than others, some days your hands tend to come out wider, other days they stay close to your body. I like adjustable ropes.

 

Feet

  • 2-4” bound
  • Jump on the balls of your feet
  • Toes hang towards the ground on the bound, long hanging legs

 

Head

  • Gaze fixed to the horizon
  • Neck relaxed

 

Elbows

  • Behind the plane of the body
  • 90-100 degree bend

 

Wrists

  • Quick ‘flick-flick’
  • ‘Shake’ your wrists out

 

Hips

  • In line with toes
  • Abdominals engaged
  • Glutes slightly squeezed

 

Knees

  • Bent slightly in athletic position
  • Absorb the bound upon landing

 

 

Frequent Asked Double-Under Q & A with Expert Molly Metz.

 

Molly Metz is a dear friend of mine who knows what it means to THRIVE in life. She found her passion for jump-roping of all things at age 7, and has been jumping nonstop ever since! By age of 8, Molly made the International Traveling Team and since then, has traveled to 37 different countries over the years teaching jump rope workshops and seminars to others, while doing performances and shows.

 

In her adult life, Molly founded her company JumpNrope, which began in 2005 and consisted of herself and a team of a few competitive jumpers who, with Molly, taught jump rope programs at schools and recreation centers in the Denver Metro Area.

 

Molly’s vision at the time was to inspire and teach kids about jump rope, to share her years of experience in the sport with others, and most importantly, bring the fun to her favorite fitness activity.

 

Fast forward to today, and Molly owns and operates her own JumpNRope gym right outside Boulder, Colorado, where she coaches jump rope to people of all ages, as well as CrossFit to build a fitter community by and large.

 

Suffice all to say, she IS the double-under EXPERT and breaks down some commonly asked questions here:

 

Q. When to jump? When the rope is over your head? Behind your head? In front of your eyes?

Molly: Think of it as a clock. 12 o’clock is above your head. 3 o’clock is in front of your eyes. You want to jump for the double when the rope is at 3 o’clock.

 

Q. How do you scale double-unders in a WOD?

Molly: I am not a big fan of the 3:1 ratio. You know 150 singles for every 50 doubles style of scaling. This is primarily because people end up just focusing more on jumping faster to get through them or it hinders them from progressing to the double as they get comfortable with just doing singles. Instead, if the WOD has 50 double-unders prescribed, I’ll have them do 50 singles—and make sure their set-up and bound looks just as if they were to be doing double-unders. Controlled, a nice 2-4” bound on the jump, a good hollow body position.

 

Q. Say I am a CrossFitter who hates double-unders. I just can’t get them—OR can’t get them efficiently. What do you do to help an athlete truly progress to the next level?

Molly: I take the rope out of their hands, and first just have them visualize it—picture themselves doing double-unders. We talk through it, and also just walk through their body position. Shoulders are relaxed, core and hollow body position engaged, their arms hang nice and loose by their sides, they jump about 3-inches off the ground—not 50 inches, their gaze is down. I may have them try bounding without the rope, squeeze their toes, pretend like they are floating, pushing your hands down.

 

Q. They say to ‘flick the wrists’—what does that really mean?

Molly: Pretend like your shaking your hands out after washing them. Think shake, shake…shake, shake.

 

Q. What is the best rope?

Molly: For beginners, a heavier rope is best—I love using a beaded rope and trainer rope with a little bit of a thicker rope. Speed ropes really are not appropriate unless you can hit 30-35 double-unders consecutively. You often hear most CrossFitters say they need a speed rope—but what they really need is a speed handle. I am excited to be launching a new rope I call the ‘Hybrid’ this next month—it’s got speed handles, but a thicker trainer rope that is a bit easier to control.

 

Q. What size rope do I grab?

Molly: The best kind of rope is adjustable. In general, the tips of the handles should be under your armpits, and you want about 10-12 inches of space over your head with the rope when you jump. The ideal jump is when your hands are close to your body with your elbows by your sides, and the rope measured right under your armpits will be perfect—but there will be some days, your arms are tired, or some WODs that tax you more than others, and you may want to adjust your rope to be a bit longer.

 

Get it? Got it? Good?

 

EVEN IF jump rope is “not your thing”, like it is Molly’s or a CrossFitter’s in a fun WOD for the day, find what MOVES YOU!

 

 

What gets you excited to go to the gym or get your fitness in?

 

What do you genuinely enjoy doing and what makes you come alive?

 

What are some areas of your fitness, skills or performance that you’d like to develop?

 

You CAN do anything you put your mind to.

 

Believe that and go for it.

 

On a side note, here are some workouts for the week in case you need some inspiration…

 

Workout Wednesday

 

 

Wednesday

 

15 Minute EMOM

Every Minute on the Minute complete one round of the following, then rest the remainder of the minute*:

 

5 Pullup

5 Thrusters (95/65)

5 Burpees

 

*If unable to complete within the minute, turn the workout into an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible within the 15-minute cut-off time)

 

+

 

Annie

50-40-30-20-10

Double Unders

Sit-ups

 

Thursday

 

5 x 1-minute rounds each of:

 

Box Jumps

Dumbbell Snatches

Hand-release Pushups

Ring Rows

Rest 1-minute after each exercise is complete

 

At home modification:

 

5 x 1-minute rounds each of:

 

Step-Ups (add weight)

Hand-release Pushups

Dumbbell Snatches

Manmaker Dumbbell Rows

 

Rest 1-minute after each exercise is complete

 

 

Friday

 

50-40-30-20-10

Wall-balls

 

25-20-15-10-5

Deadlifts (135/95)

 

At home modification:

50-40-30-20-10

Squat Jumps

Dumbbell Deadlifts OR Glute Bridge Raises

 

 

Saturday

 

10 Rounds-60 seconds each:

 

Row Sprint x 100 meters

+

Max Dumbbell Thrusters within the remainder of the minute

 

-rest 1-minute between rounds (20 minute total workout with work and rest)

 

At home modification:

 

10 Rounds-60 seconds each:

 

Run Sprint x 100 meters –OR- 30-seconds Max Mountain Climbers

+

Max Dumbbell Thrusters within the remainder of the minute

 

Sunday

 

30-Minute AMRAP
400-Meter Run (.25 miles)

30 Push-ups

30 Walking Lunges (no weight)

30 Sit-ups

 

Monday

 

21-15-9

Backsquats (80% of 1 RM)

Kettlebell Swings

 

+

 

1K Row or 800 Meter Sprint

 

At home modification:

42-30-18

Goblet Squats

Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings

+

7-Minutes

Max Burpees

 

 

Tuesday

 

3 rounds for time:

 

20 Shoulder to Overhead

20 Front Squats

20 Box Jumps

 

+

 

3-Minutes, Accumulate a V-up/Hollow-body hold

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