By Wolfgang Henry
So, you want to take your training seriously? You’re sick to death of doing double taps? You want to be a master of the double under?
Then you’ve really got to get yourself a real skipping rope.
You’ve probably seen members smashing out large sets of double unders (DU) effortlessly, and you’ve probably noticed that almost all of those who are able to do this have their own rope.
No, its not a coincidence.
No, its not a gimmick piece of equipment.
Having your own rope, fitted correctly really makes a difference.
Granted, there are ropes at the gym, and people have been spotted from time to time that can DU like champions with them. However, these ropes won’t take you far, and here’s why.
Firstly, not many of them are the same size, so every time you try to DU with them, your hand position has to change in order to compensate for a rope that is too short or too long.
They are quite heavy ropes, which can be awesome if you’ve never skipped before, because it can help to gain some feeling of the ropes rotation as you skip. But for DU’s this simply means unnecessary energy expenditure.
The best way to master the DU is to have a your own correctly fitted rope.
So which rope do I buy?
Well, with a quick google search for ‘speed ropes’ you’ll find a multitude of styles, at drastically different price points. There are ropes that are weighted in the handle, ropes with long handles, ropes with short handles, ropes with coated cables, ropes with raw cables and an unbelievable amount of crazy technology across the board.
Personal preference plays a big part in this one, because what works for you, might not work for everyone else. As a general rule of thumb find something that suits your budget, has a light cable (as this makes the most difference when it comes to fatigue), and a comfortable handle.
Ask a few people at the gym if you can try their ropes to see which ones you might like.
Something to keep in mind if you intend to use your rope outside of the rubber matting of the gym, say, on the concrete (god forbid), then you’ll probably want a coated cable, as it will last just a little longer before fraying. Although, don’t stress too much, replacement cables are cheap as chips, and usually quite easy to install.
Once, you’ve got your own rope, you’ll be good to go!
Oh wait, fitting the rope.
Your rope will usually come with a cable that with be ample big enough for Michael Jordan to use, so you’ll most likely have to trim it to size. Don’t be scared people, you aren’t going to ruin your pretty new purchase, this step is super easy:
Get one of the handles fixed in place and tighten down the screw.
Put the other handle on the rope if it isn’t already.
Stand with one foot on the rope, pulling the rope tight and with both of the handles together to the middle of your chest (sternum)
This is the length of your rope.
Cut the rope to size and fix the other handle in place
Awesome! Now you’re ready to DU! Wahoooo!
Here are a few key things to keep in mind, whilst you’re perfecting them:
Look straight ahead to maintain balance.
Try to look at a small object at about eye height, this will help you to avoid moving around whilst you jump.
Keep body upright and balanced with the weight on the balls of the feet.
Jump only high enough to clear the rope (1 inch off the ground)
Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
Keep your elbows close to your sides, with thumbs facing down.
Keep your hands just slightly in front of your body, you should be able to see your hands in your peripherals whilst looking forward.
Relax and don’t forget to breath!
Happy double undering folks!