A few ladies have asked me recently: “Coach, why do I leak when I do double unders?”
Here’s the deal: The effort in trying to do a double under (especially in beginners) causes increased force and tension through your body. This results in breath-holding and a coordination issue between your core system and pelvic floor.
You are getting ready to do your double unders. You start with a few single unders and then go for the double under. You put in so much effort and concentration that you end up holding your breath and bear down through your pelvic floor causing the leak.
For some ladies, your pelvic floor stays in a shortened position the whole time, which mean the pelvic floor isn’t getting that rebounding effect to close off your urethra. This rebounding is what prevents leaking during this activity.
Another factor: is your postural alignment gets thrown off.
You are trying to jump higher to leave time for the double under so your shoulders slump forward and you either pike or tuck your knees. You could also become over-erect in your postural alignment causing rib flare and a lengthened front core. This results in decreased control over your front pelvic floor muscles and contributes to leaking.
What to do?
Here are some tips to help you with your double under form to stop leaking:
Make sure you work on your core stability first.
Whether it’s planks or hollow holds, make sure you have enough core strength and stability to maintain proper postural alignment during jumping activities. Warm-up with core exercises prior to jumping to get the system prepared. Make sure you have the core to pelvic floor connection on point!
Make sure you work on your calf strength
You need these babies to push your off the floor for your jumps. The calf muscles also help with pelvic floor stability! Work them double leg and single leg. You should be able to do at least 10 single leg calf raises through the full ankle range of motion in every rep without letting the supporting knee buckle.
The diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles work together. If you hold your breath, the coordination is off and you’ll likely leak.
Slow down your single unders.
Many people jump faster during their single unders than they do double unders. So, practice slower single unders to train the pace and rhythm for double unders. Also, avoid increasing your rope speed or your jump height when you transition to double unders.
Doing more double unders will not help you stop leaking.
You need to OWN single unders before progressing to double unders. If you leak with single unders, do not progress to double unders until you can consistently do at least 100 single unders without leaking. Focus on training core strength, postural alignment, and practice jumping without a rope.
There we have it! If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Coach Mel via Facebook and IG @coachmelissadowling or email firstname.lastname@example.org.