“Why can I only do one Double Under at a time?” Why is it that so many people can get 1 …. 2 …. maybe 3 double unders in a row, but struggle to string together a whole set?
Getting that first double under is all about jumping high and the speed of the rope. Get up in the air and turn that cable fast is the strategy most people employ when first learning!
But trying to perform consecutive double unders with the speed that was created to get under the first jump often leads to a miss on the next couple of jumps. This is because the initial speed you create in the rope to get that first double under is in fact a little too fast, causing the rope to hit your feet before you can get off the ground for your second or third jump.
My biggest takeaway from teaching at competitions and workshops is this: The correct weight of the cord/cable must match the bounding/leaping abilities of the jumper. As a coach of a competitive jump rope team for 10 years, I saw young people learn double unders with relative ease. Whereas I often see experienced older people struggling to do double unders.
It wasn’t until I was approached by a man in his 50s who showed me a long string of double unders while using a beaded jump rope that it all began to make sense. The older we get the slower our bounding (jumping) becomes. Therefore, a beaded rope matched his jumping speed perfectly.
For the younger jumper, their fast twitch fibers are still firing at 100%. A thinner cable or PVC cord will likely match this person’s jumping speed. Thus, it makes sense that a slower and heavier cord/cable will help individuals slow the rope down to match the speed of their jumping ability.
We have seen great success in taking the average jumper and allowing them to experiment with thicker than the normal 2.4mm cable.
Try experimenting with:
It is such a joy to see athletes try this simple experimentation and finally get it! Just the other day, I received a note from an athlete who put 30 double unders together. She had struggled for years until she began using a 4mm PVC rope. It slowed her rope speed down and made all of the difference.
The one problem with this is that there are very few jump ropes on the market that will accept varying sizes of cables and PVC cords. Check out the Surge 3.0. This amazing speed rope accepts all six speed cable widths and up to a 4mm PVC. This rope comes highly recommended by both amateur and professional jumpers.
The other part of the equation of stringing together double unders deals with the development of consistent and proper bounding (jumping) skills.
About the Author
Matt Hopkins is a former competitive speed jumper and jump rope coach. Matt has won numerous national championships in speed jumping, and his athletes have won several national speed and freestyle titles and have broken world and national speed records. He also taught middle and elementary school PE in Leavenworth WA for 23 years.