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Double Unders

by Meghann on November 14, 2012

Good Morning!

We had some “fun” with double unders at CrossFit this morning.


Double Unders. Ugh. These were not my cup of tea.

A double under is a where the jump rope makes two passes on a single jump instead of one. The trick is in the wrist with a fast whip of the rope, as well as not exerting too much energy on the actual jump (these suckers become tiring quickly). This was my first time attempting the double unders, and let’s just say I have a long way to go with them. I could only do one, maybe two at a time and they weren’t pretty. I was told the double unders don’t come overnight, it’s a skill that takes practice to perfect. I honestly felt a little better when my coach assured me she was stuck at one double under for months and it was only after she started dedicating 5 minutes a day to practicing that she could do multiples at once. Practice. Practice. Practice.

There were double unders in our WOD, but I opted to take the single jump rope modification, otherwise I might have been there all day trying to do all the double unders for each round. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of the WOD – here’s what it looked like:

  • 10 C2B Pull Ups (C2B = chest to bar)
  • 20 swings
  • 30 sit-ups w/ straight legs
  • 40 DU’s (or 120 singles)
  • 5 RFT (RFT = rounds for time)

Today’s WOD was a long one.

10 C2B Pull Ups

Before you start assuming I’ve suddenly developed some mad superwoman pull-up skills, I have not. We used bands for pull-up assistance on the bars. The thinner the band, the less resistance and the harder it is to do a pull up on your own, the wider the band, the greater the resistance and the easier it is to do a pull up on your own.


The bands are actually quite fun. If you get on the really thick one, it’s really springy and feels like you’re jumping. ๐Ÿ™‚ For regular pull-ups, I usually go for the blue, which is a thinner/medium band, but the chest-to-bar pull ups require a little more resistance for the higher reach, so I bumped up to the green for today. Even on the green, I was struggling on the fourth round to get the height and ended up adding in another smaller band for a little more resistance.

20 swings

The suggested weight was 35, but I’m just not there yet. I felt good on the 20lbs I warmed up on and decided to up it to 25lb for the workout. This was my first WOD with the higher 25lb weight and I could really feel the burn. I did have to take on couple of breaks on the swing through the WOD, but I never felt like I was ready to throw in the towel – I felt strong. Also, I was squatting way too low on my swings at the beginning, as soon as the coach noticed my error and corrected my form I felt about 100x stronger. It’s crazy what a difference a little change will make with power1

30 sit-ups w/ straight legs

These are pretty self explanatory. We laid straight on our backs and brought our arms up and over to touch our toes. I made the mistake, again, of wearing running shorts with a zipper pocket on the butt (ouch!), when will I ever learn?!

40 doubler under’s (or 120 singles)

Totally went the singles route. At first I wasn’t sure the much higher 120 singles number was fair, but sure enough I was finishing my 120 single jump ropes at the same rate that people were finishing their 40 double unders. Who would have thought?

Final time after 5 rounds:


Does anyone else feel a bit out of it when they call time? It always takes me a minute to catch my breath and comprehend what my time is. More often than not, I fall to the floor and just have a good lie down for a minute.

By the end of the WOD my hands felt as if they had been ripped to shreds.


I’ve been considering gloves for CrossFit, but when I posted the photo of my calloused hands on Instagram/Twitter with my intentions I was immediately met with a round of “Don’t do it!” from fellow CrossFitters. Who knew gloves were so bad? They suggested investing in a pumice stone instead and filing the callouses down in the shower. I was told the callouses do serve a purpose and I should wear them as badges of honor. Baby-soft hands are sooo yesterday, today it’s all about the rough and tough hands, right?

Once I got home, I was all over eggs and bacon for breakfast.


Yes, I’ve been on a huge bacon kick lately, but can you blame me? I think it’s because someone’s always cooking bacon in the back during our WOD, it smells so good that I instantly start craving it.


I’ve also been digging pears. They are so deliciously ripe right now.


Such an awesome start to the morning!

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

1 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

I got gloves for weight lifting in the gym after my personal trainer insisted on it, I like using them!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..WIAWโ€“A Case of the Mondays

2 Dori November 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

I never knew what Double Unders were and never bothered enough to look it up, so thanks for explaining. My CrossFit Fundamentals program starts on Nov 26! Interesting about the gloves since I was just wondering this morning if I might need them.
Dori recently posted..Should NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg Be Fired?

3 Meghann November 14, 2012 at 10:49 am

I can’t wait to follow your journey with CrossFit (I think you’ll like it), I feel like I’m learning something new with every class in regards to a new move/term/approach etc. A couple of folks in my gym use gloves, but most don’t. I’m going to try the pumice thing and see what happens.

4 Amanda @ Eat More Rabbit Food November 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

What a great workout! I tear my hands up too, but I agree that it is like a badge of honor! It’s proof of how hard you are working and I love it!
Amanda @ Eat More Rabbit Food recently posted..Would You Rather?? Wednesday! #3

5 Michelle November 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

I see the point in the whole badge of honor thing but I think I’d still invest in a pair of gloves.
Michelle recently posted..Things I Want To Buy

6 Natalie @ Free Range Human November 14, 2012 at 10:53 am

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been all about the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches lately. So good!
Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Miles To Go Before I Sleep

7 Jill E. November 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

yay du! practice really does pay off. as far as callouses i use a normal big nail file to file mine down and try not to pick them.
Jill E. recently posted..wednesday bikram

8 Ebernst November 14, 2012 at 10:57 am

I’ve just started rock climbing at an indoor gym and I have some major callouses on my hands too! I’ll have to give the pumice stone a try!

