If you sneak off to the bathroom when it’s time for double unders - what are you going to do if triple unders are in the next Games?
Triple unders are a seriously impressive feat, but they can seem next to impossible if you struggle just jumping rope normally. Here are some tips to help you get double unders down perfectly, then upgrade to the omnipotent triple unders.
Get A Speed Rope
Certain ropes are designed for teenage children jumping rope for P.E classes. Other ropes are designed for speed and serious athletes. If you have a cheap nasty rope, unless you are Floyd Mayweather Jr, there is no way you are going to be crushing triple unders. A high quality speed rope is essential to being able to perform this move. Comfortable handles, quality bearings and of course a properly weighted jump rope all help to get you closer to multiple triple unders. Without quality bearings, your rope won’t spin at the exact same time, every time, which will destroy your chances of success. Cough up the cash and buy a decent speed rope and you won’t regret it.
Do Slow Double Unders
If you can already nail a few double unders in a row, start to do them a bit slower and jump a little bit higher so that you are super comfortable doing them. If you are battling to get double unders, do this same technique with single unders. Start jumping a bit higher and going slow on single unders.
This helps to “grease the pipes” and get you ready for double and triple unders. Just like any other movement, you need to get damn good at the baseline if you can expect to progress at a decent rate. If you just start trying to do triple unders and skip this step, you will be sorely disappointed when you can’t nail them even after weeks of practice.
Don’t Jump Excessively High
Even though I just told you to jump a little bit higher and take your time with double unders, don’t jump stupidly high. When you watch someone do triple unders, they don’t jump that much higher than when they execute doubles. The biggest downfall is when somebody nails a triple under, but then they have jumped too high and they come crashing down and it takes them too long to get back up in the air. You need to just jump a little higher, and if you land too hard, you won’t be able to spring back up easily.
When you whip out the infamous triple under, your wrists are turning at a serious speed. Think of a tongue twister - it is easy to say slowly, but when you say it multiple times at speed you end up screwing it up. This is where fake spins come into play.
Grab your jump rope, but instead of actually jumping over the rope, just let it lie down in front of you. Then proceed to practice triple unders, but just the wrist movement. Get used to flicking your wrist around in triplets at speed and see how long you can stay accurate for. This is a great way to develop your wrist coordination, which is actually the most important part of this exercise. You only need to jump once, but your wrists have to rotate 3 times in a very fast, timely manner. Practice this and you will get a lot closer to the holy grail of successive triple unders.
At this point you might be asking, what’s the point in triple unders? Aren’t they a bit over the top or excessive?
Well, yes they are.
And so is all of the other type of strength training and conditioning we do. With an exercise like the triple under, you have to realize that it isn’t something you just decide to do just to say you can do it, it is a stepping stone. As strength trainers we are constantly trying to become faster, leaner, stronger, fitter and better people. If we aren’t constantly trying to make our exercises harder, then we are getting weaker.
This is why exercises such as the triple under are a rare feat - most people will use jump rope as a way to keep fit, but they will never push the boundaries as much as we do.