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by Garrett Sylvester, Fitness Coach & Program Coordinator, Axistence Athletics in Southeast Denver
For most people, getting your double-under is frustrating, and not just because you whip yourself with the jump rope a million times in the process. Nailing the double-under is so very satisfying. DUs are an awesome cardio/coordination skill, and you know you're going to see them in this year's CrossFit™ Open. You may as well master your double-unders like a boss right now.
All the DU entails is getting two rotations of the rope in one jump. It is one of those movements that looks easy from the outside, but kind of actually suck at first.
Consecutive double-unders require timing, coordination, rhythm, proper breathing, and lastly, conditioning. With all the attributes needed, athletes often can get one repetition but have difficult time getting multiple repetitions in a single jump.
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Why Double-Unders are Worth It
Double-unders are one of those best-bang-for-your-buck skills. The amount of energy required to perform double unders is twice as much as single unders. According to a Chron blog article, a 150 pound person burns about 150 calories per 20 minutes doing single unders while it is about 300 calories per 20 minutes for the same person. If you are looking for time efficiency, then take the time to master the double-under.
The double-under is also used every year in the Crossfit Open competition to test your composure while fatigued. It is also one of the two movements in Annie, the famous CrossFit girl workout.
Now let's talk about some drills to help you get started on performing double-unders.
Skills & Drills that will Help You Master the Double-Under
Double Under Drill 1: Hollow Body Hold and Position
The first part of the double unders is to learn the body position. You will learn this before you even pick up a jump rope, and the hollow body will help you maintain the form needed for double-unders.
The position for double unders is like that of the anatomical man – stand tall with palms facing forward and a tight belly. Maintaining this position will allow to absorb and redirect the jump efficiently. You will also be less likely to bounce around and stay in place.
Start by lying on the floor and getting into the double under position (palms forward, feet pointed down, tall, tight belly). Once you are in position, press the lower back into the ground. You will feel the abdominals tighten and feel the ribcage pull towards the pelvis. The neck remains neutral and body long. This is the position you want to be in when performing double unders.
Double-Under Drill 2: The Penguin
This drill teaches you how to time the proper higher jump with the spin of the wrists to move the rope quickly. To do the "penguin" drill, you will jump higher and slap the hands on your side quickly (yes, like flippers). Do a few of them one at a time. Once you understand the drill then go onto doing sets of five to ten at time. Do this for three to five sets until it feels natural.
Learning this drill will help teach the body the proper timing of the jump and wrist action without the jump rope. Starting with the rope without a proper understanding of the feel how a double under should be can lead to improper jumps that make it difficult to rebound therefore having continuous double unders.
Double-Under Drill 3: Practice and More Practice
The two drills will help you learn the position and the execution of double unders. Now it is time to put them into practice.
The most important thing to remember is to maintain the body position as you go from single unders to double unders. The timing and rhythm of the rope and breathing will come with practice. If you are having difficulty performing double unders after the drills, I recommend you find a ratio of singles to double unders that works for you.
I like to have athletes start with a 5:1 ratio of single- to double-unders. Once you feel comfortable with that by performing fifteen double unders in that ratio then move it to a 3:1 ratio. From there, start working on stringing them together to get your first multiple repetition set. Remember that it will be worth the time, as you will get more out of your training. It is one of those skills that can be frustrating but once you learn it well it will feel easy.
by Dan Jimenez, Co-Founder, and Fitness Coach, Axistence Athletics
A great workout starts with a kick-ass vibe in your training gym. We love our southeast Denver fitness center, but we wanted to help build community by making things even better. We're making some big improvements.
First, we ditched the old turf and matted out the workout area. Then we reorganized and found more efficient storage for equipment. Most recently we remodeled one of the bathrooms. Here is a short account of how it all went down.
Talk about real-life application of your fitness skills. Demo day is one of my favorite things about construction projects. You get such a sense of accomplishment by being able to make huge changes in relatively short order. Since you don't have to be as careful as you do with tasks such as painting, cutting, and measuring, you can really make an immense difference in just one day.
The Devil is in the Detail
Now that demolition is done, we get to my least favorite part, paint prepping. Taking the time to puddy and cover all of the little holes and blemishes, sanding, reapplying, sanding again, wiping down the walls, taping, and covering. As big of a pain in the neck as this is, this part is crucial. Much like sharpening your axe before you chop down a tree, the preparation pays off in the end.
High Traffic Area
We decided to go with Luxury Vinyl Planks for the flooring in the bathroom. They are extremely durable, water resistant, can be installed directly over concrete, and look really nice. Durability is really key when working in a commercial fitness facility. The daily foot traffic in this bathroom is approximately 30 fold that of your home bathroom. With the highest frequency of visits just moments before the coaches call of 3-2-1- GO! Although I've never installed flooring before, I have to say this was fairly easy. If you have a mudroom, laundry room, or bathroom at home that needs a makeover, I would highly suggest this flooring option as a DIY project.
Never as Easy as it Looks
I have installed and taken apart a few vanities and although it involves plumbing, the difficulty level is not astronomical. However, I didn't realize how much harder a pedestal sink would be compared to a regular vanity. Installing the sink took a bit of work. Pedestal sinks look really nice, but the also don't leave a lot of room for margin of error due to the fact that there is only a skinny pole to hide your errors. With a vanity, you can hide any mistakes behind the cabinet out of sight. With a pedestal sink, there is nowhere to hide.
Putting in the finishing touches. Surprisingly, this part usually takes the longest. Demolition and the initial building and installation goes fairly quickly, and you see a lot of progress in a short amount of time. The finishing touches and little details tend to be a bit more painstaking and the incremental progress can be frustrating. Kind of like working out. You work so hard for what seems like little progress at first, until you look back and realize how far you've actually come.
All-in, the project took about two weeks to complete. Since we still had to coach classes, 1-on-1 sessions, and run the back end of the business, the were multiple days we could not work on it. Overall though, the project was a success! We are looking forward to the next phase where we reorganize the office and lobby area to offer a more efficient and member-friendly experience.