9 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer November 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

I use gloves occasionally, mostly for the grip when doing lots of pull ups. I don’t really use them with the bar too much unless we are doing high rep deadlifts or something. I have some permanent callouses on my hands and I recommend the pumice stone approach. My hands aren’t too manly or rough looking, just some small callouses at the top of my palms. Double unders are from the devil. I’ve been working on them off and on since I started and I don’t think I’ve gotten one yet. They make me want to pee my pants.
Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer recently posted..WIAW: Clearwater Style

10 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

Mmmm, the bacon looks delicious–totally craving it now!
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11 Emily N November 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

Great work on the workout today!
Emily N recently posted..Hitting a Busy Week

12 Genelle November 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

Nice workout today! I’m one for not using gloves since those calluses will come in handy later. Granted you will have reduced feminine hands but they can be a badge of pride for you!
Genelle recently posted..Bootcamp Anxiety

13 lisa fine November 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

Double unders! I forgot all about those.

I was a big jump roper in elementary school, and used to practice those. Funny that Crossfitters are now doing them as part of a workout. ๐Ÿ™‚
lisa fine recently posted..just write

14 NYC Fit GIrl November 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

I also suggest not gettin gloves.. After 3 months of crossfit my hands are strong from all my clauses. Yes, they are ugly but i am damn proud of them!
NYC Fit GIrl recently posted..crazy night

15 evelyn November 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

Do you wear your ring when at crossfit or at the gym? If not, then i would think it will get scratched if you don’t wear gloves

16 Meghann November 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

I do wear it. I took it off the first time I did CrossFit, but I was the only one who did, I was actually surprised that so many of the women left theirs on.

17 Emily @ The Swallow Flies November 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

We did double-unders at CrossFit this morning, too. Like you, though, I opted for the single route – and STILL had enough trouble with the rope getting caught on my ponytail, my feet, etc. Such fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
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18 Megan November 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

I agree– no gloves for CrossFit. My coach said you can use them, but it can hinder your grip on lifts and pullups. I’ve just come to terms that crossfit comes with jacked up hands. The WORST is when you get a rip from pullups and have to shower after.. BURNNNNN. I use athletic tape and tape my hands if they’re bad. works fine.

One thing that helped me with double unders is thinking about my wrists rolling down a car window. For some reason- that clicked and I’m able to string together a few in a row now!

19 Jenn November 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I used to be a gloves girl too but then all the coaches and some hard core guys/girls at the box insisted I WOD for 2 weeks without them. Yes, my hands are calloused and kinda gross but I feel like I can grip the bar better, and my hands don’t hurt as much anymore like they used to in the beginning. I just chalk up and attack ๐Ÿ™‚

20 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Tony does crossfit and he loves doing double unders. Like seriously loves them! His poor hands are always ripped to shreds too and I want to buy him so gloves but he says absolutely not – that he’s not a wuss – hah!
Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) recently posted..Breakfast Sweet Potato with Maple-Oat Crumble

21 Jean November 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

That reminds me of my crew days-wearing something on your hands while rowing was the ultimate no no! My hands looked disgusting and didn’t go back to normal for like six months after I quit.
Jean recently posted..Random Shit Tuesday

22 Annette @FitnessPerks November 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I love my lifting gloves, just my two cents.

Yay for fun /tough workouts!
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23 Claire November 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Ah I miss banded pull-ups! I recently got my first kipping pull-up and stupidly bragged about it to our head coach, so now whenever there is any style of pull-up in our WODs he grabs the band out of my hand and says, “No, you can just do normal kipping pull-ups if you need to. No more band for you.” Tough love! Also I can totally relate about going heavier on KB swings… the first time I swung (swinged? swang?) a kettlebell (the lightest we have at my box is 20 lbs), I effectively threw it over my head and ended up stumbling backwards into the wall! Now I am usually using 30 or even 35 lbs (we don’t have 25-pounders, though I wish we did!). Occasionally I’ll get one where I really remember to use my hips and everything comes together… usually, however, I am definitely still fighting it!
Claire recently posted..Roasted Chicken with Paleo Rosemary Mushroom Cream Sauce

24 Sneakers2Sandals November 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

DU took me a long time to get…but really once I stopped thinking about it and just did it, I got it! The trick is to relax and not tense up your shoulders…and keep your forearms close to your body ๐Ÿ™‚
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25 Krys November 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm

As I currently sit here with two torn hands from a HERO WOD on Monday, there’s no badge of honor in torn hands. It’s frustrating and restricting. Please take care of your hands with a pumice stone. Glove really won’t do anything for you. I was wearing grips for my pull-ups when I tore, but to be fair, I had done approx 160 pull-ups before I tore on Monday. (team of 6 women doing The Bear) (RFT – Rounds for time)

Good luck with DU’s. Took me months. I would have to do a double then two singles and then repeat. One day, it’ll just happen!

Good job!

26 April November 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

My first crossfit workout EVER today- thought about your venture with crossfit but I’m definitely nowhere near double unders! Nice job, lady!!!
April recently posted..โ€œRun Annie Runโ€ (THATโ€™S What Killed Me Today)

27 LizForADay November 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

Wow that sounds like a killer workout. How often do you do that workout?

28 amyt November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

I’ve used gloves..and not – I put them on now every now and again when I feel a pinch. I am sort of proud of my callouses….I’ve worked for them ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mine have gotten a little better, they look really bad right after a workout. I’ve actually gotten to where a prefer not to wear the gloves.

29 beka November 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I’m excited to start Crossfit! I just bought a month unlimited off living social for one near me. I’ll be starting when I get back from my cruise ๐Ÿ˜‰ I feel like it will help me with my core strength – I’m so weak!
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