Back in the day, U.S. Olympian and retired Marine Buddy Lee was Greg Glassman’s original jump rope consultant.
Chris Rawlins, the staff member of the CrossFit Jump Rope seminar, said Lee hosted workshops for a time, and his journal articles, videos and teachings have long held their prominence in the CrossFit world. Lee eventually went on to work with the government and military families, but recently has entered back into the industry.
“When I got involved with Buddy personally a few years ago, we discussed him getting back into CrossFit during our first conversation,” said Rawlins. “I had been in CrossFit for a couple of years visiting gyms all around the country as I travel quite a lot for my work. I consistently saw a lack of fundamental knowledge of how to use and teach the jump rope, and I met athletes and Coaches with laundry lists of issues and injuries from the jump rope at every gym I visited, so I knew there was a need in the community.”
After three days of demos at the CrossFit Games, and reconnecting with Greg Glassman, the CrossFit Jump Rope course was born. It rolled out officially in June 2018.
So, why a jump rope course? Rawlins shares what common misconceptions it looks to correct, the importance of the jump rope and skills beyond the double under, and more:
Chris Rawlins: The goal of the course is not to just get an athlete to a double under. The goal of our course is to make a double under incidental, meaning it’s just another skill to do with your jump rope. And when learned properly via the Buddy Lee system, the double under becomes a low-impact resting and recovery movement.
CrossFit has utilized two jump rope skills from the beginning: the single under and the double under. In proper jump rope training, there are a minimum of 12 skills that should be learned between the single and the double under. Our course brings the proven Buddy Lee three-step system of jump rope training to CrossFit.
Buddy has distilled down a skill set we call The CrossFit 15. It consists of the 15 most relevant jump rope skills for CrossFit applications, as well as the skills a Coach will need to apply jump rope training for sports specific application needs of any kind of athlete that is going to come into your gym. We have skills for the needs of the CrossFit athlete, the tennis/football/baseball/basketball player, the combat sports athlete, the 5k/10k/marathon runner – every possible age group, demographic and fitness level.
The skillset creates an endless toolkit of training combinations that will be a challenge for every level of athlete, from the person that just got off the couch yesterday to a Games athlete. You’ll never look at jump rope training the same way again.
CR: The definition of CrossFit we all know is, “Constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.”
The key words there are varied and functional. With those in mind, consider this idea:
How successful would CrossFit have become if we only used one barbell movement at all times? Imagine with all that’s known about weightlifting, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, etc., that CrossFit only used it for a front squat and ignored all of the other beneficial exercises that can be done with a barbell. That’s a silly notion to any CrossFit Coach or athlete in the world, right? Well, that’s exactly where we are with jump rope training. We have not varied how we use a jump rope from Day One, and while a double under is a great skill, it’s by no means the most functional skill one can perform with a jump rope.
Our course teaches the most functional, varied and downright fun jump rope skills, all of which have skill transfer to the other skills performed in CrossFit and in any other kind of sport or training for that sport. Jump rope training will become something Coaches and athletes look forward to doing every day. That’s certainly been the experience of the gyms where we’ve held courses thus far.
CR: Jump rope is not a minor skill. It’s a foundational training tool that elite athletes have used for decades at the highest levels of performance. Jump rope is also one of the easiest ways a CrossFit Coach can give a giant victory to an athlete, give that athlete something to take away and believe in, and bring that athlete back to the gym. It’s more than a training tool; it’s a retention tool as well.
CrossFit Coaches and Affiliate owners need to think beyond just what they’ve seen programmed at the Games or what’s been done in the past, and they need to have the biggest toolkit possible to help and connect with every possible kind of athlete that’s going to walk through their doors. The jump rope is the single most effective and accessible piece of fitness equipment that can benefit the widest variety of people, so it’s critical that CrossFit gyms learn how to better use and teach it.
For any gym that’s interested in hosting a CrossFit Jump Rope Course, they can contact Coach Chris via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll gladly send over hosting requirements and get your box on the schedule. For more information on attending, visit training.crossfit.com/jumprope.