How To Do Kipping Pull-ups

How To Do Kipping Pull-ups

How To Do Kipping Pull-ups

If you’re trying to learn how to do kipping pull-ups, we’ve got five drills that you need to learn and practice to master that skill. Learning proper form (after already having strict pull-up strength) with this dynamic movement is the key to both long term progress and protecting your shoulders from injury!


The first thing to understand about kipping pull-ups is there’s ways to perform them that are going to allow you to do the most potential reps long term. And then there are ways to just get reps done early on with horrible form that will really quickly derail you from being able to crank out those really heavy sets and often lead to shoulder pain.

Standing Hollow Position to Arch Drill

We’re going to focus on learning the kipping pull-up the right way, which is a core and shoulder generated movement where those two muscle groups are in charge of the keeping pull-up itself and this is a great introductory drill right here. Pamela’s standing with a resistance band overhead, she’s gonna walk away. That resistance band is really going to try to pull her body into global extension where her arms are open up, her spines open up, her hips are open up. Then we’re going to focus on getting our core to pull our body into a hollow body position.

So you’ll notice that she goes back from an arch to a hollow position her rib cage is gonna get pulled down. After she does a really good job of learning to engage the core to pull into that hollow body position, we can work on adding the lats to the equation. So she goes hollow and then she’s gonna push her arms down into the band, which is important for us to remember from a muscle memory standpoint because when we jump up on the bar, we want to be pushing our arms into the rig and using our core to get in the right positions that we want to see for the kipping pull-up.

Hollow and Arch on the Pull-up Bar

From there, we can jump in actually holding hollow and arch positions on a rig. Pamela’s going to jump up here in a hanging position. And she’s going to go from a dead hang into a hollow hold. So we’re going to see that same position happen where her ribs and her pelvis come towards each other and we’re going to also see her arms close down a little bit. She’ll go back to a dead hang, and then she’s going to move into an arch position where we go into that same global extension position we talked about earlier. And she can work on moving slowly between those two positions because slow strength is what’s going to really build dynamic control and long term progression.

It’s important to make sure you have that strict strength before you add momentum to make sure that you have the strength to control the descent on every keeping rep, so you keep your shoulders safe. So we’re going to see an athlete when they hang, we want them to pull into that hollow and stay in that hollow on their strict pull-up because at the top of a kipping pull-up, you will want to be in hollow so you can push away and return into the arch position.

Remember, it’s a sequence of events.

It’s arch hollow, arch hollow. That’s why a hollow pull-up is very important to train.

Toe Assisted Kipping Pull-up

This drill is going to help your athlete or yourself build muscle memory.

So what we want to do is set up a box and when we start, we’re gonna stand tall. And we want to make sure that the your chin is over the rig, so that’s a good height set up over here.

Then we’re going to start and hollow, and we’re going to move slowly into the arch, sending our heel back, and then we’re going to reach turn back to hollow as we pull and engage our lats and start in that first rep.

Now you’ll notice the rib is tucked and then we’re going to push away just slightly staying in hollow until we can return back to that arch position. You’ll see the athlete trying to build that neurological component by going slow.

Once you can do that, you can speed it up a little bit, so you can really feel what it might be to add that speed through your kipping pull-up.

If you’re looking for more drills to help you get your first kipping pull-up, check out two programs that we offer inside of performance plus programming.

First, our strict pull-up overhaul plan to get you to where you can do unassisted strict

Pull-ups to have the strength necessary to develop this skill.

Then you can move on to our Kipping Pull-up Mechanics and our Lats to Fly Programs, which will really show you how to take that strict strength and transmit it to a variety of gymnastic skills such as the kipping pull-up.