How To Count Crossovers & Double Unders
Feb 09, 2024Devin Meek
Everyone aspires to master crossovers and double unders in jump rope, but it's also essential to know how to count the repetitions to assess your progress.
Good news - if you’re combining double unders and crossovers, you won’t need a complex mathematical calculation to work out how you’re doing.
In this article, we’ll look at how to count crossovers and double unders - plus some great tips on how to nail your jump rope technique.
Crossovers have shot to prominence since their inclusion in the 2022 CrossFit Games, held in Madison, Wisconsin. Nick Mathew triumphed over his competition in the crossover portion of the games, aided by his Elite Jumps Bullet COMP rope.
These skillful stunts involve a regular double under and a crossover to one of the rotations – the double under cross. Now that’s enough to make your eyes cross, as well as everything else,
@crossfitgames Nick Mathew untangled the double-under crossover mystery 🪄 #CrossFitGames #CrossFit #sports #jumprope #jumpropeskills #fitness #competition ♬ original sound - CrossFit Games
A basic crossover combines a rope jump with the jumper crossing and then uncrossing their arms in front of their body. Essentially, you’re swinging the rope over your head and then under your feet in a crisscross movement as you jump.
Crossovers add challenge to rope jumping, as they require timing and coordination. Plus, they engage all the different muscle groups, making an ideal full-body workout on top of the cardiovascular benefits of rope jumping.
Double unders multiply the single rotation so the rope passes under the jumper’s feet twice instead of once as you jump. Double under is double the difficulty, requiring immense technique, speed, coordination, and timing.
The key to fast and efficient crossovers is crossing at the elbow, not the wrist or the forearm. As the elbow crosses, this is the point to count the movement. As the arm uncrosses, that is a second crossover or repetition.
Novice rope jumpers may find this confusing, especially if you’re learning to do crossovers between multiple singles. The other option is to count the actual crossover jump until you establish a consistent rhythm.
The starting point for a double under is with the rope behind your heels.
One double under is as your feet return to the floor, and the rope passes over your head to return to the base position after the second rotation. The faster you go, the quicker you’ll need to count.
You might want to learn the technique with a lighter rope that offers less resistance. So, how does that fit when you see proficient athletes using a heavier cable or beaded-style jump rope?
Heavier ropes are easier to control because they offer more resistance.
As well as rope type, length is crucial. The rope used for double unders can be too short for crossovers, certainly in the early days when you’re perfecting the art.
A few extra inches are more forgiving of mistakes, so a rope like this quality PVC freestyle jump rope with a generous 10ft length is ideal for training.
Every athlete is different. It’s all about experimenting until you find the right rope for you. Remember, a rope isn’t just about what it’s made of; the weight, the handles, and the length are all relevant.
Elite Jumps allows you to design and customize your jump rope with a choice of handles, cord material, color, and length.
Effective hand position begins with good arm placement.
Put your elbows slightly behind the vertical line of your body. Keep the arms relaxed and next to your hips. This lets your wrists drive the movement rather than your arms, promoting quick and efficient rope rotation.
Of course, if you’re doing crossovers, your elbows need to move, but this is the only time they should.
Think about your grip on the handles; this is key to a good hand position. The best way to hold the handles is with your fingers rather than the palm, promoting a grip that offers control but is still light and relaxed.
And while we’re on the subject of grip, ensure you find a handle that suits your grip and the size of your hands. Not all jump rope handles are made equal. A fit handle is recommended for those looking to perfect their crossover technique, with its length making it easier to reach across during the movement.
Couple a fit handle with a Freestyle Beaded Jump Rope to improve your chances of mastering these movements.
Whatever move you want to execute, the correct body posture and movement are essential for success.
Imagine that your whole body needs to move upward in a straight line so your head, shoulder, hips, knees, and ankles all remain on a vertical plane. Initiate a bounce on the balls of your feet and keep them close together.
Kicking back or tucking the knees in are common mistakes in double unders, which means you’ll catch the rope on your feet.
Working your jump technique without a rope is great for beginners and intermediates to improve their skills and is an excellent warm-up for established jumpers.
Successful crossovers and double unders rely on fluid movement that’s smooth and rhythmic. The double under cross puts a premium on this. You’ll need to cross and uncross your arms, and that’s why they’re so tricky.
Ensure you’ve perfected the rhythm of double unders before adding crossovers, as they disrupt that fluid motion, one of the reasons they’re so tricky.
Perfecting fluid motion is about layering up your skills in a progressive manner, so perfect each element of the technique before adding another.
Whatever your skill level or aspirations, look no further than Elite Jumps for jump rope gear and equipment.
About the Author
Devin Meek is the Director of Education for Elite Jumps. He's been a jump rope entertainer for over eighteen years and is a three-time world champion competitive jumper. Devin travels the country sharing his passion for the sport, giving jump rope workshops to schools, CrossFit gyms, and corporate wellness programs.
We're all about equipping and encouraging people to take on big challenges, because we know the process of doing hard things helps us grow in character and capacity.