Death To “Normal” Single Unders!

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Now, I like jump rope. I’ve been jumping rope as part of my fitness routine since I boxed a little in high school, continued it in my globo gym days (I was the weird guy skipping in between the pec dec and the leg curl machines) and when I started CrossFit I took to it like a fish takes to breading a deep frying. (Thought I was gonna say water, didn’t ya?) Most of my jump roping has been easy, relaxed single unders- normal rope skipping that’s done to get warm, get loose, work rhythm and timing- and they are great. Great I tell you! That said, when it comes to METCONS, conditioning workouts with specific intensity as a goal- they often suck. Now if you just started fitnessing and jumping rope still feels like wrestling an angry snake, well wrassle that snake til it ain’t so dern ornery no more! In the beginning doing single unders in workouts is plenty challenging- they are hard, everything else is hard, your conditioning probably isn’t great…so go for it. But all fitness caterpillars one day turn into fitness butterflies, and there will come a time that single unders no longer feel very hard. With a normal jump rope (and pay attention, because we will return to this statement) you will be able to do a basically endless number of single unders, while scrolling Instagram and carrying on a conversation about the merits of the debt ceiling and fiat currency. What once was the scourge of your existence is now a place in the workout that you can go to chill out a bit, cruise, and get ready for the “hard stuff.” You are basically hiding in a pillow fort, made of jump rope. (Ok, I think we’ve taken this far enough.) Well stop doing it! There are tons of options for you at the gym. Chief among them is practicing double unders, which can definitely sometimes be frustrating, and if scaled incorrectly can ruin a workout. So, scale judiciously and use a “double cap” on your double under practice- set both a target NUMBER (“I’m gonna scale the 50 dubs to 20”) and a TIME CAP (“if I’m still working toward my 20th dub and a minute has gone by, I’ll move on.”) That way you can practice within the confines of a workout and not run the risk of existential crisis as you whip your shin for the 300th time. Some days you might not want to try double unders- I sure don’t! If my joints are feeling wonky or my back is tight I don’t love the added impact, and I’ll do single unders…but I’ll do HARD single unders! We have Thai Boxing jump ropes (the thick PVC ones) RX SmartGear Drag Ropes (the ones that look/feel like a climbing rope) and Climbing/Battle Rope Jump Ropes (the one that look like the climbing ropes) and each of those will offer a significantly elevated challenge, while keeping you from being frustrated by trying to develop a skill during a metcon and/or blasting your poor joints to shit. (Note: if you use these ropes, no need to scale up the volume!) That’s all I got! Jump happy, jump often. Peace!