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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Length Matters

Ever since I started doing CrossFit, one skill in particular has driven me batty: double unders.  Double unders shouldn't be difficult.  You jump rope, letting the rope pass beneath you twice for every one bounce.  It's just a question of jumping high enough and turning your wrist that much faster.  At CrossFit Metropolis, the "penalty" for not being able to do double unders in a workout is a 2:1 substitution of burpees.  No one likes burpees, so people tend to master double unders fairly quickly. 

In the beginning, I practiced double unders with limited success.  Eventually, I gave up.  I preferred to focus my energies on things I might actually get better at, i.e. pullups, handstand pushups and ring dips.  I became the queen of burpees.  In fact, I've done so many burpees that I really don't mind doing them anymore.

This fall, people at the gym started ordering custom jump ropes from RX Jump Ropes.  At first, I laughed.  Only on the upper east side of Manhattan would people order custom jump ropes.  The results were impressive, though.  People who never had double unders suddenly had them.  People who had them were doing more faster.  I started wondering if perhaps the short rope at the gym wasn't short enough for me.  Maybe, just maybe, this wasn't a coordination issue.  Eventually, I decided it was worth a shot and ordered a custom rope of my own.

My jump rope arrived just before I left for South Africa, so yesterday was the first opportunity I had to test it out.  (I had tried in my apartment, but it's too small, and I was afraid I'd hit my dog.)  All of a sudden, I had double unders.  Just like that.  I even did them in yesterday's workout.  I had to put some singles between each double under, and I definitely failed a few times, but I can totally do them.  Woohoo!

-Gym Belle-

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Reader Comments (1)

That's awesome! I haven't tried CrossFit yet, but I enjoy rope jumping when there's no snow on the ground. I had read how to check the length of a rope and I followed the instructions, but I still can't jump consistently enough yet. I thought it was my driveway being uneven or not smooth, but maybe I still don't have the length right?

Thanks for this post!

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

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