How to Master the Double Under Cross

Aug 17, 2022Jordan Lindstrom

If you happened to tune in to event 3 at the 2022 CrossFit Games, you watched some of the best athletes in the world humbled by the jump rope in an event called the Skill Speed Medley. The event introduced a new move to CrossFit with the jump rope: the double under crossover.

Athletes were required to do the traditional double under, where the jump rope goes under their feet twice in one jump, but with one of those rotations including a cross. The cross is when an athlete twists their hands across one another so the left hand is near their right hip and their right hand near their left hip.

Unheralded newcomer and games rookie Nick Mathew (seen above using our Bullet COMP rope) was one of just two male athletes to finish the Skill Speed Medley, coming from behind to win the event by cruising through the double under crossovers while everyone else struggled.

We know certain gyms will be programming in double under crossovers throughout the next CrossFit season and we wanted to give you a head start on learning this difficult move. Check out our five keys to success below:

  1. Speed Ropes are the WRONG ROPE - Even though it's possible to learn the skill with your speed rope, the angle of the handles on a speed rope (typically 90º) and the light weight wire make the crossovers more difficult.

  2. Go HEAVIER - You could use a beaded jump rope, believe it or not, or even better, a PVC rope. Either a 4mm or 5mm PVC diameter will work great for learning this skill. Add it to a pair of long handles to give yourself some extra reach on your cross. We'd recommend our Sports Performance Rope with long handles and three cord thicknesses. 
  3. Relax Your Shoulders - Keeping your shoulders down and relaxed will reduce the amount of movement in your upper body (less wasted energy) and keep your hands close to your hips.

  4. Point your handles - By pointing your handles down to your opposite pockets, you'll be able to keep your hands close to your body and reduce the amount of time it takes to transition from a cross to a standard jump.

  5. Cross 2nd - Let your first rotation be a standard jump with the second rotation as your cross. This will allow you to focus on your jump form as you take off and streamline them to start performing your double under crosses unbroken!

Good luck and reach out to us with any questions or if you need some additional coaching. And don't forget to pick up a beaded or PVC rope to get started mastering all jump rope skills you'll need for this next year of CrossFit


  • Phil from Elite SRS

    Kelly! First off sorry it took so long to get back to you. I’m sure you have your answer already but I still wanted to chime in. Doubles with offer an increase heart rate, but also all you to switch up tempo while jumping. For increasing heart rate with out doubles you can try to speed up your singles. OR i would look into some lunges with your side swings or other speed footwork movements (High knees, faster boxer step… etc) Hope this helps!

  • Kelly Robinette

    Hey there. I’ve been jumping rope off and on for the past 3 years. But for the last 5 months I’ve worked back up to doing it every day. I’m overweight (but down 20 lbs in 5 months) and have a pretty bad knee. That’s why jumping rope is awesome for me. Regular bounce and other footwork skills don’t hurt me at all. But double unders do. Everyone pushes double unders. Cross fit, boxers, etc. My question is, are they really that necessary? I realize that I could burn more calories if I did them (I have no problem doing them, they just really hurt my knee), but I also incorporate heavier ropes and other exercises into my workouts. Do you have any other suggestions other than double unders for increasing calorie burn or intensity? Thank you so much.

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