Ask any crossfitter what their most frustrating experience is when starting out, most likely the answer will be "those damn double unders"
Many of us, yes, including me, have dreaded those days; you check the WOD at your box's website, and it has double unders. Crap.
Then you know you have a few options: 1) you sign out 2) you show up and you opt for the scaled version, meaning you have to do like a 1000 singles 3) you attempt to do the DU's and end up looking like you came out of an attack from 43 hysterical kittens.
As I've noticed over time, there are 5 types of crossfitters when it comes to double unders.
1) You can't do any, so you always have to do singles.
2) You can do about 3-4 in a row, alternating with a lot of singles.
3) You can do about 20, but it leaves you exhausted, so you still rather do singles. Which sorta sucks.
4) On a good day, you can do over 60, but your technique could use a touch up.
5) You can do them, any time, any day. Go away, we hate you.
Personally, I fit into that 4 category, I know I can do them, but I know for sure I can do better.
So when a Double Under Seminar by JumpNRope came to town, this was the perfect opportunity!
JumpNrope was founded in 2005 by Molly Metz, an international competitive jumper with over 30 years of experience under her belt (rope, haha). The idea was to inspire kids to jump rope, but it soon became clear there was a large demand coming from the crossfit community as well. The Double Under Seminars were born.
So, on a very early Sunday morning (9 AM!) I headed to my first DU Seminar, and was greeted by a team of 4 very experienced staff: Molly, Trevor, Katie & Jeremy (with a bigger beard now)
Got my name-tag and the number of most DU's I've ever done (80) written on it as well. Which immediately resulted in snarky comments from the other attendants "what are you doing here then??"
Well, let's find out!
After an introduction of the staff, they first lay the foundation of the DU, the JumpNrope Double Under Set-Up. This is an essential part of making a double under successful.
Next up was practicing the various ways to jump (side-ways, splits, etc.) and the speed step, followed by a little competition in max speed steps in 1 minute (I got 86, not too bad!)
After a few more skills & drills, we got split up in groups of skill level, and did a few more drills and got individual feedback. Also our group got to try out the several speed ropes that were provided.
At the end, the staff showed off some of their own amazing jumping talents and there was opportunity to buy your own rope and have it sized (which almost everyone did, including me)
The key take-out for me
Like I said in the beginning, I was already able to do DU's, but doing them efficiently was a whole different game. When done right, you can do DU's endlessly without straining yourself.
Something most of us do after we hear 3,2,1, Go! is tense up and jump frantically, in the hope we reach the desired number quickly.
The trick is to maintain your position, relax and find your rhythm. This takes practice, but the seminar provided an amazing stepping stone and the "aha" moment I was hoping for.
Was it worth getting up early on a Sunday? Absolutely!
A big thanks to Molly, Trevor, Katie & Jeremy for this great learning experience!
Check out their website for more information: www.JumpNrope.com or check JumpNropeTV on YouTube.