How To Do Double Unders

Rope workouts are an amazing way to burn calories quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced with an exercise rope, adding a little variety to your routine can make it more interesting and you could see those calories burn even quicker.

Double unders are a great variation for your rope workouts. If you’re looking for a new challenge, these could be what you have been waiting for. But before you get started on this new exercise, you need to understand what double unders are.

This is not an easy skill to learn, even if you’re a pro with the rope. Learning double unders can be extremely frustrating but we are here to help. 

Today, we are going to guide you through the steps of performing double unders so you can become a pro as soon as possible. We will be looking at everything you need to know about double unders.

We will discuss the key aspects for mastering this exercise such as having the correct jump height, being able to spin the rope in a controlled manner, and having proper form when in motion. 

Read on to discover how to master double unders so you can take your rope regime to the next level.

How to perform double unders

There are some key rules to follow when performing double unders. Firstly, you need to jump at the correct height, have total control over the rope, and have a proper balance all at once. One common mistake is when people try to do too much too soon. Many pick up a rope and begin swinging it to all parts, hoping for magical fitness results in no time. The reality is that practice is needed to master double unders. 

Walking into a gym and hoping to perform a double under without any knowledge of the movement is exactly what you shouldn’t do. This will be frustrating and a waste of your time. On top of this, you could develop bad habits such as wide arms and donkey kicking. 

The good news is that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to learn how to do double unders. BWhat you do need is patience and a strategy. 

Let’s make the journey easier for you by walking you through the steps below.

Step by step guide on how to do double unders

Step 1 - Single unders

Before you try out double unders, you must know how to perform single unders. As with any form of exercise, you should start slowly. Over time, your confidence will gradually build until you are ready to try new challenges.

We recommend practicing single unders until you’re comfortable enough to tackle the double kind. This should be when you can do approximately 50 unbroken single unders at a time. This is generally the point when you have built up enough stamina to move on to double unders.

So, how do you perform a single under? The rope should pass under your feet but only once while you jump at a normal height. It’s like a basic rope jumping that you may have learned in certain exercise classes.

Ensure that you do not pause between your spins. Also, your heel mustn’t hit the ground at any point. You must rebound as soon as you touch the ground as this will train you to achieve the same jumping patterns with double unders.

Step 2 - Power jumping

Once you have become a pro at single unders, it’s time to move onto power jumping. This helps you learn the correct kind of jump for double unders. For this step, you do not even need a rope. This is all about practicing the correct jump with just your body.

This jump is higher than a regular single under jump. In other words, you need to push yourself and jump higher than you usually would. These power jumps help you learn how to absorb the landing in the correct manner.

With the right position as you land, it will become easier to rebound into your next jump and limits the risk of possible injuries. 

We suggest practicing these power jumps as often as possible to become familiar with the motion of not pausing between your jumps. The more comfortable you feel, the better your performance will be. Time for a strange analogy!

Think of yourself as a pogo stick. You want to spring back up as soon as you land without hesitating. Imagine you have springs in your shoes that won’t allow you to pause for one moment as you land between jumps.

Step 3 - Perform just one double under

Remember, it’s all about baby steps. Before you start going wild with your double under jumps, you should start with just one.

Unfortunately, many athletes ignore this step and immediately start performing double unders, one after the other. Sounds great but try this without much practice and it becomes very difficult.

We want you to keep it simple. Focus on your first double under. Don’t worry about anything after that. Use a rope that feels comfortable and that you’re familiar with. We recommend trying a few warm-up jumps before just to limber up and feel loose for the big moment. 

These warm-up jumps are also known as “big singles.” These are when you leap with a higher double under jump. However, you only spin the rope once under your feet while doing slow but big single unders.

Once you have done some big singles, it’s time to try your first double under. To do this, jump as high as you can while spinning the rope as quickly as possible. Continue trying this until you feel comfortable.

Then, you should work toward hitting your first reps with consistency. And no, we don’t mean stringing together your reps yet! Instead, we want you to use this time to start training your body for what it will need to do when hitting that first rep of a double under.

Step 4 - Perform one double under but with more spins

So, here’s the time when you can hit one double under. It’s also the right time to work on your jumping momentum. 

