Jumping to New Heights: Step By Step Guide to Crossover Single Unders

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  Double Unders 

Since their debut in the 2022 CrossFit Games, crossover single unders have captivated athletes worldwide. With these straightforward steps, you can join the roster of skilled CrossFit athletes mastering this impressive jump rope technique. This unique and fun movement adds a new dimension to your jump rope skills. 

Let’s guide you through the necessary steps that go into performing crossover single unders, and provide insights for coaches on effective cueing.

How to crush single under crossover  

Establishing the Correct Jump Rope

Before diving into the progression below, it's crucial to choose the right jump rope. 

Often you’ll see athletes choose a beaded-style jump rope or a slightly heavier cable since the added resistance can make it easier to control and feel the rope. Additionally, experimenting with different rope lengths can help. 

The standard length rope used for regular double unders or single unders could be too short for crossover single unders depending on your technique and many athletes learning this move for the first time will find a few added inches will allow for more forgiveness and make crossovers easier to perform. This may take trial and error to find the ideal length for you. 

Teaching Progression for Crossover Single Unders

1. Hand Position:

Begin by ensuring you understand what a good single under hand placement is. For example, pull back your elbows slightly behind your body, as if you are pulling up your pants with your hands relaxed and close to the hips. During single unders, your hands should stay relatively stationary with the rope being driven primarily by your wrists.

2. Establishing the Feeling of the Crossover:

Start with the rope behind you. Practice crossing the rope over your body, starting with the single under hand position and finishing with the hands crossing your body, elbows as close together as possible and your hands staying at pant pocket level.

The rope should finish at your feet. At this stage, the focus is on mastering the feeling and coordination of the cross, without needing to jump.

3. Adding the Jump to Cross Position:

Let’s begin to work on crossovers by adding a single jump: start with a single under. 

As the rope passes overhead, cross your hands as practiced previously but this time jumping over the rope so it passes underneath your feet. The goal is to achieve the cross and finish with the rope behind you. 

4. Crossover Plus Single Under:

Progress to performing three reps in one motion— a single under followed by a crossover finished linked to another single under. This sequence helps you to develop a continuous fluid motion while maintaining consistent hand crosses.

5. Continuation and Refinement:

As an athlete, you can continue practicing single unders with occasional crossovers, gradually increasing the frequency of crossovers until they become proficient. For some of you, you may benefit from starting with a few single unders before transitioning to crossovers, depending on their coordination and timing preferences.

Key Points for Single Under Crossovers

As a coach, it's essential to observe certain points of performance during the progression:

1. Hands Crossing:

As an athlete you need  envision where your hands are crossing in space. You want the elbows to get as close as possible as the hands cross without pulling the hands up in space. Consistent arm position is crucial for maintaining rhythm and coordination of the crossover.

2. Hand Positions:

Emphasize the elbow pulled back in a relaxed position during the single under and as the rope crosses over to keep your hands at pocket height. The higher your hands come up, the more difficult the rope becomes to jump. 

3. Fluid Motion:

You want to maintain a smooth and continuous motion throughout the crossover single unders. Eliminate jerky or forced movements, aiming for a seamless transition between crosses and regular single unders.

To Summarize

Mastering crossover single unders requires a systematic progression that breaks down the movement into manageable steps. By starting with hand positions, establishing the feeling of the cross, gradually incorporating the jump, and refining the technique, you can build the coordination and rhythm necessary for executing crossover single unders flawlessly.

Looking for help?

We’re such big believers in the technicality and challenge of the Single Under Crossover that we coach how to perform them (and how to perform them well) in our  new Double Under Pro 8 week skill course.

See you on the inside!

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