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    Default To Kip or Not to Kip: Two Very Different Pull-Up Techniques Explained

    To Kip or Not to Kip: Two Very Different Pull-Up Techniques Explained

    This Article was originally posted on FitnessGeared

    Without starting the next world war, let’s do some compare and contrasting. This is in comparison to two types of pull ups. There are the ‘normal’ pull ups vs. the cross fit ‘kipping’ pull ups. This article is not intended to say which one is better overall, but simply to understand the reasoning why each exercise is performed.

    If there is one exercise out there that many people don’t do because they simply cannot perform it, it would be the pull up. Pull ups require a whole lot of strength in different areas of the body. Everything from grip strength, muscle endurance, and abdominal stability is necessary as well as much more aspects of your strength.

    Normal Pull-Ups

    Either you got them, or you don’t. Out of all the basic bodyweight exercises, this one is the toughest. There are plenty of variations and progressions to take to condition your body to successfully perform this exercise. This exercise incorporates many muscles, mainly the muscles in the back. Other than that, the secondary muscles getting a workout are biceps, forearms, and abs.

    To perform a proper pull up, follow these steps:

    • Start from a fully extended dead hang with palms facing out.
    • Puff out your chest, and utilizing as much back as possible, drive your chest towards the bar, and elbows towards the floor.
    • Raise your body high enough to get a full contraction – usually eyes or chin above the bar.
    • After a successful lift, lower yourself in a controlled fashion minimizing any swing in the body.

    Things to remember:

    • Chin ups are a useful variation where palms are facing in. These may be a useful way to progress towards a pull up, as they are easier to perform and use more bicep.
    • Always keep the shoulder blades tight when pulling your body up to prevent any shoulder strains.
    •To perform a proper pull up, do not swing the hips to generate momentum

    A normal pull up is often considered one of the best exercises to develop a wide and thick overall back. It is a great multi-joint exercise with a constant tension of puling and lowering your own bodyweight against gravity. It is an exercise that will for sure add a lot of strength and endurance to your overall exercise routine. The repetition range for pull ups usually range around a lower two digit number; Often to failure. If needed, you can add weights to yourself in the form of a weight vest, weight belt, or just old fashion weights in between your legs or feet. Also there are variations to progress to a pull up if needed to assist with machines, rubber bands, or a good old spotter pushing up on your back or legs.

    Kipping Pull-Ups

    If done correctly, a kipping pull-up incorporates a hip hinging movement to elevate the body up with minimal upper body pulling. Obviously this technique is used to incorporate more lifts into the desired set. It is not out of the question to see exercisers doing 50 repetitions of this exercise before they are gassed out. This is because there is a decent distribution with upper body, lower body, and core to perform the exercise. Kipping pull ups is a more efficient way to perform a pull up since it is doing a whole lot less isolation work. Some might call it cheating in order to perform more repetitions. Basically, that is true in a sense. It may not be considered cheating to cross fit athletes, but overall more repetitions are the goal here. Alternate versions of the kipping pull up may include butterfly pull ups, and muscle ups.

    To perform a kipping pull up, follow these steps:

    • Hinge your hip prior to the exertion of the lift to get the momentum started.
    • Explosively pull up by engaging your abs, curling your torso, and bringing your hips and legs up powerfully.
    • At the top portion of the lift (chin above bar) push away from the bar swinging down and out to conserve the momentum.
    • Perform in an immediate sequence to keep the kinetic energy intact.

    Things to remember:

    • In order to avoid injury, ease into the exercise and progress with mastering the movements needed first.
    • Being an easier overall exercise to perform, more repetitions are often required to get the benefit from the exercise.
    •There are a lot less variations to the kipping pull up.

    Overall, you can make your own opinion on which one is superior. Overall, it all really does depend on your goal though. If you are trying to pack on some pounds of muscle, the traditional pull up might be your go to in order to increase muscle size and tone. If you are someone who is interested in improving the efficiency of your lifts and improving muscle endurance for athletic purposes, then incorporating the kipping pull up might be an option to consider.
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    When I was in the Marine Corp it was a big no, no to kip on pull ups. So I am brain washed into thinking that kipping is cheating, but if it helps do it!

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    Interesting this has to be the first constructive post on MC about Crossfit. Lot of haters on here maybe the tide is changing.

    Personaly I'm a strict pull-up kind of guy.
    But if reps is what you are after or working to get a muscle up then butterflies are the way to go.

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