Perform a single double under and keep the rope spinning. This may be difficult at first but that’s what practice is for. Your goal is to let the rope spin continuously so you can keep your momentum and carry on jumping.

Doing this will help you progress from jumping with less control to landing and controlling your rebound jump with ease. And all this will eventually happen while the rope continues to spin. After a little bit of time, you should be able to do five singles, one double, five singles, and one double, etc.

Step 5 - Time for a single under and a double under

When you reach this point, you should feel comfortable with the rope and understand what it feels like as it continues to spin in between your double under reps.

The next step is to minimize the number of singles between every double under. In other words, instead of doing 5 or so singles between each double under, you should work toward a sequence of “single-double, single-double, single-double, single-double, and so on.”

When you can successfully achieve this rhythm, it means you have the rope control, jump height, and endurance to begin stringing double unders together. Time for celebration, almost!

Step 6 - Perform continuous double unders

If you have gotten this far, you have come a long way! It’s now time to tackle unbroken or continuous double unders. But it is very important to note that this isn’t quite the time to aim for 10 in a row.

As with each step, you need to keep it simple. Start with two unbroken double unders. That may not sound like much but you will soon discover how different it feels when rebounding back into your second rep and landing compared to your single-double drills.

You will notice a large difference in the landing position of your jumps. If you land incorrectly, such as with flat feet or off-balance, then you will struggle to immediately jump back up again to a proper height.

Therefore, the jump for your second double under rep will not be as powerful and you may trip over the rope.

If you find your control is still a little off, we suggest focusing on your jumping control and composure. You need to control your landing by keeping your toes pointed down. Your calves need to be engaged through the entire range of movement. Then, simply repeat.

This may take some time to get used to but stick with it because the feeling of a successful jump and landing is incredible. Once you string two double unders together, you have achieved something many can’t. This is the biggest step so far! No more single-double unders! You’d be surprised how many people are trapped in this vicious circle and never progress.

From this point on, it’s time to increase your reps. Go for three, then four, and then five. Keep doing this and your progress will have no boundaries. 

Step 7 - Time for 50 reps of double unders

If you’re ready for a challenge, then you’re ready for step 7. You’ll be glad to know that this is the final step in learning double unders. But, you guessed it! This step also requires a great deal of practice and patience.

This final hurdle is in place to see you work on larger sets of unbroken double unders. Your goal should be to achieve 50 unbroken reps. Once you have reached this level, we believe you have truly made it on your journey with double unders.

However, this will not be easy. It will be harder than you think, especially when trying to hold your form and control your breathing. The more sets you do, the harder everything becomes. But, keep practicing and you will get better and better!

Continue building upward with this guide. Never jump ahead or skip any steps. This will result in a greater chance of injury and you may never reach the goals you have set out. With determination and commitment, your double unders technique can be perfect and over time, 50 reps will feel like 2 or 3!

Follow our path above and you will soon become a master at double unders. Even when it’s feeling too difficult, keep pushing through. Continue with each step and you will see progress every time you pick up that rope.

Beginner tips

If you’re a complete beginner, here are a few more tips to help you become a master of double unders:

  • Purchase your own rope - This should be the easiest part of your journey. There are a range of ropes to choose from on the market but some are better than others. Just using any old rope that is lying around your gym will make your step-by-step process a lot harder. 

Ideally, you need to be consistent with your rope so it has the same length and handles every time. Simply put, the same rope every time equals a better-trained body. We recommend trying a heavier cable rope if you’re a beginner. Smaller cables tend to spin more quickly which is much harder to control through the whole movement. 

  • Video your double unders - This is a great way to see your form and ensure you’re performing double unders correctly. If you don’t have a coach to help you out, you may have no idea when you’re doing something wrong.

We suggest setting up your phone to film your routine. You may be surprised by what you find as you may discover your movements are out of sync. Therefore, you can work on improving your balance and posture going forward. 

  • Listen out for the rope clicking - This can help a lot! As you work through your double under drills, try and listen out for your rope clicking on the ground with each and every spin. Doing this can help you find the right rhythm and continue to progress.