Have you been struggling to learn how to do kipping pull-ups? Do you want to know the best exercises for learning these moves? If so, this blog post is for you. Keep reading!
Why Perform Kipping Pull-Ups?
The CrossFit methodology focuses on performing more work in less time. Performing more repetitions of a movement in less time would produce this output. This is why CrossFit workouts often utilize the kipping pull-up.
While it may seem like the kipping pull-up is an easy option at first glance, it is important to note that kipping is not a replacement for strict strength. But, they do provide an advantage in some workouts. They significantly increase the speed and cardiovascular demands of a workout compared to strict pull-ups.
Check out our article “The Truth about Kipping Pull-ups” for more information on why CrossFit uses the kipping pull-up.
The Best Exercises to Learn Kipping Pull-ups
The Kipping Pull-Up is a very fast movement that can be difficult for beginners to perform without making some mistakes in technique. The following exercises will help you fix common errors, so they don’t become problematic later on when trying higher reps and skills such as muscle-ups.
Hollow & Arch Holds on the Rig
The most common fault we see with athletes performing kipping pull-ups is them becoming too hip dominant with the movement. The kip should be generated from the shoulders opening and closing while the abs move the trunk from hollow and arch positions.
We must first master these two positions before progressing to the next few. Skipping this important step when learning kipping pull-ups will significantly slow your long-term progress down.
Band Resisted Beat Swing
Once we have static hollow and arch holds on the rig we need to get more dynamic to train the rapid movement of the kipping pull-up. The band resisted beat swing is a great drill to train proper kip mechanics. Focus on pushing and pulling into the rig with your arms to keep the movement shoulder generated. This is probably our favorite exercise for learning kipping pull-ups.
Standing Hollow Position Drill
Another great exercise for dialing in hollow positioning for the kipping pull-up is this standing drill. This is particularly effective for athletes that tend to be too hip dominant with their kipping form. Having the feet on the ground often helps athletes focus on the core and shoulder movements that we want to see.
In this video, I start by cueing core positioning by having Pamela focus on pulling her ribs down to go into the hollow position. Once the athlete understands the core positioning we want, I then add in the lat pull into the band.
Contrary to popular belief, the kipping pull-up is not a substitute for strict strength. And we find athletes with move strict pull-ups can do a higher number of kipping pull-ups than those will less strict strength. Don’t neglect this key component.
Toe Assisted Kipping Pull-Ups
Finally, we can use the toe-assisted kipping pull-up to combine all the drills we have worked on. Stand on a box that is high enough that your chin is over the bar when you are standing. Work on hitting proper positions in the kipping pull-up then add speed as you master the slower movements.
Need more help to develop CrossFit gymnastics skills?
Performance Plus has several programs designed to improve your fitness skills. Specific to the kipping pull-up we would recommend looking into the following programs: