THE KIPPING PULL-UP CLASS

Class Notes

Kati's Coaching Notes

Class Topics

  • Prerequisites
  • Strict vs. Kipping
  • “Why should I learn the kip?”
  • How To: Step By Step
  • Power: Arms vs. Legs
  • Common Faults
  • Weight Distribution
  • Connecting Reps
  • How to Train Endurance
  • Drills

Pre-Requisites

  • 1:00 Active Hang
  • 3+ Unbroken Strict Pull-Ups
  • 0:30 Hollow Hold

Strict vs. Kipping

  • Strict:
    • Requires more strength, less technique
    • Builds strength through the entire body, especially the pull
    • Slower cycle time
    • No change in body position
  • Kipping:
    • Requires more technique, less strength
    • A technique athlete’s may use to increase cycle times and conserve energy
    • Faster cycle time
    • Constant change in body position
    • Usually used to achieve specific "competitive" goals

"Why should I learn the kip?"

  • Ask yourself, what are your goals?
  • If you are looking for a technique that will help you do faster pull-ups while expending less energy, for the goal of doing better in competitive settings, then you should learn to master the kipping pull-up
  • Less energy expended (as compared to strict)
  • Used in competitive settings where the goal is to complete the work as quickly as possible

How To: Step By Step

  1. Begin standing directly under the bar
  2. Jump to the bar with your hands slightly outside the shoulders, landing in a hollowed position
  3. Push your chest forward, and drive your heels back into a tight arch
  4. To initiate the kip, tap your toes forward, closing your hip angle
  5. To produce power, squeeze your butt aggressively and quickly (keeping it squeezed)
  6. Use your arms to guide that vertical power, until your chin comes above the height of the bar
  7. At the top of the rep, your body should be in a rigid, vertical position
  8. To connect, keep your body rigid and push your shoulders away from the bar (sending your toes slightly in front of the bar)
  9. Fall with your body still fully engaged and tight
  10. As you come to the bottom of the fall, push your chest forward and pull your heel back, moving into a tight arched position
  11. Once in this arched position, you’re ready to go for your next rep

Step By Step

  • Ask yourself, which half of the body is stronger?
  • Answer: The lower half / Legs, hips, butt
  • Which means? To conserve energy, we use this technique where are using the stronger half of our body (lower half) to do the majority of work, versus simply relying on arm strength to pull
  • By using the stronger half of the body, we can do more reps, over longer periods of time, helping us achieve those "competitive" goals (the whole reason we learn to kip!)

Common Faults

  • Attempting too soon and developing bad habits
  • Too much swing, leading to poor body positions and loss of control
  • Too little swing, making it feel like you’re doing strict pull-ups
  • Weight distribution imbalances, not knowing where your body is positioned in relation to the bar, and how it can affect your pull-up

Weight Distribution

  • Glide swinging will kill your kipping pull-up rhythm, so we need to understand what it is, why it happens, and focus on avoiding it
  • Glide swing: When you swing back and forth on a bar, similar to a pendulum, because the majority of your body is one one side of the bar at a time
  • Example: If you start from behind the bar, jump forward to the bar, and catch, you will swing forward until your body position is then completely in front of the bar
  • During kipping pull-ups (and really, all kipping skills), try to keep 1/2 of your bodyweight on each side of the bar at all time (front and back planes), so your movement stays directly under the bar, and you can more easily avoid the glide swing

Connecting Reps

  • At the top of your first rep, your chin will be above the bar, and body will be rigid, and pretty vertical
  • Keeping your body rigid, push your shoulders away from the bar (which means your toes will come slightly in front of the bar)
  • Ideally, we want to keep the hips (center of gravity) under the bar
  • As you fall to the bottom, simultaneously press your chest forward, and pull your heels back, moving into an arched position under the bar
  • Important: Only press your chest forward as far as you can lift your heels in the back (and vice versa)
  • Once in this arch position under the bar, you’re ready to go for your next rep

How To Train Endurance

  • Just because gymnastic skills are bodyweight, does not mean you will hit your first rep, and proceed to do 10 more effortlessly. Endurance / stamina for these skills need to be trained, just like any other exercise
  • Example: You just hit a PR snatch - Can you realistically expect yourself to do a second one right away? A third? No, because you’ve built up the necessary strength to do ONE of that weight / movement. You need to train to improve your endurance if you want to be able to cycle and connect reps
  • General prescription for training gymnastics endurance: Figure out 60% of your max set, and do _____ reps every 0:30 for 15 rounds
  • Example: If your max set of kipping pull-ups is 10, your 60% is 6 reps. You will do 6 pull-ups every 0:30 for 15 rounds
  • The idea is to keep the number low and manageable, so when you get to the later rounds (11, 12, 13, 14…) you are really challenged, but still able to hit that number. It will become both a mental and physical test, because while your body is fatigued, your mind will need to focus on still moving efficiently and correctly
  • Once you do a session using 60% for 15 rounds, play with percentages and numbers so you find a prescription that works best for you, and the goals you are trying to achieve

Drills

  1. Beginner Breakdown 1: Toes Up
  2. Beginner Breakdown 2: Hip Extension
  3. Beginner Breakdown 3: Half Pull
  4. Beginner Breakdown 4: Single Reps
  5. Box Hip Extension + Pull
  6. Box Kipping Pull-up

Whiteboard Notes

Class Movement Demos

Kipping Pull-Up Drills

Drill 1: Beginner's Sequence

Drill 2: Box Hip Extension & Pull-Up

Drill 3: Box Kipping Pull-Up

Video Movement Tips

NEW — Class Snips

These "class snips" have been taken from your full Kipping Pull-Up class, and cut into smaller, more specific chunks of information that you can refer to, to help your practice.

"Using Different Bars"

"Prerequisites"

"Strict Vs. Kipping"

"How To: Step By Step Breakdown"

"Power: Arms Vs. Legs"

"Common Faults"

"Weight Distribution"

"Connecting Reps"

"How To Train Endurance"

Drill 1: Beginner Sequence

Drill 2: Box Hip Extension and Pull

Drill 3: Box Kipping Pull-Up

0:90 Quick Tips

CONNECTING REPS

Three important things to remember when connecting reps: Tension, push away at the top, weight distribution.

"WHAT IS TENSION?"

The more tension you keep, the more power you will be able to produce from your kip swing. And why is power good? Because it makes your rep easy!

"WHERE DO I GRIP?"

Hands will be slightly outside the shoulders for kipping pull-ups. But, everyone is also different. Play with widths to see which is right for you.

"WHY IS WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION IMPORTANT?"

Weight distribution is important to understand, because it directly impacts your rhythm. Stay equal on both sides of the bar.

"HOW CAN I PRACTICE THE TIMING?"

The coordination aspect of the skill is rhythm and timing, which is usually the more challenging part for many athletes. This drill will help you nip that weakness in the butt, so you can continue to train kipping pull-ups like you'd been doing them forever.

Related Resources

Check These Out

1. 4-WEEK TRAINING PLAN + DRILLS

Our 4-week training program includes two tracks for both beginner and advanced athletes, a full skill explanation, Kati's coaching Quick Tips, and recommended exercises to help supplement your training.

All training programs live under the "Skill Programs" tab in the navigation menu.

2. SKILL SPECIFIC WARM-UPS

If you need help warming-up for your gymnastic session, we've got skill specific plans you can follow to best prepare your body.

All warm-ups live under the "Workouts" tab in the navigation menu.

3. IMPROVE YOUR MOBILITY

Shoulders a little tight? Not able to move as fluidly as you'd like? Check out our stretching classes to help increase your ranges of motion.

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