After Wednesday’s WOD, Amy grabbed me and asked a great question, one that I’m sure many of you have asked yourselves a time or two…I know I certainly have:

“Why did my double unders get better in the later rounds of today’s workout?”

I’m going to offer up a couple of reasons and then a couple solutions at the end:

1. Once you’ve gotten into the fatigued state of a workout, you stop thinking so much, and your body defaults to the patterns that you’ve programmed into it with the practice (or lack thereof) that you’ve given that particular skill. Read more about default movement patterns here.

2. The double under is a movement that requires the precision of very small musculature to be effective and accurate. When you’re fresh, you are likely relying too much on the swinging rotation coming from the shoulders and elbows, as opposed to the wrists. After those those got tired out with push-ups and pull-ups (in today’s example), they couldn’t “help” out in turning the rope, which in turn makes you use the correct muscles to perform the movement.

Solutions:

1. Practice, practice, practice. Jumping rope is a funny thing: there really isn’t much of an excuse to suck at it if you’ve been around long enough. If you go out of town, its understandable that you can’t work on your snatching or muscle-ups (although I have been known to pack a set of rings…). But a jump rope? That can go anywhere. Still not sure exactly how to get better? Book some skill sessions with one of your coaches. Matter of fact, watch Adam Wright and Chris Bilar kill the double unders in today’s workout and then ask how they got so good at them.

2. Become more self-aware in your workouts. One thing I told Amy is that when she started doing the double unders with more consistency, she needs to be aware of how her body feels at that point. You can ask yourself questions like: “Where are my arms being held? How far from my body are they? Are they slightly in front or slightly behind? How high am I jumping? What is my breathing doing?” Yes, I realize this is a lot. But when you’re learning a new skill, its gonna take some practice…see what I did there?

You can actually insert a number of different movements in place of ‘double unders’, as I’ve often remarked to coaches that so-and-so’s form got better with [insert movement here] as time went on. But thats another topic for another time!

That’s it for today.

Got questions?