Pull ups are a staple in your CrossFit training. It’s one of the more intimidating exercises we use and there are many different ways to perform it successfully. Its benefit parallels its difficulty, and for most, it takes a long time to learn to do them at all, much less proficiently.
We’ll discuss a few Do’s and Don’ts of the Kipping Pull Up to help you on your journey. The prerequisite to doing kipping pull ups is being able to do a strict pull up- this ensures you are capable of supporting your own bodyweight. If you are still new to this and trying to develop your upper body strength, continue to work your ring rows and partial strict pull ups before attempting to learn kipping pull ups. Ask your Coach if you’re ready to progress to this level.
Here are a few quick tips on things you want to focus on while practicing. Ask your coach to work these techniques with you.
3 Do’s for the Kipping Pull Up:
1. The Kip - Find your Open & Closed body position under the bar. The Open Position is where, while swinging on the bar, the shoulders are in FRONT of the bar, chest is forward and feet are behind the bar. The Closed Position is where shoulders are BEHIND the bar and feet are in front of the bar.
2. While moving from the Open position to the Closed Position to perform a pull up, whip your feet forward giving some momentum to the hips. Drive the hips up towards the bar in a quick snap to send that momentum to the upper body while you pull yourself towards to the bar.
3. Once your chin in over the bar, immediately push BACK and away from the bar so that your shoulders are once again behind the bar. From here, your body can easily fall back into the Open Position under the bar so that another kipping pull up can be performed.
3 Don’ts for the Kipping Pull Up:
1. Fault #1: You only swing your legs trying the find the Open & Closed positions. Here, your shoulders won’t move in front of the bar or behind the bar. You don’t want your upper body to stay directly underneath the bar.
2. Fault #2: You bring your knees up instead of “popping” your hips towards the bar. Bringing your knees up will halt all momentum created by the lower body in the kip and actually make you “heavier” under the bar causing you to do more of a strict pull up.
3. Fault #3: Once your chin is over the bar, you drop straight down from the bar. This makes returning to the full Open position at the bottom impossible. Without the Open position in place, you won’t create the momentum and swing needed for a subsequent pull up.
Practice these tips only under the supervision of your Coach. They will guide you on implementing the proper techniques. For those of you doing Murph with us on Memorial Day, keep these tips in mind!