EYC Podcast #22 – Kas
Jump Rope Feature Video – Fifty Consecutive Double Unders
This particular challenge is something I setup for myself probably a few months or so after I really started taking jump rope seriously. At the time, I could barely pull off ten double unders, that weren’t even consecutive so I challenged myself that one day I would be able to do fifty in a row. It has been quite an accomplishment for me and I definitely want to share some tips on how to achieve it yourself. What I want to do is talk about the approach I took, and offer some insight into the things I picked up along the way that could potentially help you in your journey. They will revolve around three main factors that are important to consider when working your way to toward fifty consecutive double unders, and they are developing anaerobic conditioning, technique, and understanding how your rope can effect performance.
Without going too deep into the science of it all, the double under in this case in an anaerobic movement because it draws on the energy systems that are without oxygen. They are characterized by short bursts of intense activity that train speed, power, and agility. Depending on the energy system, this activity can last 0-30 seconds of intense exercise, or 2-3 minutes of moderate to intense exercise. Knowing this, it is important to tailor the training you do to develop your anaerobic conditioning. The approach that I took in developing this anaerobic base, was working in intervals of ten consecutive reps of double unders. Once I could achieve ten reps of the double under, then I would focus on completing twenty reps, then thirty, and so on until I hit fifty. Initially, I wasn’t able to complete the necessary reps consecutively, so I would use single jumps in between until I was able to perform the required number of double unders. So for example, if I was working on achieving ten repetitions, I would do as many as I could consecutively, say I did four, then maintain single jumps, and intersperse the remaining six throughout, even if they weren’t consecutive. That being said, I would always try and do more than one at a time, if I was able. Over time, you will begin to string more and more of them together, and be able to move on to the next goal. That was about as much structure as I introduced when training for this particular goal. When looking at recovery periods, I generally kept them at about a minute. A good baseline to follow is a 1:1 ratio of activity and rest. For example, if your sets are thirty seconds each, you will want to rest for the same amount of time. If you require more rest, there is no harm in that. Listen to your body, and do the best you can.
There are many methods you can use to develop anaerobic conditioning, but the common theme is keeping the workouts shorter, and increasing the intensity. This is also known as HIIT, or high intensity interval training. Use it to your advantage, and you will be well on your way to fifty consecutive double unders.
The next topic I want to get into is technique, and this is very important because you want to make your movements as efficient as possible in order to maximize your endurance. Without proper technique, you are constantly compensating for inefficient movement, which will sap your energy. I discuss technique in episode #14 of the podcast so be sure to check it out for further insight, but to recap some key aspects of technique, you want to be sure that you are:
-jumping on the balls of the feet
-keeping the body, and head upright, while staring straight ahead
-maintaining slight flexion in the knees which helps absorb impact when landing
-rotate the rope using the wrists
-noticing that as you practice more and more, you develop a keen sense of where the body is in time and space, you get a feel for where you are in relationship to the rope, and really learn to control your jumps
-ideally you don’t want to jump more than an inch off of the ground
All of these things you want to have down with single jumps before you begin to train for double unders, and consecutive double unders. One thing to keep in mind regarding the last note on technique is the double under is a power jump, so you will be jumping higher than one inch off of the ground. As you improve though, you can use increased speed and explosiveness to try and reduce that height.
Referring back to what I said before about efficiency, you want to have technique down so you are keeping the double unders as efficient as possible. As you get further into your workout, and more tired, it’s likely that technique will suffer slightly, and the rope will catch more often. Having a solid foundation of endurance, and proper technique will allow you to maximize each set. One of the things that I do very often is jump in front of a mirror so I can keep an eye on my technique at all times. It also helps drill you on keeping the head straight up and looking forward which can sometimes be difficult to do, especially at the beginning. Keeping an eye on your technique during sets will help you notice any adjustments that you can make in order to improve your technique. A couple things that I noticed with my technique throughout training was that I kept my right hand slightly lower than my left which was changing the way the rope swung, so I was getting a lot of catches on my left foot. Also, I tended to look down, as opposed to staring straight ahead which caused me to lean forward slightly, and it also reduced my focus. Once I noticed these things, I was able to use the mirror to correct these flaws, and reinforce these corrections when I fell back into old habits.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought regarding your technique. When attempting fifty consecutive double unders, or any number of them for that matter, you want to be able to maintain proper technique, because it will maximize efficiency of your movements, and therefore your endurance.
The final topic for today is how the rope you use will affect your performance. My goal here is not to discuss all of the different types of ropes, I’ll save that for another time, but the ones that are most conducive to achieving multiple consecutive double unders. Overall, you have ropes that are meant for developing speed, agility, and quick timing. These are lighter, more flexible, and have minimal drag through the air. They are usually made of PVC, or cable rod. On the other hand, you have ropes that are meant to condition the upper body while jumping, so they are heavier, and much slower. These ropes can be made of cotton, leather, or even use weighted handles. The rope that I use in the video is the Buddy Lee Aero Speed model. It uses a short handle, and a swivel-bearing system, with a pvc rope. This type of rope is built for speed, so it is a great choice when attempting multiple double unders. You can do very well though with a standard PVC, plastic handled rope that we’ve all come across at some point in our lives. The main thing is you want the rope to be light, and allow for minimal friction through the air. This will allow you to focus on your technique, and energy conservation, and not have to compensate for the friction and weight of heavier ropes. While it is certainly possible to achieve multiple consistent double unders using heavier ropes, it will likely make it more difficult than necessary, and in turn more frustrating, especially in the initial stages. Furthermore, heavy ropes really aren’t conducive to developing speed and quickness of the hands and feet. One last thing that is important to consider is the length of the rope. If you find you are catching a lot, or you have to jump quite high in order to get over the rope, its length might be the issue. I go over how to figure out the right length for you in episode #14 of the podcast so I encourage you to check that out.
Alright guys well I hope that gives you some helpful insight into achieving multiple consecutive double unders. My next goal is to do one hundred of them in a row and I will be sure to let you know when that happens. Keep in mind, fifty ultimately is an arbitrary number and my hope is that this episode helps you reach even your first double under. It’s all about constant improvement at a pace that works for you. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast and be sure to follow on
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